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Sep 29, 2001 11:27 AM

Jackson Hts- Street Food Questions

  • p

I was in Jackson Hts. last week, grabbing a quick, cheap Indian meal on 74th St and stopping by for interesting nibbles at Patel Bros. On the way back to the subway, we stopped by to get some fresh-crushed sugar cane juice from a street vendor, and noticed that the cart next to it was an ice cream cart. The treats she was selling was absolutely fascinating. One of them was somekind of a frozen slush (or pulped fruit) on top of this brownish pastry-like shell. The rest were interesting spanish ice cream desserts. Is anyone familiar with these treats? I can't remember the names at all, one of them being something like sopacilla or something like that. I was too full from my meal to sample them, but I'd like to know the names and descriptions of these items for the next time I'm in the neighborhood.
Also, I stopped by a joint to try their arepa. Does Arepa con chocolo not mean "with chocolate"? Ours was topped with cheese. Pretty greasy.

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  1. Well, as you found out, it don't mean chocolate. One dictionary I looked in says it means ear of corn. Hopefully a native speaker can further enlighten us.

    1. I do hope you found the famous "arepa lady" (on 79th and Roosevelt after 10:30pm on weekends) that Alpha Dog continually raves about. There are lots of places to get arepas in that neighborhood--hers really are in a totally different league.

      7 Replies
      1. re: Tom Meg

        Really? After 10:30PM? I should go read Jim's report and try finding her. Arepas so far are a mythical food for me. I could see how they could be so very very good, but I haven't had a really great one yet. The irony hit me one day when salivating over foodtv lady making arepa with fresh grilled-on-the-cob corn added in (on "cooking live," I am so bad about remembering names). There I am thinking that looks so good, I wish I could have something like that, and at the same time living just a few blocks from the haunts of the legendary Arepa Lady.

        1. re: wray

          OK, we don't live in Queens, but most of the time when we eat out (at least 2-3 nights per week), we are in Queens chowhound territory. Once a month or so, we are in Arepa Lady land, at the right time, and we have NEVER seen her. Has anyone seen her of late? Can you tell us where and when? Along with Banh Mi sandwiches, the Arepa Lady is becoming my Holy Grail....

          1. re: Scribbler

            Most recent Arepa Lady experience: Saturday September 22, 11:00 pm after Ping Pong at Champions(near 78 or 79th street) on Roosevelt. My favorite is still the white arepa that has the white cheese mixed in the dough already, and topped with more grated white cheese.

            1. re: HLing

              "the white arepa that has the white cheese mixed in the dough already,"

              Arepa con queso!

              1. re: HLing

                I've tried to find her repeatedly, and never have. I've come to the conclusion that she's an urban myth. Otherwise, if she were real, and such a favorite with everyone, you think they would have asked her name. How weird is it that this beloved figure isn't even given the honor of a name?

              2. re: Scribbler

                don't forget: fridays and saturdays only, after 10:30pm, in good weather and when the police aren't harassing her (anybody out there with police, political, or immigration law credentials to help with this situation, please email me...I'm also going to be starting up the Arepa Lady Legal Defense organization, watch for info).


                1. re: Jim Leff

                  You made me laugh Jim. LOL

                  Too bad I didn't know about you before we lost the taco lady at 10th Avenue :(

          2. re: ice cream, I have no idea, but I suspect I'm just not visualizing it right.

            arepa de choclo (note correct spelling) is made from fresh corn, whereas a regular arepa's made from dried corn. The former are sweeter, and done as a crepe stuffed with white cheese. The latter are flatly round and topped with white cheese. Yes, they're cholestroholic, but they're great (note: this is all Columbian info....Venezuelans stuff their regular arepas rather than top them, and their arepa/crepes of fresh corn are called "cachapas").

            Note that the arepas most people are accustomed to---tiny hockey pucks, grilled and tasteless--are intended as mere starchy accompaniment to meat. They're really called "arepitas", and one shouldn't judge the whole class of Columbian corn cakes by them!

            Read about the Arepa Lady at link below.