No Recession on Clematis: Downtown WPB Gets Areperia, Pizza Joint

Recession, you say? Apparently not on Clematis Street, where despite a dining economy that has many restaurateurs contemplating an easier line of work, like shipping out on a tramp steamer to Bolivia, the hits just keep on coming. Two new spots have opened up on the street, both admittedly in the "fast casual" segment of the market:

Hot Pie Pizza (123 Olive St., 561-655-2511) uses a 6,800-pound coal-fired oven to sear your pies at 1,000 degrees, whether a basic tomato, mozzarella, and basil pizza, or a designer pie with prosciutto, arugula, and extra-virgin olive oil. The owner is John Ries, who had Firerock Pizza around the corner before selling out late last year. At Hot Pie, he's also doing oven-roasted chicken wings, a handful of sammies and sides, a quartet of pastas, and an old-fashioned root beer float for dessert. 

Arepera (330 Clematis St., 561-820-8011) is sort of Venezuelan sandwich shop featuring the cornmeal cakes that are a national dish. Prices are cheap -- all but one arepa are under $5 -- and they come stuffed with everything from cheese, avocado, and sweet plantains, to roasted pork with tomatoes and garlic sauce. A handful of sides, salads, and desserts rounds out the menu, which also includes a cheapie breakfast for only $4.95, which, recession or not, is a pretty damned good deal.

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Bill Citara