Little Chango opens on Asheville’s South Slope

The name comes from a gregarious South American bird. | Photo by Camille Nevarez-Hernandez

A slice of Cuba, Puerto Rico, and other Hispanic locales has arrived in Asheville’s South Slope (134 Coxe Ave.) in the form of a tiny, vibrant yellow eatery. Little Chango, a family-owned craft kitchen, opened last week — and today we’re dishing out all the delicious details. 

Chef Iris in action, topping an array of arepas. | Photo by Camille Nevarez-Hernandez

First things first, you’re gonna need to order an arepa. These thick, griddled cornmeal cakes are a South American delicacy that head chef Iris Rodriguez uses as her canvas for a fusion of Hispanic flavors

You can choose to top the arepas with:

  • Ropa vieja stew-like, Cuban-style shredded flank steak
  • Pernil slow-roasted Puerto Rican pork shoulder 
  • Pepiada refreshing Venezuelan chicken and avocado salad
  • Chorizoa spunky, peppery Mexican pork sausage, topped with chimichurri
  • Jibara, or “farmer” fare a sofrito black bean mash with sweet plantains, avocado, red onions, queso fresco 

Another star on the menu is the lonchera (Spanish for lunchbox). These hearty dishes feature the Puerto Rican arroz mamposteao, which is a spiced and stewed version of rice and beans, along with salad, pickled cabbage + onions, and a protein of your choice. 

You can also snag local draft beers and refreshments at the bar. | Photo by Camille Nevarez-Hernandez

There’s also snackable sides such as tostones (fried green plantains), yuca fries, and amarillos (fried sweet plantains) that we recommend tacking onto your order. And you’d be doing your taste buds a disservice if you let the homemade flan pass you by.  

Beyond serving fast, flavorful + affordable street food that appeals to workers, chef Iris says the mission of her restaurant is to inspire moments of sobremesa, which she describes as “what happens when people gather at a table, relax, and continue to drink and talk after they eat.”

Regardless of whether you order one of everything or just enjoy a bite, everything comes with a generous serving of sobremesa.