Before Coffee: Last Night I Dreamt of Empanadas Again

July 6, 2016 § Leave a comment

I have a Venezuelan food problem: I literally can’t get enough of it, to the point where I actually dreamed about it last night.

By Venezuelan food, what I really mean is Empanadas Aqui, a food truck housed in a bright green short bus. Imagine an ice cream truck for adults that sells hot, delicious, highly-addictive food. (If they ever start driving through my neighborhood, playing tinny Venezuelan tunes over a loudspeaker to lure me out of the house, I’ll weigh 300 pounds within a week. And I really want them to do that.)

They lured me in with their Bad Girl empanada: shredded chicken; roasted red, yellow, orange, and poblano peppers; sautéed onions; cheddar and jack cheeses; and spices, all tucked inside a pocket of corn dough and deep fried. Top it with spicy red sauce for an extra kick, and devour.

Once they had me hooked, they reeled in my wife with the Carne Mechada—a crispy, baked flour shell overflowing with shredded steak simmered in their own blend of seasonings, plus onions, sweet red peppers, and leeks.

Tracy still gets the Carne Mechada as her go-to, but I like to try whatever is new on the menu. Dadni and Brett, the couple who run the truck (and now know us by name), are always coming up with some delicious new addition. They’ve expanded the menu beyond empanadas to arepas, tostones, yucas fritas, and even a dessert empanada called the Emporeo: crushed Oreo cookies with cream cheese and chocolate sauce, baked inside a flaky flour shell.

I’ve never had one bite of anything I’ve tried from them that I regretted.

The curse of the food truck, however, is that when you wake up from a dream so vivid you can still taste of the black beans and queso blanco, it will inevitably be nowhere near your side of town. Looking at their schedule, they won’t even be close to me until July 22.

Which is why I said I literally can’t get enough of it; I’m lucky if I can get a fix once a month. Yes, there are other places that sell empanadas now, and I’ve tried them, but they don’t come close to the magic of Empanadas Aqui.

If you’re in Cincinnati, stalk them and enjoy their tasty Venezuelan cuisine. Then join me at my weekly meeting for empanada addicts.

emp aqui

(Photo by Instagram user rcopico, which I borrowed from Empanadas Aqui’s Facebook page.)

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