Wouldn't you just know...it took an "emergency visit" to my mother in the Hospital to place me on Roosevelt Avenue at the appointed hour: 11:30PM...and a serendipitous parking space opens up under the El, in front of the local "man-ly" bar, to secure a place in history: my virgin visit to Miss Arepa Lady.
Nothing short of amazing, the skill and dexterity with which "A.-L." flipped and squirted and grilled and replenished her charcoal-blazing stand, with adoring customers lying in wait for her specialty.
We asked a few quick questions, spotted the variety of hotcakes and sausages on the grilltop and, going easy for our very first time, decided upon one each of the classic arepa con queso and (does this sound right???) a "chocolo" pancake with the cheese folded over and into a half-moon.
Both were extraordinarily delicious. The ethereal arepa was just way off the charts in its lightness-of-being. At first taken aback by the quick squeezed bottle grease, spoon-swirled by her masterful hand, I excused this addition after the first bite. The folded 'cake was another revelation - nothing remotely akin ever served at the Waffle House!
Is it sacrilege to admit washing the whole thing down with an honest pint at 61st & Woodside? Who can say? Is there anything one should do/order differently on the second date?
I'll be back another day...meantime, I hope this is the beginning of an incredible, edible long-distance relationship (Brooklyn-to-Queens, that is).