El Che Empanada Revolution


El Che Empanada Revolution

El Che Empanada Revolution

[Closed June 2011]
Mississippi Marketplace, N Mississippi and Skidmore
Hours: Tues-Sat, 11-8pm

The Story:

The Empanada Revolution begins now! That’s how Portland was first introduced to El Che on both Twitter and Facebook. No one knew where the revolutions would happen, but we new it was coming.

Pablo, with a huge smile on his face, welcomed me the other day while I was a the cart looking for the owner. He had been making the rounds of the other carts chatting up the owners during his first week of operations. I love seeing cart owners become friends and supporters of each other even though they may be in competition for customers. When he saw me waiting there, not knowing who I am, he came rushing over to offer me up one of his handmade signature empanadas. Every morning, he gets up and makes the dough and the fillings for each of the empanadas he offers- both meat and vegan options. The empanadas are then kept chilled at the cart until he deep fries them upon order. Pablo is from Buenos Aires Argentina where he learned how to make these tasty treats. He uses hand ground meats, fresh veggies and his own mix of spices.

Beef Empanada and a beer

Beef Empanada and a beer

Each time I have visited Pablo’s little cart, he has customers, which bodes well for his success in a lot with some big competition. The beef empanada I devoured has seasoned and seared hand-ground brisket, fresh chopped red bell peppers, sauteed green and yellow onions, hard-boiled huevos and a special blend of herbs and spices. The crust that envelopes the filling is flaky and with almost a buttery texture, but holds everything together while you enjoy till the last bite. A wonderful flavor with a richness from the herbs and spices. I have returned a few times to be a part of the revolution.

Pablo and El Che sit next to PROST! so when you have a craving for some nosh with your beer, he’ll be there to sate it. Open for lunch and dinner, he plans on staying open late night once it warms up and more people are out and about on Mississippi. There are a couple of places in town to get fried pies, but El Che is a true Argentinean empanada. For $3, you can’t go wrong. Let them know Food Carts Portland sent ya.

Sample Menu:

All empanadas are $3 or 3 for $8.

  • Beef: seasoned and seared hand-ground brisket, fresh chopped red bell peppers, sauteed green and yellow onions, hard-boiled huevos and a special blend of herbs and spices.
  • Spinach: overflowing with spinach, sauteed yellow onions, special combination of herbs, garlic
  • The Portlandia: Bacon, piles of cheddar cheese, potatos, bacon, and more bacon

Hours: Tues-Sat, 11am-8pm
Twitter: @ElChePDX
El Che, Empanada Revolution



  1. The spinach empanada is sooooo creamy (vegan) and soooo good….I kept burning myself cause I couldn’t stop to take a breath…

  2. We hit ECER this weekend. One of us had the spinach, the other the Portlandia. I can say that each was quite good, but the spinach was the hands-down winner. And they would be divine, I’m sure, with a pint from Prost. By the way, Prost is cool with you grabbing something from the pod and walking into their place with it to down a brew or two. Love that.

  3. Was looking forward to trying, but they were closed during a time when they were “supposed” to be open. Can’t wait to try.

  4. Diego Grabelli says

    today, i had your empanadas, some of the best ones I’ve had sense leaving Argentina. I hope to try some more from here, and i am super glad to find a place local with the real flavor from argentine empanadas.


  1. […] last weekend Jennifer and I tried to have lunch at Che Empanada, an Argentinian empanadas cart in the Mississippi Marketplace. It was closed. Today, I snuck away […]

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