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República Empanada in Mesa: Pocket-Sized Comfort Food

Ranging from straightforward to unusual, more than 20 savory and sweet empanadas can be found on the menu, all for about $3 each.
Ranging from straightforward to unusual, more than 20 savory and sweet empanadas can be found on the menu, all for about $3 each.
Jackie Mercandetti

The empanada is a food that means many things to people all over the globe.

The filled turnover could be the savory-sweet and hearty Bolivian variety known as a salteña, the Chilean sort typically stuffed with seafood, or, as in Argentina, the country with which most Americans associate the empanada, a baked savory pastry packed primarily with seasoned ground beef.

At República Empanada, the inviting spot of Latin American comfort food in downtown Mesa, empanadas take on yet another variation: that of a blank canvas, interpreted in new and imaginative ways. And, for now, this South American-style empanadería offers the largest selection in Arizona.

See also: A Tale of Two Subway-Style Mediterranean Joints in Tempe

Here's an excerpt from this week's review:

"The best empanadas on the menu are the ones made with Jinette's well-seasoned ground beef, like the El Capitán, a top-notch South American-style creation accented with potato, boiled egg, green olives, and golden raisins for hearty and meaty bites with a touch of sweet. Or better yet, there's the addictive, good ol' U.S. of A. Cheeseburger. Loaded with ground beef and just the right amount of oozy melted cheddar cheese, it's more or less the empanada version of the Hot Pocket, a discovery that makes visualizing a plateful of them in front you while watching Sunday football perfectly natural."

Hungry for more? Read my full review of República Empanada.

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