Food on the Road: To Arepa or not to Arepa?

Our latest column takes a cross-country (okay, cross-campus) road trip reviewing food trucks, today covering Delicias Colombianas, a truck serving up empanadas and fresh corn arepas.


Emery Little

This week, we’re breaking down Delicias Colombianas and its many offerings.

Veronica Tadross, Staff Writer

Satisfying both our stress and our stomachs was exactly Vanderbilt Campus Dining’s goal when they launched a new program to bring food trucks to campus daily for lunch and dinner. Whether you’re at Branscomb Quad or the Ingram Commons, you’re bound to find tasty and unique cuisine only a meal swipe (and maybe a short line) away. In this series, we’ll be reviewing the various visiting trucks—and providing mouth-watering photos, because our phones always eat first. Duh.

When a taste of Latin America is just a walk to Commons away: we run, not walk. As the name implies, Delicias Colombianas pulled up on campus to dazzle our taste buds as well as our knowledge of Latin American cuisine with arepas and empanadas. 

An arepa is a round, flat patty of maize flour popular across Latin America. Across the region, it is cooked in a variety of waysfrom grilling to steamingand served with a variety of fillings ranging from chicken to spicy chorizo. Every week, Delicias Colombianas brings a Colombian variety of this unique treat to Vanderbilt’s campus, along with empanadas and other Colombian platters. 

I’ve had the chance to try Delicias Colombianas on two occasions a few weeks back amidst desperate bouts to escape campus dining, giving me my first taste of the unique cuisine.

Delicias Columbianas serves up a chicken arepa, complete with pulled chicken and spicy sauce. (Hustler Staff/Veronica Tadross)

Delicias Colombianas offers their arepas with either chicken, vegetables or the traditional Colombian chicken and chorizo combo. My first time at the truck, I locked in on the chicken arepa and ordered one as soon as I got to the window. They give you a choice of spicy or mild, so I obviously chose spicy, and received my Arepa in a few minutes. It came wrapped in tin foil and stuffed with pulled chicken and a spicy sauce. The sandwich was a bit smaller than I expected, but it ended up being enough food for me.

The chicken was flavorful and hearty, and the arepa itself had a grainy texture that I didn’t fully expect. Although good, it was slightly different from the bread most of us are used to, and may be unwanted by some people. I also didn’t fully get the “spicy.” Still, I enjoyed the change of pace as I chomped on the arepa at a high table in the Commons Center and looked forward to giving the empanadas a try during my next visit. 

About a week later, Delicias Colombianas pulled into Commons once again. During a week of busy tests, I was disappointed to hear when I got to the window that the empanadas would take a few minutes, as they must’ve been frying them fresh. Although not what I hoped, I took this as an opportunity to try the traditional chicken and chorizo arepa instead.

This arepa was delicious as well, with the touch of chorizo adding a more flavor and juiciness to the sandwich (the chicken one was a bit dry). The spicy was also much more present with a spicy mayo-like sauce. Once again I cleaned my plate and dreamt of the day when I’d be able to wait for the freshly-cooked empanadas at Delicias Colombianas. 

Delicias Colombianas is a unique dining experience and another interesting way to spice up your meals on campus (even though their spicy sauce might not fully do it). As you browse food trucks during the week, Delicias Colombianas is definitely worth giving a try, and a fantastic way to lose your arepa virginity if you haven’t already.