Other than perhaps the burrito/wrap, the hand pie/empanada is the most perfectly portable food item in the mobile food arsenal. The empanada for the most part refers to those versions with a Spanish or Portuguese influence, but the variations from country to country or even region can differ quite a bit.
The Nothin But Nadas food trailer offers up Puerto Rican-styled empanadas to diners (the owners of the business are self-proclaimed Nuyoricans i.e. New Yorkers with Puerto Rican heritage.) These neatly crimped hand pies, emblazoned with the business name on the edge, offer a bubbly, almost flaky crust. In a way, the exterior in my mind splits the difference between two of my favorite grocery store treats from years back: Pepperidge Farm Apple Turnovers and a Hot Pocket.
The crimping may be the most fancy things about these empanadas – the fillings are fairly basic, but do a good job of making these pies a heartier option than most. Size-wise, three of these pies would satisfy all but the biggest appetites.
We personally like the meat-based filling options the best, but at least one non-meat choice such as Buffalo Mac and Veggie is typically offered. A basic cilantro sauce is typically offered with your order, but a slightly more spicy sriracha version is also available.
(Note: originally posted in the “The 614ortyniner” blog.)