March 24, 2012
615 Elm Street
Kearny, NJ 07032
  • Cost: $
  • Alcohol: None
  • Parking: Street
  • Take Out: Yes

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March 24, 2012


Empanadas on their way to the oven

Many ethnic cuisines feature some form of empanada – the stuffed pastry, literally “wrapped in bread” – common throughout the Americas and beyond. Think Italian calzone, British pasty, Indian samosa, and Jamaican patty, just to name a few. I first tasted a Latin American empanada in Costa Rica, where they are meat- or cheese-filled, made with cornmeal and fried until the dough is crispy and the insides steaming. Break one open, add a shot of hot sauce, and you’ve got a perfect snack. In South America, Argentinians are empanada connoisseurs, with many regional and even local versions. Argentine empanadas are typically flaky wheat pastries, savory or sweet, that are baked instead of fried. Empanadas filled with ground beef, egg and raisins are one popular combination.

The rich empanada culture of Argentina helps explain the extensive menu at  Stella’s Empanadas & Argentine Grill in Kearny, NJ. Stella Barulich, from Argentina’s third-largest city, Rosario, makes more than twenty empanada varieties, both savory and sweet, all from scratch. In fact, you can watch Stella and her daughters make the empanadas behind the counter. They prepare and roll out large discs of dough, brush on an egg wash, add the filling and pop them in the oven to bake. The results are flaky, slightly sweet, half-moon pastries with tasty fillings. Stella’s empanadas are quite large and not overstuffed. Varieties when we visited included Western Omelette, Beef & Potato, Chicken, Sausage & Peppers, Broccoli & Cheddar. We tried a few different kinds, all very good. My favorites were the Calabrese (roasted peppers, tomato, mozzarella cheese with a garlic/parsley sauce) and the Spinach, Mushroom & Onions. You might also try a dessert empanadas – baked apple, peach or pineapple. At $2 a piece, or $17 for a dozen, you can eat very well here on the cheap.

Stella’s also serves burgers, sides (the “Chimi-chimi Fries” – covered with chimichurri – sound good), and some daily specials like Steak Milanesa, Chicken Francaise and stuffed peppers. There are about six tables in the small storefront shop. Stella’s does a brisk take out business. Stella is happy to take special orders, and will even make empanada varieties not on the menu if you call ahead.




4 Responses to “Stella’s Empanadas & Argentine Grill”

  1. […] Stella’s Empanadas – Kearny, NJ […]

  2. Marisa says:

    This place has the best burgers I’ve ever had in my life!!!!!!! My mom also says the same. The empanadas are just as great I order them in bulk and freeze them eat them for a snack or I bring them to lunch. The staff is super nice and is always friendly. I go every friday.( when I can) they also deliver and cater as well. I think I might even go tomorrow since I’m off of work!!!!!!

  3. Sally says:

    YUMMMMMMY went and they are delicious!