Empanada is a kind of pastry, which is baked or fried and stuffed with pretty much anything–cheese, veggies, fruit, meat or seafood. Although popular in Latin America, this versatile snack can also be found in Europe and Southeast Asia, albeit under different names.
The name comes from the Spanish verb empanar, to wrap or coat in bread. South of the U.S., these dough delights are also known as panas. A Latin fusion by the same name, Panas, serves delicious gourmet empanadas with spicy sauces and irresistible plantain chips.
On a recent visit, I have learned that in some countries (such as Venezuela, Panama, Dominican Republic) the word panas also means friends. This is an inexpensive, fast and conveniently located diner alternative. Unfortunately, Panas closes at 11 PM so you will have to go with the Jumbo Slice if you are out late with friends this weekend. Bon appétit!
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