I should really stop eating, do some stomach stretching exercises, or hit the gym real hard today. I say this not out of any desire for physical fitness, but because I feel ill-prepared for Viva La Comida! The street food festival being held tomorrow from 4 p.m.to 10 p.m on 82 St. between Roosevelt and Baxter Aves., promises a dozen undersung street food superstars from Queens and beyond. Street foods of many nations will be represented, including the supersized Mexican sandwiches of Tortas Neza to Tibetan momos from the Potala cart. I am most impressed by the fact that festival curator Jeff Orlick has been able to lure Lechonera La Piraña away from the Bronx. The machete-wielding Piraña makes the best Puerto Rican roast pork I’ve ever had.
And the family of Maria Piedad Cano, aka the Arepa Lady, the Queen of Queens street food will be there making arepas de queso and arepas de choclo. In addition to those classics they’ll be introducing the arepa de carne, which is filled with tender chunks of beef. Sabroso!
For those who desire a more personal experience, a limited number of 90-minute tours of the food trucks will be offered during the event. NYC tour company Turnstile Tours will be providing 4 tours, with 5 people on each tour, to get up and personal with the chefs and their trucks. These 20 lucky guests will be able to skip the lines for tastes and conversations from the vendors themselves. All proceeds go to the 82nd Street Partnership.