TAMPA, Fla. - What's not to love about an empanada? A fluffy, flaky pastry filled with savory meats and vegetables, easily eaten on the go, is something almost anyone can appreciate.
At Mr. Empanada, they've perfected the art of making these tasty handhelds over their last 35 years in the Bay Area.
The owners - Albert Perez and his wife Lisa Perez-Ferras - are in their seventies and are still going strong.
“We started in 1984. My husband, Big Al as he’s called, had a brainstorm that fast food was just coming into the industry and, how great it would be to have an empanada shop?” Lisa Perez-Ferras explained.
All their empanadas are made by hand. On an average day, they make about 3,000, but have done as many as 15,000 on a single day.
They hand-roll the dough and cut it into strips, before filling them with one of their 15 fillings and cooking to perfection.
Some are filled with cheeses, sausage, and meats. They also offer sweet empanadas, filled with apple, pumpkin, or fruit.
“We tried to take a street food and elevate it. We are Tampa people. We’re very proud of our heritage. Our empanadas are made with love and care," Lisa said.
To find out more about Mr. Empanada, visit www.mrempanada.com