The 4000 block of Lawrenceville will soon be home to the first brick-and-mortar location of Mi Empanada, a popular Argentinian popup that began in Pittsburgh in 2017.
The company is the passion of owners Ivan Gil-Silva and Rachel Jenkins, who began their business after receiving praise for their authentic empanadas from friends and family.
“We made a couple empanadas for parties and it kinda took off from there,” explains Jenkins. “We saw a really good response, and before we knew it we’re doing everything we could to make it a business.”
Since their founding two years ago, the company has been very busy, popping up at Pittsburgh spots like Grist House, Hitchhiker Brewing, Adda Coffee & Tea, Black Forge Coffee House, De Fer Coffee & Tea, Four Seasons Brewing, East End Brewing, and more. They also offer catering services.
Mi Empanada’s menu currently offers six homemade empanadas, including: Traditional Beef, Chicken, Spinach & White Sauce, Ham & Cheese, Humita, and Sweet Potato & Black Bean. Co-owner Ivan Gil-Silva is originally from Argentina, and grew up making empanadas.
“It’s something that his mom did all the time,” explains Jenkins. “It’s very much a part of the cuisine.”
While Mi Empanada currently offers six varieties, at their new empanada bakery, they plan to continually introduce new options.
“We just want to take the idea and expand on it, including some of the flavors we know,” says Jenkins. “We want to emphasize this is a traditional Argentinian food, but we also want to have fun with it.”
The shop is located at 4034 Butler Street, in the space formerly occupied by Deli on Butler Street. Guests can expect a laid-back set up in the new space.
“It’s going to be like an empanada bakery,” says Jenkins. “It will be takeout and there will be some stand-up space for guests.”
The shop is currently under construction and plans to open before the end of 2019. Keep an eye on their social media for updates.
“There is so much opportunity in the city, we can’t wait for more people to know about us,” says Jenkins.
More information can be found online.
Mi Empanada (4034 Butler Street)