If you ever tried to order a chicken empanada from the fellas behind the pink and yellow fence at Smorgasburg, you surely won’t be doing it again. Such a mistake will be corrected promptly but not before you walk away newly pinned with a colorful anti-empanada button that declares with upstanding subtlety, "F$@! Empanadas." Above all, you must order a hefty Bolivian pastry called a salteña, stuffed with your choice of richly marinated beef, chicken or quinoa. The Bolivian Llama Party (formerly La Casa de Camba) are made up of brothers Alex, Patrick and David Oropeza, who provide a quirky and thoroughly customer-centric experience at their elaborate booth which takes an exhausting two and a half hours to set up. Perhaps left a little sleep deprived, they never fall short of their commitment to making Bolivian comfort food with finesse. With a post during Smorgasburg season in Williamsburg, they dedicate their culinary enterprise to bring refinement to classic family recipes with a generous dash of humor. Their menu favorites also include the Sandwich de Chola, a street style sandwich piled with Bolivian pulled pork and bacon, tangy pickled chiles, hibiscus red onions and carrots. Get a little bubbly and watch the science experiment at hand when they carbonate bottles of fruit sodas with a tank of Co2.
While some old school salteña makers have declared a rivalry with the brothers, the point for them was never to one-up the competition: it was simply to make great food. The reason why they do such hard work is simple and originates from the heart--to fuse authentic Bolivian cooking with a bit of culinary panache for a demographic that would appreciate it the most. (Hipsters, of course).