Honoring a great mother-in-law from Trenton and bursting with flavors and style reflecting Puerto Rico’s Capital City of San Juan, Delia’s Empanada Cafe made its bold debut in New Jersey’s State Capital yesterday adding to the vibrancy and variety of food destinations on and around South Warren Street.
Located at 113 South Warren Street, Delia’s Empanada Cafe presents exceptionally well with visually-appealing colors reminiscent of Old San Juan and a state-of-the-art kitchen serving everything from classic chicken and ground beef empanadas to specialty items including a savory mix of options featuring plantains, corn beef, roast pork, shrimp, stewed rice and chorizo to name a few. They even offer options for breakfast including ham and cheese and sausage egg and cheese. In addition to a number of sweet treats including fried apple, fried oreo and nutella, the cafe features a nice dessert section boasting a variety of gourmet cup cakes and other surprising delights.
Jose Pantoja, who retired from Trenton Police Department last February after 20 years of service, remembers a profound story of empanadas growing up in Trenton. “I was born and raised in Trenton,” said Pantoja “Growing up, my mother-in-law used to make empanadas way back before I was married. She used to sell them out of her house and people would line up to buy them; they were really good.”
“I’ll never forget: one Saturday, before we got married, my wife and I made empanadas and we sold them to make extra money for our wedding,” Pantoja added. “A few years ago, I said I would open my own empanada cafe, preferably in Trenton, and name it after my mother-in-law, Delia.”
Pantoja, who grew up on Hamilton Avenue in East Trenton, was enamored in recent years by the transformation along South Warren Street. In particular, he had his eyes on 113 South Warren for some time. “I wanted this location,” said Pantoja. “At the time, it was being occupied but I told everybody at the Trenton Downtown Association that I was going to open a restaurant in that space. I kept walking by that place and thinking: one day I’m going to open up at this location.”
“Delia’s Empanada Cafe honors the tradition of empanadas back when we were younger,” concluded Pantoja as he winded down for the night in preparation for day #2.
Visit Delia’s Empanada Cafe on 113 South Warren Street, Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m.