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BBQ & Empanadas in Stallings

Tom Hanchett

Almost every culture has a savory snack of meat wrapped in a bit of bread.  Made quick and simple, it fits in your hand for lunch on the go.

In the U.S. South, that’s a barbecue sandwich.  In Colombia, South America, that’s an empanada. At Lucy’s Bakery in Stallings, NC, it’s both.

Lucy and Rafael Parra arrived in the Charlotte area seven years ago from Bogotá, Colombia.  In 2008 they bought a little restaurant on the side of the road in Stallings from a fellow who served Southern barbecue.   They added new signs in the happy yellow, blue and red of Colombia’s flag. They stocked big glass bakery cases with South American rolls, breads, and caramel-filled desserts.

But they continued making barbecue.  “Our American customers keep coming in for it,” explains son Cristian Parra.  Roasted pulled-pork piled deep on a chubby Colombian roll costs just $4.

At the other end of the counter, a special glass case offers antojitos, the Colombian word for savory snacks.  Most are $2.50 or less. “Everyone likes them, Americans, people from all over South America, even from Hawaii,” says Cristian.

Highlights include the pasteles de pollo, hand-sized flaky turn-overs stuffed with roasted chicken.

And the empanadas.  Rafael, the baker of the family, wraps golden corn-meal crust around ground beef and potatoes.  Lucy, at the counter, puts them into your palm warm and ready to go.

Buy two.   After all, you’ve got two hands.

Lucy’s Bakery and Deli
Take I485 exit 52, go southeast on Old Monroe Rd., then right at the first stoplight
4522 Potter Road
Stallings, NC   28104
(704) 821 – 3124

Monday – Saturday: 7am – 8pm
Sunday: 8am – 5pm

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