Pop-up Argentine Eats brings a taste of South America to Atlanta

Kendrick (left) and Abril Bussard are the couple behind Atlanta pop-up Argentine Eats. / Courtesy of Argentine Eats

Credit: Courtesy of Argentine Eats

Credit: Courtesy of Argentine Eats

Kendrick (left) and Abril Bussard are the couple behind Atlanta pop-up Argentine Eats. / Courtesy of Argentine Eats

In the days leading up to their wedding in Marietta last fall, Kendrick and Abril Bussard were ensuring all the last-minute details were in place. But unlike most brides and grooms, the pair were also making preparations for their first pop-up at Sceptre Brewing in Oakhurst.

What started out as a way for the now-married pair to offset some of the costs of their reception turned into a business that has become a full-time gig. Argentine Eats (instagram.com/argentineeats) allows the pair to showcase their cooking skills while bringing the cuisine of Abril’s native Argentina to new groups of people.

“We weren’t sure how it was going to go at the beginning, but it’s turned into something bigger than what we were expecting,” said Bussard, who previously served as a chef at Atlanta restaurants including Bartaco and Fatt Mat’s Rib Shack.

Abril, who worked in several empanada eateries in her native country, met Kendrick in 2020 while they were both vacationing on the West Coast, and recognized in him both a romantic and culinary kindred spirit.

Each grew up with families who loved to cook. Abril remembers helping her grandmother whip up elaborate meals that took inspiration from their Spanish and Italian ancestry, though empanadas were always the star of the show.

Kendrick, a Cobb County native, would cook Italian food, soups and cakes with his chef father. While he loved exploring different cuisines, he wasn’t familiar with Argentine food before meeting his wife and traveling in 2021 to meet her family.

Empanadas served with guacamole are top menu items for Atlanta pop-up Argentine Eats. / Courtesy of Argentine Eats

Credit: Courtesy of Argentine Eats

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Credit: Courtesy of Argentine Eats

“It was a life-changing experience,” he said. “It made me want to come back to Atlanta and experiment with new flavors.”

Argentine Eats’ menu focuses almost exclusively on a handful of rotating empanadas, including the newly added hamburguesa with filled with ground beef, cheddar cheese, pickles and bacon; curry chicken; and a vegetarian option with mushroom, cheese and truffle oil.

Also on the menu are several Argentinian-style sandwiches, with offerings set to expand over the next few months with the addition of an Argentine barbecue handheld. The bestselling choripán features grilled chorizo topped with tomatoes, lettuce, mayo and homemade chimichurri sauce, while a beef and chorizo burger with cheese and chimichurri also comes with add-ons including bacon, fried egg or guacamole, with the option to sub in a plant-based burger to make it vegan.

Ingredients are often sourced from Your DeKalb Farmers Market, the Atlanta State Farmers Market and local purveyors including Andes Bakery. Kendrick said they hope to start working directly with local farmers soon.

Before making changes to the menu, the couple asks friends and family, including Abril’s mother, to taste-test new items.

“She loved the food,” Abril said.

“We do a lot of experimentation,” Kendrick said. “There’s a lot of trial and error, and sometimes there are things we think will work that don’t end up working. We like to keep it fresh and new, so we try to change things up every month.”

In addition to breweries and brewpubs, Argentine Eats will also pop-up on the back patio at Banshee in East Atlanta as well as festivals. While they love the pop-up life, they’re also planning to buy a food truck by the end of the summer to expand their business.

Abril said her favorite part of operating the pop-up is introducing the dishes she grew up with to people who might not have been exposed to Argentine food before.

“It’s very nice for me to cook with all the love and hear all the good reviews,” she said. “That’s the nicest part for me, seeing the people enjoying the food.”

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