Chicago's 5411 Empanadas Opening in Coral Gables

Fifty Four Eleven, or 5411 for short, a Chicago-born empanada store, will open its first out-of-state location, on 98 Miracle Mile, in November.

Located on the corner of Galiano Street and Miracle Mile in Coral Gables, 5411 specializes in baked gourmet Argentine-style empanadas. They come in 15 flavors, including Malbec beef, bacon dates and goat cheese, spinach and cheese, caramelized onion and Parmesan cheese, thyme and blue cheese, ratatouille, and banana and Nutella

Though empanadas aren't hard to find in Miami, as compared to Chicago, Andres Arlia, cofounder and owner of 5411, is confident the store will succeed. "I lived in Miami for about five years, so I've been exposed to the empanadas here," he says. "Many times they're just one item on a much larger menu, but with us, they are the main focus."   

At the eatery, empanadas are baked, not fried, and made to order, which Arlia believes sets 5411 apart. "We only bake our empanadas, instead of frying, because it holds the flavor of the dough better. And instead of making them in the morning and leaving them in a heat-box like many places, we bake them right after you order."

5411, named for the international dialing code for Buenos Aires, is the brainchild of Arlia and his two cofounders and owners, Mariano Lanfranconi and Nicolas Ibarzabal. The trio wanted to bring a taste of their country to Chi-Town, which led to the creation of 5411. The venture began as a food truck in 2011 and has grown into four storefront locations across Chicago, with a fifth under construction. 

Miami marks 5411's sixth location and first franchise. Potential franchises in San Fransisco, Houston, and the Hamptons are in the works. "I think it will be good for us to have our first franchise in Miami," Arlia says. "It'll be interesting to see the reactions."

The Coral Gables location will be nearly identical to those in Chi-Town, with minor tweaks to cater to Miami's culinary scene. "The empanada flavors will be the same, but we're trying to find local things to add to the menu," he says, "things like local beers, coffee roasters, and desserts." There will also be a selection of Argentine wines and desserts.

The eatery will seat about 25 and will give customers the choice to grab and go or sit and enjoy their empanadas with some coffee or beer. "We're going for a contemporary, modern, and stylish environment," Arlia says. "We want it to be a really nice experience, where you can relax and spend time with people." 

For first-timers, he says to order the Malbec beef or bacon dates and goat cheese. Vegetarians should try the spinach and cheese. "Those are our top sellers," he says. "And they're really great combinations."

Arlia says 5411 plans to offer delivery but isn't sure how far the area will cover. There is no firm opening date, but opening day will feature free empanadas and music by local DJ La Family Dub.

Follow Clarissa Buch on Twitter.

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