1206 W Magnolia Blvd.
Burbank CA 91505
"Meet the Merchants": Lia Hirtz
Take one step into World Empanadas and you'll realize what all the hype is about. This small eatery along Magnolia Blvd. is filled with the savory smell of baked empanadas and other delicious Argentinian cuisine.
Meet Lia Hirtz, the owner and definitely the heart and soul behind World Empanadas. Her positive outlook and bubbly personality are the reason her customers keep coming back for more. World Empanadas began in the back of small deli on Victory Blvd. about 4 years ago. Now this Argentinian hot spot is coming up on their 1 year anniversary at their Magnolia Park location. "We were vey interested in Magnolia Park. It's a great place and I love the shops. I've been a Burbank resident for 25 years," says Hirtz.
Also behind the counter you will find an array of familiy members from her son, who is one of the chefs, as well as her sister and niece. World Empanadas isn't just a family affair though, it's a community powerhouse. Lia recited a beautiful story tto me about a customer who had lost their mother and had her recipe box full of recipes including empanadas. He didn't want it sitting in the garage collecting dust so he gave it to Lia. That very box is sitting on the shelves of the restaraunt, a treasured heirloom that is only one small part that makes World Empanadas so unique.
Although they do specialize in empanadas, they have other things on the menu such as burritos and side salads. I took my chances on the spinach and cheese empanada and packed it up to go. As I was driving in my car devouring every last crumb, a range of emotions fell over me. I was so overjoyed to encounter such taste and flavor and then succeeded with saddness and dissapointmet to have only left her shop with one empanada. I have dreamed of that single baked piece of heaven ever since.
World Empanadas is now thriving in their new Magnolia Park location, "It will be one year in May and we are doing magnificent," says Hirtz who is filling regular orders for the Jimmy Kimmel show. I asked Lia what she would add or change in Magnolia Park and she said she has a hard time with the parking. It's minimal and they're on a busy block so finding parking spaces can be frustrating to customers, especially with the limited amount of space already.
Stop by World Empanadas, say hello to Lia and her family, and enjoy the best empanadas in town!