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I have been feeling sick since Friday, which makes for two days of crappy bridge. Luckily, I've been doing much better at the dining table than the bridge table.

Last night, a large group of nine of us went to Viva las arepas, a Venezuelan restaurant just north of the hotel on the strip.

It is a casual restaurant, you order at the counter and they call your number when your food is ready.

I ordered the wood fire beef arepas ($4.50) and a smoked pork butt arepas ($5.50). An additional side of rice and black beans cost me $3.

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My food was delicious. In case you are not familiar, arepa is a kind of flatbread that's made of ground corn meal. It is very popular in Columbia and Venezuela. They use it as bread; add delicious meats, cheeses, avocado and vegetables between two arepas and you have yourself a delicious sandwich.

Although they are not big in diameter, the food packs a punch. I was able to finish my woodfired beef Arepas, but the smoked pork butt sat left barely touched. I'm hoping it will make a decent breakfast. The flavor of the beef was deep and smoky and although there were some small chunks of gristle, overall it was a delicious sandwich. I tried my friends fried plantain; they were sweet and tender, but I missed the crunch.

The prices are extremely low, and the service is fast. It is an excellent choice for a large group because there are options available for everyone, even the fussy chicken people.

http://m.vivalasarepas.com

I could not have planned it any better. Art of flavors, one of the best gelato places in Las Vegas is literally right next door to Viva las Arepas. $3.25 gets one flavor, five dollars gets you too. There are lots of unique choices to choose from, including a baklava, and a green tea Kit Kat. I went with the more traditional salted caramel. Everyone raved about how great their gelato was but the flavors of mine tasted muted. I'm willing to bet that it has to do with being sick and my taste buds though.

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