Arepas Grill is the newest location of the arepas empire that is soon to take over the world, err, well Astoria. It is only the second shop, but the first, Arepas Cafe down on 36th Avenue has been serving the city's finest Venezuelan arepas. Both locations are clean and modern, and have the same menu.
They have very good jugo de parchita (passion fruit, $3) and jugo de papelón con limón ($3, below), a homemade brown sugar lemonade.
The actual cornmeal pocket (their words) that is an arepa here is not the show but rather the stage. The most interesting part of the meal here are the ingredients they stuff inside. I guess the standard bearer of the operation is the arepa de carne mechada ($6, below), shredded beef with spices Venezuelan style. This beef is an ingredient of some other arepas and full plates, but is nice to try on its own in this form.
Another option to try this beef is the arepa pabellón ($7.25, below), which is also stuffed with black beans, sweet plantains, and white cheese.
Don't be fooled by their look, Venezuelan arepas are not quite finger foods. It takes eating much of the fillings out by fork before you can come close to picking this up successfully. No matter though, I suggest adding generous amounts of the green mayo and the spicy and sweet salsa that are given to all the tables., and those would end up all over your lap anyways if you tried to eat this whole.
On a return visit for the Copa America Centenario, i tried some actual finger foods from the appetizers section. The mini arepas and the mini patacones (below) go very well with Venezuelan beer and football.