Our next food cart stop might be the busiest cart in Ridgewood. El Palacio de las Empanadas Ecuatorianas greets you as you enter the Myrtle Avenue BID (on the Duane Reade side). As the day progresses and appetites swell, there’s often several people hanging around the cart, catching up on the day’s activities while they enjoy their chicken and chicken and cheese empanadas ($1.50 each).
Two ladies work the cart, stuffing and frying empanadas. They’re rarely greasy thanks to the ladies’ expert frying skills and the cart’s high turnover (pun intended). Our non–Ridgewood-resident friend Brooke picks up an empanada whenever she visits the neighborhood, telling us: “I like the option of a quick hot snack on my walk.”
We typically order a chicken empanada, lightly seasoned with a turmeric-stained interior, because the white cheese in the cheese empanadas sometimes collects into one end of the empanada when the pockets puff out during the frying process. The chicken also tends to shimmy into one end, but you can easily shake the empanada and redistribute the meat. There’s just enough chicken and crust to curb your appetite, but not enough to give you that heavy “fried food” feeling.
TIP: Condiments aren’t standard with the empanadas, but on the left side of the cart you’ll see red and green sauce that they use for salchipapas and hot dogs. Just ask for some. El Palacio serves a coconut beverage, too, though we haven’t tried it yet.
El Palacio de las Empanadas Ecuatorianas
In front of Duane Reade (5411 Myrtle Avenue) [map]