El Balcón de Las Américas Reaches 50 Million Empanada Milestone

Beef, chicken, cheese or mini, El Balcón de Las Américas has sold 50 million of 'em.
Beef, chicken, cheese or mini, El Balcón de Las Américas has sold 50 million of 'em. Courtesy El Balcón de Las Américas
Fifty million empanadas?

While you, your family, and perhaps the entire population of the Miami metropolitan area couldn’t consume that much crispy goodness in one sitting, El Balcón de Las Américas has just eclipsed the 50 million empanadas sold mark since its inception.

“We’ve been tracking the sales of our staple dating back to 1997,” said Ulisses Souza, head chef and partner at the Coral Springs-bred restaurant. “We’ve had a couple of different point-of-sale systems, but we’ve kept a good count and recently hit the milestone.”

Twenty-five years in, there are now six total El Balcón de Las Américas locations throughout South Florida, with additional outposts in Boca Raton, Deerfield Beach, Margate, Pembroke Pines, and Sawgrass.

The 50 million empanada milestone is a combined total of all the restaurant’s locations, spanning its beef, chicken, cheese, and mini empanada offerings. The empanadas cost $1.89 each.

All El Balcón de Las Américas empanadas are made at a Coral Springs production facility — attached to the original location — and distributed throughout the region. In addition to the Colombian-style morsel — which has a deep fried, corn dough casing — other Latin favorites are made in the facility, including pandebono (a fried cheese ball), arepas, tamales, and sauces including chimichurri and ají varieties.

“While the restaurant has Colombian roots, our restaurants represent a lot of cultures,” said Souza. “Across anything we make, we are always looking to find the freshest ingredients available.”
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The spread at El Balcón de Las Américas spans well beyond its Colombian roots.
El Balcón de Las Américas
Beyond its handheld offerings, fan-favorites over the past 25 years have included its bandeja paisa (a massive platter with white rice, red beans, steak, sweet plantains, chicharrón, an arepa, avocado, and fried egg) and its ceviche de chicharrón, served with a fried arepita.

As for what’s ahead, El Balcón de Las Américas will open its seventh location within the next month, located at 9834 Glades Road, Suite C13-14 in Boca Raton. The latest spot will have a comparatively modern design — for example the restaurant will sport a “Pure Latin Flavor” neon sign on a grass wall for Insta-worthy moments. Souza says a similar vibe will soon be applied to all of the restaurant’s existing locations.

Beyond El Balcón de Las Américas, Souza and select partners will open a new Mexican concept, dubbed Chilacos Tacos, “in the next month” in the same shopping complex as El Balcón’s Coral Springs location.

El Balcón de Las Américas. Six locations throughout Broward and Palm Beach Counties; The New Boca Raton location (9834 Glades Rd.) will open in September 2022.
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Jesse Scott is a Fort Lauderdale-based contributor for Miami New Times covering culture, food, travel, and entertainment in South Florida and beyond. His work has appeared in Condé Nast Traveler, Lonely Planet, National Geographic, and his hometown newspaper, the Free Lance-Star, among others.