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First Coast Foodies: Empanada Llama brings bites of Peru to you and your llama!

National Empanada Day is April 8, and you bet your llama there's a special at Empanada Llama.

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — Things are about to get colorful, Peruvian and delicious with your new favorite animal on this First Coast Foodies Friday!

This time we're staying in Jacksonville but taking your taste buds to Peru at Empanada Llama.

"Our flavors are authentic, rich, and they're Peruvian-inspired," said owner and creator Frassier Pezzia.

Empanada Llama on San Jose Boulevard in Mandarin is bringing a bite of Peru right to you.

"Our best seller would be the lomo saltado. That is a Peruvian dish that we've made inside of the empanada. You get the beef, you get the veggies all in each and every bite."

The lomo saltado is sautéed steak with tomatoes, red onions, and Peruvian spices. Pezzia suggests trying this one with their garlic cilantro sauce.

"Another favorite is the choclo con queso," she said. "The choclo is a Peruvian giant corn. We mix it with five different types of cheeses so it's very gooey."

Don't forget about dessert while you're there.

"We have a banana Nutella," said Pezzia. "The apple pie one's my grandma's recipe. It's so good."

Empanada Llama also has monthly specials, smoothies, Peruvian drinks, special sauces, and sides like fried yuca and sweet potato fries.

"My goal was to be a place where people could just come in and get a quick bite, but still taste those flavors of Peru and something that's homemade," said Pezzia. "It's a happy place and still feels like you're maybe in the little restaurant in Peru.

Believe us, you'll be saying this a lot...

"Actually that's one of my favorites too!" Pezzia said about another empanada.

National Empanada Day is April 8 and you bet your llama there's a special. Empanadas will cost only $2 each instead of $5.

See Empanada Llama's menu here.

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