Stephanie Carteiro and Keneddy Lavour were just getting started with their empanada concept, The Nada Cart, when the pandemic hit. In mid-February of 2020, the duo hosted a tasting in the Back Bay to gauge interest in their bourgeoning business. It was going really well, Carteiro remembered — and then the coronavirus forced them to quickly pivot.
For the past year, Carteiro and Lavour made and sold their empanadas out of a commercial kitchen in Woburn, which customers could order for pickup and delivery. On Tuesday, they’ll begin a six-month pop-up at Yum Mee Garden in the South End, offering takeout and delivery from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m., Tuesdays through Saturdays. For now, the menu includes five empanada options: shredded chicken in a tomato base; ground beef with raisins, egg, and olive; sautéed mushrooms and Gruyère cheese; sautéed chorizo with mozzarella cheese and caramelized onions; and roasted corn and cheese. The Nada Cart also offers three types of house made salsa, including spicy jalapeño, garlic aioli, and salsa rosada.
“We’re both Latin American, and we’ve both been eating and making empanadas forever,” said Carteiro. “One of the main things is we want to provide a cultural, flavorful experience and come as close to home as we can get it — with our own kind of twist.”
Lavour’s culinary experience includes stints at the Mandarin Oriental and Encore Boston, while Carteiro was working in marketing prior to The Nada Cart — a combination that Carteiro said helps them work well together.
Starting Tuesday, customers will be able to pay the pop-up a visit at 665 Tremont St. in the South End, ordering on-site or placing a pickup or delivery order beforehand on Toast. Carteiro said that they hope to expand the menu once the pop-up gets settled, introducing more flavors and adding seasonal empanadas.
“We have so many ideas,” she said.
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