While Bombolé only opened its doors in Fall 2018, owner Jackie Sharma, who is originally from Honduras, has enjoyed cooking and feeding people since she was a little girl. Sharma moved to Tucson in her late teens. She later met and married her husband, an Indian man from Scotland, and taught herself how to cook and perfect Indian recipes. One day, she decided to fill her homemade empanadas with leftover curry. The unique combination soon became a hit with family and friends. Sharma decided to open Bombolé after recognizing that downtown Tucson was lacking both Indian food and fresh empanadas.
You can find Bombolé at 100 N. Stone Avenue on the ground floor of the historic Pioneer Building, online at https://eatbombole.com, and on Instagram (@eatbombole) and Facebook (Bombole Eatery). Bombolé is open weekdays from 11 am to 3 pm. The interior of the café is small but modern with track lighting and high ceilings, plenty of natural light, and subtle Indian influences. There are six tables as well as a small bar area with additional seating. You can order and pay for your food and then choose where you would like to sit.
The Bombolé empanada — including the empanada dough as well as the filling — is always made from scratch in the Bombolé kitchen. For filling, the eatery offers popular Indian curries like Butter Chicken, Matar Paneer, or Aloo Samosa. It also offers a weekly special as well as a Latin “fiesta” empanada made of slow-cooked, shredded chicken with onions, celery, raisins, and green olives. Breakfast empanadas and empanadas made of puff pastry dough (instead of traditional empanada dough) are available as well. A finishing touch on the empanada is the Bombolé logo on the border, and a pressed label to identify its contents.
The “Bombo Combo” is a good option for lunch; it includes one empanada, one sauce, two sides, and a tea. Sides include aromatic basmati rice, curried lentils (daal), and several types of slaw, including a tangy Honduran Cabbage Slaw. Bombolé also offers a “bake at home” option where customers can buy empanadas to-go to later bake in their own home. Entrees are also available. Bombolé proudly offers options for its gluten free, vegetarian, and vegan customers.
Sharma operates the eatery with the help of her diverse staff, which include employees of both Latino and Indian descent. Supplies and ingredients are purchased locally. Bombolé is active in the community, participating in downtown festivals like Tucson Meet Yourself as well as events hosted by the Indian Society of Southern Arizona and the University of Arizona.
To learn more information about Bombolé, take the Historypin tour.
100 N. Stone Avenue
Tucson, AZ 85701