PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- This week on FYI Philly, it's a festive feast celebrating Hispanic heritage, with authentic Venezuelan comfort food, savory flavors of Puerto Rico and an avocado fiesta. Plus, FYI Philly says farewell to Karen Rogers.
Dine Latino Week features discounted dishes at a collection of city spots
El Merkury is known for Central American street food featuring popular dishes from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala.
They have been serving Philadelphia since 2018 and recently opened a second location in the Reading Terminal Market.
They will be one of nearly 20 restaurants participating in Dine Latino week between Oct. 11-15. The event offers diners a free appetizer or dessert with the purchase of two meals at participating restaurants.
It offers patrons the chance to try new menus, new dishes and new parts of the city. At El Merkury you will have the chance to try one of thier famous churros for dessert, a delicacy worth the trip.
October 11-15, 2021
2104 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19103
Que Ricas offers fast, fun take on Venezuelan specialties
Venezuelan street food comes to South Jersey with Que Ricas, a casual, take-out style restaurant in Haddon Heights.
Owner Sahar Soleymani spent a lot of time in the kitchen growing up, with her mother and grandmother from Venezuela -- who both loved to cook -- and her father from Iran, who was an engineer who also ran restaurants and nightclubs.
Soleymani cooks up traditional Venezuelan dishes, as well as a few with her own personal spin.
Everything is made with fresh, local ingredients and menu items cater to all diets, with many vegan and gluten-free options available.
46-A Haddon Avenue, Haddon Township, NJ 08108
Tues through Sat 11-8, Sunday 11-6
Autana bringing authentic Venezuelan to the Main Line
Working out a ghost kitchen based inside the Ardmore Station cafe, Levi Hernandez is bringing his authentic Venezuelan cuisine to Main Line diners.
Along with his wife Maria-Elena, his daughter Maria-Jose and his son Alejandro, the family launched Autana during the pandemic. In fact, the pandemic was the catalyst for the idea.
Both Levi and his wife were laid off during the pandemic and Maria-Jose and Alejandro jumped at the chance to launch this new family venture.
They serve dishes the family grew up eating in Venezuela, including arepas, cachapas, patacones and more.
Right now they are operating as a pop up, open Thursday-Sunday from 4-8 p.m. They primarily use delivery and take-out but are starting to offer some tables inside during business hours.
The family is hoping to share their culture with the community.
6 Station Road, Ardmore, PA
Café Tinto keeps Colombian food, culture alive in Philly
Giselle Poveda is the owner of Cafe Tinto and a third-generation baker, who brings her grandfather's recipes from Colombia to the neighborhoods of Philadelphia.
She shares the significance of the food and culture while also sharing a recipe for one of the bakery's most popular foods.
143 E Wyoming Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19120
Taste Amy's amazing Pastelillos, Puerto Rican style turnovers
Amy Rivera Nassar is on a mission to educate Philadelphians on this savory little piece of her Puerto Rican culture with pastelillos (Puerto Rican meat pies). It's a hot pocket that looks like a bigger version of an empanada but with thinner dough.
They're deep-fried and traditionally stuffed with chicken, ground beef or pizza flavors (cheese and tomato sauce), though Amy experiments with all kinds of fillings.
Pastelillos are a favorite comfort food snack, appetizer or side dish that Nassar says you'll find everywhere on the island and in bodegas all around North Philadelphia where she was born and raised, the only child of 5 in her family not born on the island.
Now a married mother of two, she started Amy's Pastelillos as a side project in 2018 but says business really took off during the pandemic, as she offered them both cooked and frozen, make-at-home style.
You can find her popping up in cafes and markets around the city including the new plant-based Lightbox Cafe that just opened in Queen Village, where Amy is offering vegan pastelillos.
Amy's Pastelillos| Instagram
704 S 4th St., Philadelphia PA 19147
Gusto: Mi Cocina Criolla Virtual Series | Tickets
Tickets are available through October 15th. 100% of ticket sales support Taller Salud in Puerto Rico
Creme Brulee Bistro & Café bakes the best of France all over Philly
Creme Brulee Bistro & Café is known for keeping it in the family.
The Tapia brothers grew up in Mexico and moved to New York City where they started in the restaurant industry as dishwashers.
Now, they are business owners in Philadelphia.
Armando, Alejandro and Dario have opened three Creme Brulee Bistro locations across the city in the past five years.
The bistro bakes fresh bread and pastries daily as well as offering specialty coffees.
A hit of course is the creme brlué but they also offer other French desserts such as Paris-brest and macarons. Their first location in Pennsport offers classic French cuisine and a weekend brunch option featuring Nutella crepes and a twist on eggs benedict.
Dario Tapia, the chef, credits their success to "the way we do everything... we do it with love and passion."
1800 S 4th St, Philadelphia, PA 19148
618 S 2nd St, Philadelphia, PA 19147
1828 East Passyunk Ave, PA 19148
Avocado Fiesta Opens in South Jersey
The partners behind Mexican restaurant Avocado Fiesta say their labor of love and family's support helped amid the pandemic.
Co-owner and chef Alfredo Ramírez says, "We are passionate to cook for you. And that's why Avocado Fiesta is here for you guys."
Their new restaurant serves 100% authentic Mexican food and delicious pastries in Merchantville, NJ.
"We're really passionate what we are doing here," says co-owner and baker Delia Leana. "We try to make everyone happy here and have a good ambience."
Notable menu options include: sandwiches, salads, tacos, and popular plates such as chiles rellenos and carne asada. Be sure to save room for tres leches and tirmisu.
"I just love everything, you know," says co-owner and chef Rosa Mora. "I love all the food in here, all the desserts."
They serve breakfast, lunch and dinner daily, 8 a.m.-8 p.m.
134 E Park Ave, Merchantville, NJ 08109
FYI Philly says goodbye to Karen Rogers
In addition to celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month, we are also recognizing a big promotion for Karen Rogers.
Long-time viewers will remember when Karen co-hosted FYI Philly with Adam Joseph 12.5 years ago.