Primo Eats Series

Primo Eats: Empanadas

Do you love street food with a little kick? Empanadas de Barbacoas served up at Choza de Margarita have become one of my must-have eats at Epcot’s World Showcase.

These empanadas truly are one of the best “snacks” in World Showcase. And, I put snacks in quotes, because the portion is big enough to be lunch.

So, if a savory pie crust filled with slow-cooked beef and topped with chipotle sauce and cheese sounds good to you, head over to the thatched-roof hut located just outside the pyramid at the Mexico Pavilion.

If you’re unfamiliar with empanadas, they are pastry turnovers that are baked or fried with meaty ingredients inside. Think of them as pot-pies you can hold in your hand, similar in look to a calzone or a pasty.

Choza de Margarita’s empanadas are filled with barbacoas beef. Barbacoas is a traditional style of slow cooking meat until tender. It is different from barbecue, which involves cooking meat over a grill. The meat is flavored with southwest spices. The pastries are then topped with chipotle sauce, crema Mexicana and queso fresco. 

Chipotle sauce is made from smoked-dried peppers. It’s thick with a mild heat. Queso fresco (“fresh cheese”) is a crumbled white cheese, very mild in flavor. Similar in texture to Feta, but with a flavor more like store-bought shredded mozzarella.

The dish comes with two empanadas and a side of corn esquites (spiced-up grilled corn removed from the cob so it can be eaten with a spoon).

Combined with Choza de Margarita’s Fiesta Margarita, I can’t think of a better treat to enjoy while strolling the World Showcase. And I do recommend strolling away from the area after you grab your food. The location is crazy-congested. Choza serves up its grub pretty quick, so I recommend taking your eats down to the Norway Pavilion area where the walkway opens up. A bench or high-top table near the water isn’t hard to find during the day.

Empanada de Barbacoa is currently priced at $10.50. A bargain for lunch anywhere, but especially for Disney.

If you really love south of the border street food, Choza de Margarita, is the place to go. In addition to the empanadas, it also serves great guacamole and tacos. Of course, its specialty is margaritas, and Mexican beer is available as well. 

What I love most about this stop is that it doesn’t have to be planned or scheduled. It’s an easy place to get high-quality food and a good price. What else can a vacationer ask for?

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