Porteñas is a opening a second store, Mercadito, partnering with Eleva Coffee. At Mercadito, we will offer Empanadas, Yerba Mate, Coffee and an array of sweets and gifts, all made in Brooklyn.
We’ve probably all heard of empanadas, those delicious pastries filled with seafood, meat, cheese, vegetables or fruit. They’re wildly popular throughout Latin America.
Our empanadas are done in the Argentine style with an international twist—slightly fried and then baked—to make them light, flaky, and delicious. Argentineans eat empanadas everywhere: on the go, at friendly gatherings and birthday celebrations, as well as at home with the family any night of the week. Single people order them in dozens, because they can eat two or three, then keep the rest in the freezer for later, baking them back to freshness. They’re just as good, even days later.
Now, in some corners, Argentineans have a reputation for being snobs. Maybe it’s true: we demand only the finest. But why not? It means that the finest is what you’ll get! At Porteñas, we offer ten empanada flavors specially designed to appeal to the cosmopolitan and highly discerning palates of our Brooklyn patrons. We take quality, organic ingredients and carefully crafted recipes as our baseline.
But the experience wouldn’t be complete without an invigorating cup of yerba mate, served with a straw in an authentic gourd. And what is yerba mate? It’s a tea-like beverage from South America, where it’s often called “the tea of the gods.” Its history stretches back to pre-Columbian Paraguay, where it was first enjoyed by the indigenous Guaraní, later spreading to the Tupí people of southern Brazil. Yerba mate’s appeal spread widely during European colonization, and in the 17th century its production blossomed throughout Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile and Peru. It was even used as currency along with honey, maize, and tobacco! Today, Argentina is the largest consumer in the world, but mate consumption is also popular in Syria and Lebanon.
Yerba mate is the intelligent alternative to coffee. It stimulates the brain, increasing lucidity and slowly releasing sustainable energy throughout the day, and without the “crashing” effect you feel with coffee. It even has medical benefits, as the Guaraní knew long before the arrival of Europeans. Yerba mate stimulates the immune system, combats inflammation and obesity, reduces cholesterol, and is packed with vitamins A, C, E, B1, B2, B3, B5 and B complex. It also contains many essential minerals, fatty acids, flavonols, and antioxidants.
But it’s more than a drink: mate is a way of life. Mate is friendship. Mate is connections. Mate is openness. Mate is love. People meet over mate to spend time together. Pair it with a mouth-watering empanada, and it could be a life-changing event.
In Buenos Aires, the ladies are known as “porteñas,” and fittingly, the team at Porteñas is all-female. Founded by entrepreneur Carmen Ferreyra, Gretel Pellegrini and Chef Fernanda Tabares, the restaurant’s mission is to empower female workers at every level, from our cook, store manager and our mighty female baristas who will offer you our delicious empanadas, hot coffee and invigorating Yerba Mate beverages!
If there’s one thing Carmen kept missing from her home in Argentina, it was the smell of warm yerba mate. Mate is one of the best-kept secrets of Argentina—a drink you share only with friends and family. So one day, during a visit to Fernanda’s restaurant in Buenos Aires, she looked at her favorite drink and said, Why not share this with everyone back in New York?! And so, with the same adventurous spirit that brought her to the U.S. all by herself at the age of 23, Carmen started looking for the perfect place for their mate bar—though this time she had her friends to help her, and one of the best chefs of Buenos Aires.
We’re currently remodeling our second store in Williamsburg, located at 649 Grand Street, where we plan to offer you a cozy spot where you can pick your empanadas, your coffee or share your mate with your friends.
We want to share with the world the unique energy and flavor that yerba mate offers. There are so many options and recipes, for hot weather and cold! We strongly believe that if we deliver a healthy, invigorating beverage with a filling and organic meal, and keep it at an affordable price, then we can share a bit of the passionate Argentine spirit that everyone has heard of. We are committed to providing customers with affordable and healthy meals, and to make empanadas and yerba mate the next sensation of the quick-service food market.