National brand Goya has a lock on the frozen empanada market in chain grocery stores, but locals in the know have a different favorite: house-made empanadas from Capone Foods, an Italian deli with branches in Somerville and Cambridge.
"They are fantastic. More expensive than Goya but much higher quality," says Madrid. "I think there are also two types of dessert empanadas: dulce de leche and strawberry."
Dulce de leche would make sense. "If you are surprised why an Italian specialty food store is making Argentine empanadas, it's because while the family is ethnically Italian the owner grew up in Argentina," says lipoff; Madrid concurs, saying, "and that's why the dulce de leche as well."
By the way, Madrid also says that the "lovely young women working in the stores are his daughters (he has five)," which explains the last question on the store's website FAQ: "Are the good looking girls working in your stores married and can I have their phone numbers?" The answer: "Yes and No and No."
Capone Foods [North of Boston]
14 Bow Street, Somerville
Capone Foods [Cambridge]
2285 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge
Discuss: Where can I buy frozen empanadas?