Empanola, the creative little empanada vendor with food stalls at the St. Roch Market and the Auction House Market, is about to lay down roots on Freret Street near Tulane University with a tiny location focused mostly on take-out, according to the Uptown Messenger.
The new location will go in next to the old Cafe Freret in what was once the New Deal Hair Salon (7321 Freret). Meanwhile, Surrey’s Juice Bar is poised to take over what was Cafe Freret after a major renovation concludes.
According to the report, construction is nearly done on Empanola’s building and the restaurant should get to move in soon. Anticipating a strong carry-out business with the college students, the interior is mostly kitchen with only a few seats.
Wife and husband team Jimena Urratia and Marcelo García began bringing the empanadas of their respective homelands, Argentina and Chile, to the St. Roch Market last summer.
Empanadas aren’t a far stretch from the ubiquitous meat pies emblematic of New Orleans’ Spanish heritage. The meat pies are the descendent of the Spanish empanada. Fillings at Empanola though range from expected (ham and cheese) to New Orleans flavors (gumbo, crawfish étouffée, and spinach and artichoke) to things like pecan, onion, and blue cheese.
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