Empanadas are the ideal takeout fare, and the baked versions — some in traditional half-moons, others pinched into little hobo sacks — at the Café at The Bookstore in the Grove are bestsellers.
Get them now, because the shop has to vacate its space in the Offices at Mayfair by early January. The owners are looking for a new location, and we can only hope they’ll succeed.
The empanadas come with a choice of nearly a dozen fillings, including ham and cheese, spicy beef and mushroom, Nutella-banana and guava.
My kids’ favorite is the caprese, with tomato, melted mozzarella and basil. The Four Cheese, with its Gorgonzola bite, is the one I always grab.
There are also paninis, wraps and a small selection of ready-made tuna, egg, bean and seaweed salads.
Like the empanadas, quick breads ranging from cranberry and pumpkin to lemon and chocolate marble are made in house. Vegan cupcakes by Cherimoya Tree artisan bakery are brought in daily.
On weekends, a crock of oatmeal is always steaming behind the counter, where baristas are happy to chat and answer questions.
Settle into one of the tables at the back of the store, where laptop jockeys take advantage of the free Wi-Fi. Or take your empanadas home and reheat them for 5 minutes in a 350-degree oven.
Café at The Bookstore in the Grove, 3399 Virginia St., Coconut Grove (corner of Virginia and Grand); 7 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-10 a.m. Saturday-Sunday; empanadas, salads and sandwiches $4-$8.