Delias Empanada Cafe

Delia’s Delight (Delia's Empanada Cafe´)

Delia's Empanada Cafe´, 113 South Warren Street, Trenton, NJ
Open M-F 9 AM- 4PM
(609) 396-774   Website    Google Maps

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Delia’s Empanada Cafe´ serves superb empanadas, along with  a limited menu of Puerto Rican specialities such as mofongo, supplemented by daily specials.  It’s the best Puerto Rican food I’ve eaten in town, matching for quality (though not currently breadth of menu) that of Buen Provencho in Hamilton.

Opening in late October, 2019 in an attractive, recently-renovated storefront on Warren Street, my only complaints are that the hours are too limited (it’s open only M-F from 9-4), and that it’s instantly become so popular it’s mobbed at peak lunch hour.    If you want to fully enjoy Delia’s by eating in, plan on showing up in the morning (where you can enjoy breakfast sandwiches from 9 AM served on Mallorca bread or kaiser rolls), or after about 1:30 PM or so, after the rush.

The empanadas themselves are exceptional, with flaky crust and stuffed full with flavorful fillings (see photo of roast pork).  At $2.50 each for a “classic” (chicken or ground beef), or $3.50 for Delia’s specialties (seven varieties) they’re a bargain.  Even big eaters will be satisfied with two, and lighter eaters can be satisfied by one.  Best to go with a friend, so you can share and sample more varieties!Pork Empanada

Mofongo (fried, mashed plantains) is served with your choice of chicken, beef, pork, or shrimp.  Several of these options are made with Criolla Salsa (Creole sauce), which is extremely flavorful and mildly hot.  There are usually one or two other specials on the menu, typically Puerto Rican classics.

Earlier this week I enjoyed the Criolla steak special depicted below.  The onion/pepper/Criolla sauce was utterly superb, and the black beans were fabulous (though I’m pretty sure not vegetarian).

Steak Criollo

Vegetarian choices are somewhat limited.  If you are pescetarian, you can opt for shrimp empanadas or mofongo, or a green salad with shrimp.  Vegans can choose a garden salad, cornmeal fritters, stewed rice empanadas, or fried sweet plantains, tostones, or french fries.  Ovo/lacto vegetarians can also order fried cheese with home made guava sauce.

Delia’s was founded by Jose Pantoja, Trenton born and bred,  a recently retired detective from the Trenton Police force.  Delia is his mother-in-law, many of whose recipes have made their way onto the menu.

Jose Pantoja

 

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