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May 22, 2020
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Mi Empanada Brings Cultured Cuisine to the Pittsburgh Food Scene

Family tradition and local flavors make Mi Empanada shine

At Adda, we’re big fans of the hand pies from Mi Empanada, and we want them to be your empanadas too. Since 2019, Mi Empanada has been one of Adda Coffee and Tea's local partners. One of our team members tried the chicken and beef empanadas and knew the business had to be part of the Adda family. He felt the fried pastries would be a delightful complement to a guest’s cup of coffee or tea. 

Owners Ivan Gil-Silva and Rachel Jenkins started Mi Empanada from the kitchen of their South Side apartment as a way to feed family and friends. For Ivan, an immigrant from Cordoba, Argentina, making empanadas is the continuation of a family tradition. 

Ivan serving empanadas at a pop up in Adda
Ivan serving empanadas at a pop up in Adda

In 2017, the couple launched Mi Empanada as a pop-up, serving their food at events such as OpenStreetsPgh and First Fridays in Garfield and bringing traditional and fusion empanada recipes along with them. In March 2020, Ivan and Rachel opened a Lawrenceville shop front on Butler Street, while continuing to work with businesses, like Adda, to further their mission of serving the Pittsburgh community food that is close to their hearts. 

These handheld savory pastries are commonplace in many Latin American countries and each has a specialty. Argentinian empanadas are traditionally filled with beef, onions, eggs and spices, much like the ones Rachel says are their best-sellers. 

Rachel, a Pittsburgh native, sees the empanadas as a way to bring together local and global flavors. While Pittsburghers can travel with their taste buds through more traditional options like beef or humita (squash and corn), they can also tuck into homey offerings like ham and cheese or the forthcoming buffalo chicken. Mi Empanada offers vegan options and is working toward a gluten-free recipe as well.

Empanadas to go
Empanadas to go

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