Update Apr 10, 2011: This restaurant is now closed.
The first time I had authentic Chilean empanadas was earlier this year when I went on a trip to South America. They sold these things on street-side markets and stalls.
My first one however was bought from a convenience store there, instead of off the street. I was concerned about hygiene after all. Funny thing was…the lady that got it for me used her hands to pick it up.
And it really wasn’t very good, perhaps because it wasn’t fresh.
I had walked by Empanada Hut quite a number of times already. Today I finally decided to go get some.
Boy-oh-boy these look so much better than the saran-wrapped one I had down there.
They have 4 flavors to choose from originally. Beef and Chicken are the cheapest at $2.79 each. Then there’s also Spinach and Feta, and Seafood.
They also have something called Cheese Empanadas. There were 4-5 flavors to choose from and all were only $2.49 each.
I ended up getting one Cheese & Spanish Chorizo Empanada and one original one. I asked the lady whether she would pick Beef or Chicken. She recommended Beef, so I got that.
The Cheese Empanada was deep-fried-to-order. While I was waiting for it I talked to the owners.
They were both from Chile obviously. We got excited talking about which part of Chile I visited and how good and cheap Chilean wine was. I do think people are generally happy to talk about their own culture/country, especially when the foreigner you’re talking to has good things to say about it.
Unfortunately all the filling sank to the bottom, so as I was eating the upper half all I was eating was batter.
Wasn’t a bad thing though. The first few bites were weird because the dough tasted sourish, so I had wondered whether it had gone bad. Then I realized that Cheese Empanada meant that the actual pastry part was made with cheese too as I could see that it was incorporated into it. So although the first half was all pastry, it was tasty pastry.
To tell you the truth though once I got to the filling it tasted a lot like a Pillsbury Pizza Pop. By now the cheese has solidified a bit which was also good since it won’t spill out when I bit into it.
Overall wasn’t bad. I will very likely get it again but perhaps a different flavor.
And here’s the Beef Empanada. It’s not folded as nicely as the Chicken, which was the main reason why I wanted chicken in the first place haha. But I was recommended this so I’ll give it a try.
There’s probably substantially more filling here. It’s interesting because there’s actually raisins, boiled egg white and a whole olive in it. The raisins give a nice sweetness to the other flavors of this pie. I did enjoy this very much.
They give complimentary pebre with their Empanadas, which is just Chilean salsa of cilantro and tomatoes. It went very well with the beef pie, probably because there’s so much cilantro in it. I love cilantro.