Pittsburgh, PA – The streets of 3 Crossings in the Strip District transformed into a culinary fiesta as the annual Taco Fest showcased a variety of food vendor stands from all over the region. Many businesses, some recently incubated at the Pittsburgh Hispanic Development Corporation (PHDC), participated serving delicious favorites like traditional Mexican fare, empanadas, and arepas.
Los Cabos, a PHDC-started food stand, was in attendance sharing the ever-popular flavors of Mexico. Owner Eduardo Ojeda’s focus is on using fresh, local ingredients to serve favorites like the carne asada or al pastor tacos, with homemade salsas and toppings. “I wanted to share authentic street food, and I’m thrilled with the response,” said Eduardo.
Chilean-style empanada food stand La Bellita sold out by 4 p.m.! Their delicious oven-baked empanadas made of wheat flour dough and filled with “pino” (a mix made with ground beef, onion, and spices with added hard-boiled egg, olives, and raisins added in) were a hit with the foodies.
Owner Rosa Armijo was proud of her decision to bring Chilean empanadas to a large city festival for the first time. Brimming with joy, Rosa shared that “It was a nice experience because everyone was happy with the empanadas. I sold them all and they wanted more.”
Papelon Venezuelan Arepa Bar, which recently opened up a venue in Squirrel Hill, was also in attendance at Taco Fest. A steady line of people kept owner Leonardo busy filling shredded beef and cheese, chicken and avocado, or veggie arepas, to name a few. The sizzling grill and the colorful toppings make them hard to resist.
Guillermo Velazquez spoke of the Hispanic food business growth in recent years and the positive impact on Pittsburgh. “Our business owners were thrilled to take part in Taco Fest. It was their big chance to show off their food to a wider Pittsburgh audience and they delivered,” he said.
Once again, Pittsburgh Taco Fest was a hit for both foodies and the many Hispanic food vendors who participated. The event provided the ideal platform for new and old PHDC-incubated favorites to showcase their culinary talents to the city, with great success! Half the event proceeds benefited non-profit programs at Hispanic-serving organizations PHDC and Casa San Jose