HOME > Chowhound > New Jersey >


Empanada Guy

  • j

Empanada Guy makes decent empanadas. They are expensive but wife liked them. I have gone there for the last time. Jump off Parkway to bring home some dinner and no truck there. This isn't the first time he was a no show. The point of a lunch truck is to be there for lunch. Went to the restaurant in Freehold three times. Was only open once. I find out he closes to attend festivals. I understand the easy cash but to hurt your regulars doesn't make sense to me. Complained to him on his Facebook page his customer service was even worse. Removed my post and banned me. Said he needed to stop the snow ball effect. Then told me to show up and confront him in person. Not really a smart way to deal with customers. Back to Karini in Perth Amboy or El Familiar in Toms River. They both have treated me well.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. It would be nice to know where your talking about?

    6 Replies
    1. re: Tapas52

      Sorry was the Empanada Guy truck in Port Reading NJ & same name restaurant in Freehold NJ. I know he has two other trucks too.

      1. re: JPKNJ

        568 Park Ave in Freehold.

        It's in the same strip mall as Manhattan Bagels.


        1. re: wench31

          One of the other trucks is in the parking lot of a gogo bar on 516 in Old Bridge.

        2. re: JPKNJ

          Thanx, ......but my favorite Empanadas are the
          "Colombian Style" served at El Familiar in Toms River.
          sooooo delicious with special sauce.

          1. re: Tapas52

            I must try them since I am only one town over.

            1. re: yuppicide

              They also have Garlic Shrimp ( gambas al ajillo )
              on the specials menu & Yuca balls,
              Crab Empanadas........that's my next choice.

      2. The empanadas are fantastic. Worth seeking them out.

        4 Replies
        1. re: Jerseygirl111

          Not if he treats his customers like crap.

            1. re: Tapas52

              From the OP: "Complained to him on his Facebook page his customer service was even worse. Removed my post and banned me. Said he needed to stop the snow ball effect. Then told me to show up and confront him in person. Not really a smart way to deal with customers."

              1. re: equal_Mark

                As I have said on CH previously, if the food is really good, I will overlook poor service. Others may not agree.

                Even the OP admitted he thought the empanadas are decent and his wife likes them.

        2. At the Laurita winery food festival this guy had the longest line by far. People were waiting a LONG time to get his food so he is doing something right. I wanted to try it but didn't feel like standing there for 30 minutes or more.

          While I also hate when places have inconsistent hours, I can see why he goes to festivals. money talks....plain and simple.

          This guy was actually outside the truck and people were taking pictures with him. I guess he is a foodie celebrity : )

          1. These empanadas, I guess they are similar to the meat pies I loved on Grand Cayman. Anyone know if this is so?

            1. FWIW, I have received only courteous service from the owner and his staff at the restaurant in Freehold. I know that at least on Facebook, these guys are really good about letting their customers know where their trucks are going to be located and to give notice when a truck is not going to be in its usual location. They also advise when they need to shut down the restaurant's operations in order to prepare for weekend food events. Certainly does you no good if you haven't seen the notice, but I think they are trying to get the word out so that people aren't disappointed.

              3 Replies
              1. re: jsfein

                jsfein write a negative comment on his Facebook page. It will be removed and you will be banned from posting. That is how he keeps on his positive spin on every thing.

                1. re: JPKNJ

                  I assume your suggestion to jsfein is hypothetical. However if you believe this is an uncommon practice by any business with regards to FB comments, you are sadly mistaken.

                  Besides jsfein had a positive experience. I am sorry you had a negative one, but I am glad you posted about it so people can make informed choices.

                  1. re: JPKNJ

                    A facebook page is owned by the owner of the page. He has no requirement to allow what you have said to be posted. Why don't you try private messaging him rather than posting on his wall?

                2. He was last Sunday at the Food Truck Festival in Paramus NJ. You couldn't go near his truck, his lines were so ridiculously long! These people must have known something!

