On Wednesday, Armature Works announced what many Bay area residents probably already knew: Empamamas has become a permanent fixture at Heights Public Market. The local food truck began slinging empanadas as part of Heights Public Market not long after the doors opened in Tampa Heights on Feb. 1, but now it’s official.
Empamamas, founded by Stephanie Swanz in 2016, was originally tapped to operate temporarily from the rotating stall after Surf and Turf. However, the restaurant-on-wheels will continue to occupy the stall that was, at one point, set aside for O Cocina Taqueria from here on out.
According to Armature Works Director of Marketing Lauren Mooser, O Cocina’s ownership decided to go a different direction. Mooser went on to say that the team behind Armature Works, which has had a long-standing relationship with Swanz, felt her talent and drive would be the perfect fit for Heights Public Market, which is home to 14 vendors.
The move also made sense because, on Saturday, Empamamas plans to introduce its own signature take on tacos. Accompanying popular orders like Tampa Girl (a Cuban sandwich in empanada form) and fried grilled cheese (breaded with Cheez It crumbles), the new tacos — patrons choose from chicken, pork or vegan — join chips, street corn queso and salsa on the casual empanada haven’s street eats menu.
“This opportunity is exactly what we have worked for, day-in and day-out, over the past two years,” said Swanz, who offers a revolving lineup of four to five empanada recipes from a collection of 30 at Heights Public Market, in a statement. “We look forward to revamping our stall, expanding our menu, and increasing our catering offerings. We will work relentlessly to deliver the best empanadas and customer service in town.”
As far as CL can tell, the Empamamas food truck remains out and about around town. The mobile kitchen was on-site at Water Works Park last night, serving up the flavorful pockets of goodness it’s known for to Tampa Bay Lightning fans during a Stanley Cup Playoffs watch party.