First look: Half Moon Empanadas

Half Moon Empanadas.

The goods: Juan Zavala Jr. has been living in the United States since he was eight; however, he never forgot the empanadas from his native Argentina that have become the focus of his first business, Half Moon Empanadas (named for the shape of the classic South American treat), in Miami Beach. The idea for the business came after a trip to Argentina, recalls Zavala’s wife Pilar Guzmán-Zavala. During a family gathering in the South American country they voted to order pizzas or empanadas. Zavala realized there wasn’t a location in Miami that would deliver the latter. “And that’s how Half Moon Empanadas started,” says Mexico-born Guzmán-Zavala. “With the simplest of ideas.”

The grub: A huge selection of empanadas to choose from: meat, corn, jam, onion and veggie, plus pasteles (sweet pastries), soft drinks and coffee. Zavala says the homemade recipe ensures high quality at good prices. Three empanadas, potato chips and a coffee or soft drink is $6.99. Dine in or have them delivered to their doorstep.

The verdict: Zavala hopes that, when it comes to deliveries, empanadas will be the new pizza. In Miami, he’s got a good shot.

Half Moon Empanada,1616 Washington Ave., Miami Beach; 305-532-5277

Published: 9/08

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