For cheap, flavorful eats, it’s hard to go wrong with a good empanada. It’s what led to the success of Island Empanada in Lake Ronkonkoma and paved the way for a second location, which opened in Medford two weeks ago.
The Medford shop has the same menu as the one Roy Pelaez and his wife, Kathy, opened in 2011, with more than 20 empanada variations, from chorizo and potato to pernil.
Prices range from $2.50 to $3 each, or $21.50 for a box of 10. The most popular one is the traditional beef empanada, that starts with a sofrito that’s a family recipe.
Pelaez, born in the Bronx, learned to make empanadas from his mother, Ana, a native of Puerto Rico. From New York, he went to the island as well as the Dominican Republic to enhance his empanada repertoire.
The bright new spot decorated with plants, flags and a mural seats about 20, with table and counter seating.
Island Empanada is at 2040 Rte. 112, Medford; 631-307-9696 or 601-13 Portion Rd. Ronkonkoma; 631-617-6427; islandempanada.com.