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Jackie Mercandetti Photo

Republica Empanada

Jackie Mercandetti
Mesa's Main Street has seen considerable growth these last few years. The Nile Theater is back, the antique shops never left, and the dining options have exploded. One of the heavier hitters is República Empanada. This hip Latin restaurant is set a block east from Mesa Arts Center in Southside Heights and specializes, as its name suggests, in empanadas. In fact, this spot claims to have Arizona's largest selection of South American-style savory empanadas. We recommend the Boricua, a Puerto Rico-inspired empanada packed with ham hock and arroz con gandules. The Cubana — slow-roasted pork and ham, mozzarella, dill pickle — is also a winner. For dessert, go with the Dizzy Fig, a dessert-style 'nada stuffed with Mesa-grown figs wrapped in mozzarella cheese and touched up with dulce de leche. New Normal: Distanced indoor and patio seating is available. In addition to acting as a food donation center for the Navajo Nation in recent months, República Empanada also offers curbside pickup and no-contact delivery.

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