I can’t say I noticed the lack of empanadas in Buffalo’s cuisine before I started hearing about the upcoming opening of La Gourmet Empanadas months ago. But ever since then the thought of an empanada focused restaurant has seemed like a no brainer. Why didn’t this place exist in Buffalo before La Gourmet Empanadas?
The wait is finally over, as the take-out eatery opened their doors on April 27 at 74 Herkimer St. @ W Ferry in Buffalo’s West Side near Pho Dollar and the West Side Bazaar.
Empanadas are pastries made of folded dough and filled with everything from seafood, meat and vegetables to fruit and cheese. While they originated in Spain, you’ll find them all over South and Latin America similar to other traditional Spanish fare. The word empanada comes from the Spanish verb empanar, meaning to coat in bread. So naturally, we love them.
The entrance is located on the side of the old building the owners have been working to renovate for a while now. Enter, walk down a small flight of stairs, and order from the take out counter. There’s currently no seating available, and the menu is slightly limited as they get going. For example, when we visited recently, they were out of the Salmon and Seafood Empanadas. Better luck next time.
We were surprised to find that the menu doesn’t just consist of sweet and savory empanadas. Yeah, they have dessert empanadas. It’s bulked up with everything from pizza logs, wings, fried pickles, Buffalo shrimp and fingers to burgers, wraps, subs, pizza, and rotisserie.
The empanadas (chicken, beef, pulled pork, seafood, salmon, black bean, vegetarian) come in sets of two, each with a dipping sauce for good measure. The sauce came sans nombre, but I’d describe it as a salsa flavored sour cream mixture.
Empanadas range in price from $4 to $6.50 for the savory, and $2 for the sweet (banana, apple, mixed berry, 3 to each order). Typically the dessert empanadas are a smaller version, made with smaller discs that had yet to arrive at the shop on the day we visited. Therefore, we tried normal sized versions of both the banana and apple. They were delicious, but banana was tops.
We also tried the beef and chicken empanadas. Both were good, crispy outside and warm with mild flavor on the inside. I recommend the chicken if you’re between the two.
Whether you live in or around the neighborhood or are passing through on an adventure, we recommend stopping to grab an empanada. We’ll be back to try the rest soon. Helloooo rotisserie Huli Huli Pork!
La Gourmet Empanadas
74 Herkimer St. @ W Ferry, Buffalo, NY 14213
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