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When the Arepa Lady isn't there

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Adam Stephanides Jul 22, 2000 10:17 AM

I finally made it to the Arepa Lady. She and her arepas were exactly as they've been described, and they were very good (I liked the yellow ones best, but the large white ones were good too; I didn't try the small ones). I'm looking forward to going back, which leads me to my main question.

From what Jim has said, the Arepa Lady isn't always there, even on weekends after 10:30 P. M. I myself had gone in search of her once before with no luck, even though the weather was nice. Since I'd hate to go all that way and come back empty-stomached, so to speak, what alternatives does a chowhound have in that neighborhood at that time of night if the Arepa Lady isn't there? The neighborhood has quite a few restaurants, taco stands, etc. open late at night, but which are good? I go by subway, incidentally, so it has to be within walking distance.

--Adam

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  1. j
    Jim Leff RE: Adam Stephanides Jul 22, 2000 10:55 AM

    One (in order):

    1. grimaces sadly
    2. curses fate
    3. looks around at the other restaurants with a bitter, jaundiced eye
    4. says a silent prayer for the Arepa Lady's health

    and
    5. gets back in the subway and goes home

    3 Replies
    1. re: Jim Leff
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      Dave Feldman RE: Jim Leff Jul 23, 2000 12:58 AM

      Maybe I'm just lucky, but the last two times I've visited the arepa lady, it was well before 10:30 p.m. and she was very much cooking, in both senses of the word.

      1. re: Jim Leff
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        Adam Stephanides RE: Jim Leff Jul 31, 2000 11:30 PM

        For once, Jim, I disagree with you in a positive way. On the south side of Roosevelt Ave. between 77th and 78th Streets are two taco stands, both named Taco-landia (though I noticed no visible signs of affiliation), and both open late at night, at least on Fridays. The one I tried is the one closest to 77th St., which looks like a truck parked in a lot (the other looks like a regular building, though it has a takeout window), and had a number of customers, all Hispanic, even at 11 P. M. The tacos are very simple, just shredded meat on two soft tortillas, with self-serve pickled vegetables, onions, and red and green sauces. I'm no expert on Mexican food, but I thought the spiced pork taco was very tasty, and certainly preferable to returning home empty-stomached from an hour-long (round trip) subway ride.

        --Adam

        1. re: Adam Stephanides
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          Jeremy RE: Adam Stephanides Aug 1, 2000 08:07 AM

          The problem with recommending this place as an alternative to the Arepa lady is consistency. Their tortillas can be pretty fresh; but I've also had really stale tortillas there. As I recall there was some discussion of Tacolandia about a year ago; you might want to check the archives. The truck, which you patronized, has been there for several years; the takeout window has only been open for about a year.

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