Empanada Madness is not the average Southwest Boulevard restaurant. Located at 906 Southwest Blvd, Kansas City, MO 64108 this place is the official South America food headquarters of Kansas City. Empanada Madness is an unassuming establishment and a somewhat unwelcoming store front. The inside is a contrasting warm, remodeled cute space that includes trendy furniture and a pleasant vibe. Empanada Madness is small and has 7 tables and some high stools around a counter. This is a very popular place thanks to regular Venezuelan visitors Salvador Perez and Alcides Escobar and a growing fanatic Yelp audience. Like most great lunch places, better get there before 11:30 or after 1:00 if you don’t want to wait on line.
The menu is a list of unknown exotic items that you probably haven’t had the pleasure to eat, especially if you haven’t eaten South American food. It was my first time and I studied the menu for 15 minutes and still stuttered threw my order. Fortunately they feature a great lunch special that included several of their best items.
Make sure you get an Arepa or Empanada. The Arepa is an open face patty pocket and the Empanada is closed faced. Both are fried cornmeal pocket style hand foods that are filled with an endless variety of meat and cheese combinations including beef, chicken, pork, ham, beans and cheese. This food is unique and the bite of the deep fired cornmeal is a very pleasant texture and taste. It isn’t greasy like your normal deep fired foods but has a great light crispy finish that you don’t get with traditional breading or flour. They also have several plates that feature plantains or Yuka and several authentic desserts. Guests will enjoy a trio of delicious colorful and aromatic table sauces. The white sauce is mild garlic, the green sauce is jalapeno avocado and the red sauce is habanero hot. The beans that accompany these dishes play an important supporting role. These beans are awesome. I’m a big fan of the brown pinto beans that were perfectly paired with the habanero hot table sauce. These pinto beans are a nice change from the more common refried beans or black beans. Worth mentioning are the variety of South America entrees also featured on the menu that highlight the best Venezuelan, Colombian and Peruvian eats.
Empanada Madness is a great place and an exciting success story for the Summit area of Southwest Boulevard.