Empanology was closed on Tuesday, January 29, but that doesn’t mean the owner, Jason Alicea, had the day off.
He spends days like that cooking and chopping chicken cutlets, kneading out fresh dough, and making batches of a spicy cheese sauce that’s like no other, for his empanada restaurant.
Those flaky Puerto Rican treats are the lifeblood of his eatery under the Third Avenue Bridge at 2407 Third Avenue. Alicea’s journey to opening his own dream kitchen began with pop up stands back in 2016, catering gigs for National Geographic and VH1, culminating with a spacious creative brick and mortar restaurant.
When Empanology first opened its doors, Alicea was rotating 52 different flavors of empanadas and has experimented with hundreds more as well.
But recently he narrowed the menu down to some crowd pleasers, while preserving elements of originality as well.
“People want what they want,” Alicea said, while pointing out that he prides his empanadas in that they never have just one ingredient in them.
As a matter of fact, his favorite empanada was his Thanksgiving creation.
That, like a Thanksgiving feast had Turkey, stuffing, and tons of other seasonal goodies all cramed into one little crust.
One of Alicea’s crowd pleasers is the ‘OG chopped cheese,’ a beef and cheese infused empanada.
Of course, there’s the pizza empanada as well, that simply puts Tostino’s pizza rolls to shame.
Then there’s the chicken truffle and mac and cheese empanada…enough said.
For those fussy diners searching for a more upscale experience, Empanology still has you covered.
Behind the regular dining room lies an intimate, outdoor courtyard that’s string lit and the perfect, private room for a special occasion.
More than looking up at vintage bulb lighting, anyone that books the outdoor space also gets to be in the presence of a remarkable mural by Fernando Leon, that captures some of the greatest New York Knicks to ever hit the court.
Before his move (betrayal) to Dallas, even Kristaps Porzingis dined underneath his portrait in the courtyard that Alicea calls ‘The Bronx Square Garden.’
The life-size, remarkable mural also got Alicea and Empanology into a commercial for MSG Network even.
Coming up, Alicea is hosting a special collaboration series with Bronx Chef Andy from popular gastro-fusion restaurant, Suyo.
Called Brunchology, it’s a flavor crossover that’s selling out fast.