The Arepa Lady brings Colombian food to NYC in 3 locations

ByEyewitness News WABC logo
Tuesday, September 12, 2023
Neighborhood Eats takes you to The Arepas Lady in Queens
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Eyewitness News Mornings @ 10 takes you to The Arepas Lady in Jackson Heights, Queens.

JACKSON HEIGHTS, Queens (WABC) -- The Arepa Lady is a restaurant started by Alejandro Osorio and his mother about nine years ago.

It originated from his mother Maria Piedad Cano some 30 years ago with her food cart.

She used to be on 78th and Roosevelt, just a block and a half away.

"I mean the ingredients are pretty straightforward like corn flour, cheese, love, haha," Osorio said. "It's not so much the ingredients, it's the work that you put into it. You have to come in at 5 in the morning. You have to prepare the dough, and knead the dough because we still do everything by hand here in the basement."

"That's arepa de choclo, it's corn on the cobb, ground it up, we make that batter you see right there, we grill it and afterward we serve it with a white farmers cheese, so it's going to have a slight sweetness to it," he added.

Osorio went on to describe, "The smaller one you see there is arepa de queso, corn flour and inside the batter we add mozzarella cheese and the same thing you grill it and you add the white cheese on top."

But there is one favorite that stands out. "What people really like is the chicharron - it's like a smoked pork belly."

It all comes back to love and the joy they bring to their customers.

"My mom really liked it when she used to work the cart, she was able to cook the stuff, give it to the people right away, and see how they enjoyed it. And food is just like an expression of love. And we live here in the community, we enjoy what we're doing, we want to keep doing it, hopefully for a while," she said.

You can visit The Arepa Lady at three different locations in Jackson Heights, Astoria, and Brooklyn.

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