The dish on Long Island's restaurant and food scene.
Get ready to celebrate National Empanada Day, which falls on Wednesday, April 8. In honor of the occasion, Pollo Campero will be giving out a free chicken empanada to anyone who visits participating restaurants in Brentwood, Hempstead, Huntington Station, Central Islip and Glen Cove.
You'll also want to know about these other local spots serving the flaky little fried pies, both savory and sweet.
Now, there are two branches of this counter-serve empanada specialist, one in Ronkonkoma and a larger offshoot in Medford. Owner Roy Pelaez's repertoire includes his signature ground beef sofrito empanada as well as barbecued chicken, Latin shrimp and chorizo-potato empanadas.
601-13 Portion Rd., Ronkonkoma, 631-617-6427 and 2040 Rte. 112, Medford, 631-307-9696., islandempanada.com
At this Mastic Beach takeout shop dedicated to Puerto Rican-style empanadas, you’ll find such varieties as classic beef, chicken cordon bleu, shrimp and chorizo, broccoli and cheese and even shepherd’s pie. In warm weather, there's some outdoor seating at picnic tables, but the place has no table seating inside.
374 Neighborhood Rd., Mastic Beach, 631-399-3526, empanadaville.net
From this hopping Cuban restaurant come pastelitos — empanadas stuffed with creamy rice pudding and served with strawberry sauce and ice cream. It’s excess that works.
26 E. Park Ave., Long Beach, 516-272-4200, corazondecubany.com
Dominican-style empanadas work well with sangria at this lively Latin spot. They’re flaky and appealing, oozing a savory chicken-cheese filling.
1159 Deer Park Ave., North Babylon, 631-586-1171