Latin American Street Food at The Original Marini’s Empanada House

Argentina, Featured, Latin — By on July 27, 2012 3:21 pm

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One of the most popular street foods throughout Latina America, the empanada is a simple pocket of dough that can be filled with just about anything edible, and the result is a seemingly infinite variety of flavors and textures. Different cultures have different styles, and one of the best known is the Argentinian empanada. The Original Marini’s Empanada House in Houston offers what is perhaps the largest variety of Argentinian empanadas in Houston.

With 62 flavor variations of meat, cheese, vegetable and dessert empanadas there is no shortage of new experiences at Marini’s. During the 41 years they’ve been making empanadas at the Original Marini’s Empanada House many flavors have evolved as a result of  listening to customers requests and likes. The most popular empanadas are the traditional meat empanada and the tomato basil empanada. The meat empanada can be tricky to eat due to all the juice of the meat stew that can squeeze out as you bite into it–be careful it’s really hot. Some of the more exotic empanada ingredients include things like asparagus, brisket, dulce de leche, pumpkin and guava. On the menu at The Original Marini’s Empanada House you will find colorfully-named dishes such as Viva Zapata (refried beans, cheddar cheese and jalapenos), Hippie Argentino (dried salami, sautéed onions and raisins), Apple Gabriela (diced apples, dulce de leche, cream cheese and mozzarella) and Rajas Poblana (poblano peppers, garlic and Monterrey Jack cheese).

Marini’s Empanadas has been family-owned for 41 years. Marcelo Marini and his wife, Pelusa, first opened the restaurant 41 years ago. The restaurant caught fire about 25 years ago, and the family decided to not reopen. Fast forward to 2007, and Marini’s Empanadas was revived. During the 20 years the family was out of the restaurant business, Marcello Marini had a broadcasting career at Channel 26 and Telemundo. Marcelo became an activist in the Hispanic community, and has become a respected figure in the community. Now retired and focused on the family business, Marcelo (along with his wife) serve up an incredible variety of tasty empanadas and alfajores, the latter of which are Pelusa’s creation. Alfajores are shortbread cookies made into a sandwich of sorts with dulce de leche and rolled on coconut shavings. Pelusa Marini also dips them in dark and white chocolate, great little treats!

Stop by and visit The Original Marini’s Empanada House at two locations, 3522 South Mason Rd and 10001 Westheimer Rd.

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