Liberty Gas Station Has An Unexpected Pan-Latin Bakery

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It is always a dandy surprise when you find the something great in unexpected surroundings. Discovering primo vintage duds at a flea market is an example.

Well, such is the case with the Liberty gas station on SW 22nd Avenue and Coral Way. Like any other station, you can pull in, tank up, and pay at the pump. Or, you're better off walking over to the clerk and discovering display cases filled with a vast assortment of baked and fried goodies from all over the South American continent and the Caribbean.

Items include Colombian fried empanadas de carne (made with corn not flour) good enough to rival my mother-in-law's; Colombian pan de bono and caraminolas; Argentine-style empanadas de carne o pollo; Puerto Rican papa rellena; Venezuelan taquitos de queso; Cuban croquetas de jamon and fried empanadas de picadillo; this is just a bare bones listing of what they have available.

When I inquired whether everything was home made, the ladies behind the counter were quick to answer, "Si, por supuesto." Of course, the location is unlikely. But the golden fried empanadas and the papa rellena tasted like they came from a fry shack on the beach.

Each item costs between $1.00 and $2.00, so order a couple alongside a cafe con leche or rocket fuel colada and you've got yourself the tastiest $6 snack in the Gables. Not too shabby.

The Liberty Gas station is located at 2190 Coral Way, on the corner of SW 22nd Avenue. Items are replenished daily, so come early.

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