The Arepa Lady Will Get a Brick-and-Mortar Shrine

For The Arepa Lady, call it an ascension. Maria Piedad Cano, the seasonal late-night cart vendor whose Colombian corn cakes made her a living Chowhound saint two decades ago, plans to open a restaurant. As Serious Eats reports, she and her family will run a year-round spot on Roosevelt Avenue in Jackson Heights, Queens, not far from the corner where she parks her cart from the end of winter until late fall. They hope to be in business by this spring—perhaps with new arepa toppings—and expect to keep the cart on its customary schedule.

So when the griddles heat up, what can the uninitiated expect? Nothing less than "snacks from heaven," founding 'hound Jim Leff once wrote, "brown and crunchy, chewy and a little bit sweet, the butter and cheese imbuing the whole with salty dairy meltiness. ... You try one, and first reaction is 'mmm, this is delicious.' But before that thought can fully form, waves of progressively deeper feelings begin crashing, and you are finally left silently nodding your head. You understand things. You have been loved."

Photo from The Arepa Lady / Twitter