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: RUK

                    I think he was on TV or something. There was one event that really put him in the spotlight and he has been insanely busy ever since. Someone here probably knows

                    1. re: corvette johnny

                      He was on a show on Lifetime last summer called Supermarket Superstar. He was one of the finalists. The winner gets their product manufactured and into supermarkets. Met him at his restaurant in Freehold. He's a very nice guy and Seems to be doing well.

                  2. Tried the "Empanada Guy" truck at BCC last weekend. The empanadas were nothing to rave about and they are indeed expensive.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: wblorch

                      So, you were one of the many in that long line!!
                      We didn't bother and started out with some Roti from the Indian truck instead, that was pretty good.

                    2. Just got back from the Empanada Guy restaurant in Freehold.....I gotta be honest they were delicious & so was the homemade hot sauce...Nice light and crispy shell...seasoned nice for only $3.00 each you cant go wrong and the beef filling was a moist mixture unlike so many I've tried elsewhere that are just dried out tasteless chopped meat and place was packed.
                      I will return for the LOBSTER Empanada also soon. ***


                      6 Replies
                      1. re: Tapas52

                        Yes, very good hot sauce. Not a huge fan of the lobster variety. Give the chorizo a try. Its more of a pulled pork filling than chorizo. Probably my favorite one.

                        1. re: jsfein

                          Very interested in trying this place. Is this more of a sit down place or a take out place? I am imagining this place to look somewhat like Ibby's.

                          1. re: yCf

                            there's about 5 tables or so to eat inside.....

                          2. re: jsfein

                            jstein, Thanx for the tip I will be back to try them all.......
                            they also posted a Garlic Shrimp Special also today...

                            1. re: Tapas52

                              Tapas52 I have followed many of your reviews like La Familia. I only wrote about this due to his customer service. I knew he was over priced but I paid it to make wife happy. I drag her to enough other places. But any one who touts him self to be there for his regulars as they helped make his success but abandons them for every quick buck is not telling the truth. I would have just let it go once I posted but once he removed it and banned me I thought others should know. He is not what he claims to be.

                              1. re: JPKNJ

                                Thanx for the reply I understand now.

                        2. Empanada Guy was at Pequannock's farmer's market yesterday - no line. his empanadas were $4.00, but Tapas52 reported that they're $3.00 at his storefront in freehold. Is this price difference usual?

                            1. We've been to his storefront in Freehold. $3 for a really good beef or chicken empanada seemed cheap to us and we all enjoyed everything we had. We even splurged on a lobster one and liked that as well. As a longtime resident of Freehold I am glad to have them local.

                              4 Replies
                              1. re: seal

                                right on rt 79 near the railroad tracks there used to be a small Bodega that made home made Empanadas and a few other Mexican specialties also that were really good.....what I liked about Empanada Guy besides the filling was that the shell was very light and crispy NOT "Doughy" like most others

                                1. re: Tapas52

                                  Tried this on Friday. I had one choriza and one beef. I am not an Empanada expert, but I quite like what I had.
                                  It was $3 each, which is more than reasonable considering the size and amount of fillings.
                                  Will definitely return to try different offerings.

                                  1. re: yCf

                                    I had lunch at Empanada Guy Today in Freehold.....excellent Cuban Sandwich....pressed with all the ingredients as it should be ....gham , pork, mustard, pickles, cheese, garlic, Yummy......and a delicious Chorizo Empanada with home made hot sauce....
                                    soooo good.

                                    New Flash: I was talking to the Empanada Guy himself and while there they have taken the space next door and are in process of breaking through to enlarge the restaurant !!...He also said the menu will expand a bit also to include some more latin dishes !!

                                    1. re: Tapas52

                                      I never really liked ....gham on my cubanos... :-)

                              2. I got nothing to lose, right? So I was driving down the Parkway today and I am guessing they were going home (north). So, first I pass Callahan's hot dog truck, then I saw Empanada Guy. I flipped him the bird as I drove by.

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: yuppicide

                                  Why did you do that ? What is your problem with them ?

                                  1. re: bakersma

                                    I found this article purely by accident while putting together a bad Bobby Flay joke (If a woman named "Sue" married Bobby Flay, she'd be Sue Flay... ) anyway...