Short Order: Empanadas & More
“Fusion” and “authentic” are pretty much culinary opposites, yet both are celebrated in the local food scene. Authentic eats are lauded for their fidelity to niche regional or historical preparations. Fusion, on the other hand, is celebrated for its creativity and unconventional sensibilities. If you can’t be one, you can probably be the other.
Although billed as a Puerto Rican project, Empanadas & More is a food truck that probably falls best into the fusion category. True, it offers authentic empanadas in flavors such as ground beef and chicken, but its menu also prominently sports additional versions of the fried pie in flavors such as cheeseburger, pepperoni pizza and spinaccoli (that’s a spinach one).
Today, the fusion food of choice is the Cheeseburger Empanada. It’s a large (seven inches, according to the menu) fried pie with the requisite flaky pastry, filled with a sturdy mix of ground beef and plenty of melted cheese. In fact, it delivers on its promised cheeseburger-ness with a heady, heavy sustenance you need from your meat sandwich. The fusion version is extra-heavy, in fact, thanks to its fried pastry element.
All empanadas are served with a side of your choice. The options include rice, fries, salad and most importantly: fried plantains. The sweet ones have just-crisped edges, and while short of sugary, they do deliver a sweetness that approaches that of a banana.
A couple sauces round things out. The orange one (called salsa roja) is a non-too-distant cousin of mayo with a little extra tanginess. Personal preference leans hard towards the spicy cilantro sauce instead. The greenish sauce starts out smooth, and then kicks in with a serious heat. It’s truly perfect to cut through the heaviness of the cheeseburger empanada.
Like all food trucks, Empanadas & More, along with its fusion pies, can be tracked down using Street Food Finder.