After 6+ years on this message board, I have finally, finally made it to the sainted Arepa lady. It wasn't a planned visit: but the R train was running express from Queens Plaza to Roosevelt Ave., and it was 11 on a Saturday night. My wife and I were kinda stuffed already, but we figured what the hey, let's give it another try (we've been unsuccessful in the past).
Well, we strolled up to 79th and Roosevelt, and had no trouble finding her. It was about 11:05 and she was just setting up. Both her appearance and aura matched the descriptions given here in the past - she was saintly, eminating warmth - even as she told us that arepas would not be ready for half an hour. So we strolled around Jackson Heights, trying unsuccessfully to find a quiet place to sit and have a coffee. Got back at 11:30, just as the first of several arepas were ready.
They were divine. Having read from some chowhounds that they were "heavy," I was worried they wouldn't be to my taste. Amazingly, though, they were of a perfect consistency - rich, but in no way greasy. I didn't see how it would possible to eat the things with our hands, but that actually turned out not to be a problem. The queso blanco (is that what it was?)sprinkled on top blended perfectly with the cheesy corny insides, and the whole thing had a sweet nutty flavor and a molten texture that was to die for. It was a battle getting the whole thing down on a full stomach, and I would really really love to try the thing with a real appetite, but both the experience and the product lived up to their hype. We left enchanted.
Just in case: She's just off the corner of Roosevelt and 79th, I think 7 train to 81st st. is probably closest, although you can also take the E, F, R, G to 74th and Roosevelt. It has said here that she's only out on Friday and Saturday nights after 11.
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