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Feb 5, 2014 12:32 PM

The Arepa Lady Moves Indoors

Serious Eats's Max Falkowitz reports that Cano's family will be running a year-round spot at 77-02AA Roosevelt Avenue that will include more varieties of arepas. I'm very happy for her.

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  1. WOW I may actually get to eat her food after all these years! looking forward to updates.

    1. Did I miss where in the article he gives the hours of the place? Is it only going to be open from 1-3am? :-)

      2 Replies
      1. re: Steve R

        She's moving to a brick and mortar store. I'm sure the hours will change. Doesn't make sense to pay rent on a store and then keep it open for only 2 hours per day.

      2. Hopefully the kids can churn out arepas as good as mom (and with friendlier hours).

        1. The last few times I've visited her cart, the Arepa Lady was nowhere to be seen. Just family members playing up the branding, and arepas that were merely so-so. So I'm not too excited about this.

          The "...and family" tagline does nothing for me. Love, care, and skill are elective; not inherited traits. I'm the fan of one person's touch, not of an intangible brand.

          8 Replies
            1. re: debinqueens

              Maybe not an apt example. Mr. DeMarco's daughter and one of his sons happen to be super talented. I look forward to trying their take-out shop for the sort of great cooking they did in the old days at Difara's.

              1. re: Jim Leff

                perhaps not. I just found the manhattan operation to be ...adequate. gave it three tries, and I was never blown away, just thought something was missing.

                1. re: debinqueens

                  Agreed. But that was the other son.

                  Plus, the two other kids are great cooks, but unproven with pizza. Mr. Demarco always handles that end....

                  1. re: Jim Leff

                    <<Agreed. But that was the other son.>>

                    At the time, wasn't the Manhattan place reported to be the daughter's project? For example, from New York Magazine:

                    "Fortunately, in the case of Dominick De Marco, proprietor of Brooklyn’s celebrated Di Fara Pizza in Midwood, his daughter Maggie's move to Manhattan means extending the family tradition, not leaving it...Papa is surely quite proud of his daughter's debut."


                    I thought of that because I remember wanting to try her lasagna, but it wasn't available the couple of times I stopped in.

                    1. re: meatme

                      We're digressing pretty far here and I agree that the person making the food is crucial at places where the attraction is the talent of the chef. We'll see if the arepas are more than mediocre and who's doing the cooking as time passes. Ya never know.

                      As for DeMarco's in Manhattan, it was actually 2 places (next door to one another), owned by a long time customer of DiFara's who enlisted a couple of the kids as partners & was able to use the name because of that. The pizza place seemed to be run by one of cousins and sometimes Dom's youngest son worked there. Boy, was it bad. It was the restaurant on the corner that Maggie was, as I understood it, supposed to focus on and cook in, at least as per the original plan. I never saw her in there and Dom basically refused to talk about the whole project, only saying "I got nothin' to do with it… bad idea". And Maggie was back at DiFara's pretty quickly, even while DeMarco's was still open. At any rate, there is a bona fide DiFara's in Vegas nowadays and reports are that it's good. Dom spent some time there when it opened and I believe its the oldest son running it. Anyone been?

                2. re: Jim Leff

                  When the Tia Julia truck opened a brick and mortar joint, it didn't last more than a couple of years. I'm pretty sure, but not 100%, that they were following a similar model of having the family run it. I've never been to the truck but Yelp reviews are still touting the tortas and cemitas. No idea if the eponymous Auntie Julia is behind it or not.

                  1. re: Silverjay

                    I'm really suspicious of any notion of legacy in this business. For me it's all about the specific person making my food, period.

                    Sounds like I'm stating the obvious, but there are so many tricks/smoke/mirrors working to distract diners from this obvious truth that folks get a bit untethered.

            2. Just opened, says Joe DiStefano's Chopsticks+Marrow (pic borrowed from the blog — thanks, Joe!) ...

              Anyone else been?

              1 Reply
              1. re: squid kun

                I've been. I got an arepa de chocolo and really enjoyed it