Restaurants & Bars 25

Empanada y salteña chowdown

Windy | Feb 21, 2010 07:19 PM

Six intrepid hounds gathered on a rainy Sunday to sample empanadas and salteñas in a variety of Latin American styles.

We had three Argentine contenders from the Tanguito truck, El Porteño, and Venga, with beef, chicken, ham and cheese, mushroom, humita (corn and cheese), and spinach varieties. These were all $3-3.50 each with some discounts for quantity. Tanguito was a last-minute substitution when Susan discovered Chile Lindo is now closed Sundays.

Not to be outdone, Dudes in Mexico prepared beef empanadas from scratch.

Special thanks to Mariacarmen for helping organize this. Ultimately she was not able to attend but still delivered beef salteñas (Bolivia's version of empanadas) from LA and the recipe for llajua, a picante accompaniment, traditionally served spooned into the juicy handheld pies bite by bite.

Melanie brought dessert in the form of empanadas de leche from El Salvador restaurant.

Wines included a 2007 tempranillo from Match Book in the Dunnigan Hills (CA) and a 2006 Riesling from Dragon's Hollow, in the "Eastern Foot of the He Lan Mountains" (China). What can I say--we're a cosmopolitan bunch.

As part of our pre-tasting research, I also stopped in at Red Ribbon/Jollibee by Yerba Buena for a Filipino-style chicken empanada, but found it overly buttery fast food.

I'll let everyone weigh in before picking my favorites. I thought it was very interesting to try these side by side; it really highlighted the differences in styles. All in all a delicious day.

El Salvador Restaurant
2278 Mission St, San Francisco, CA 94110

Chile Lindo
2944 16th St, San Francisco, CA

Venga Empanadas
2937 24th street, San Francisco, CA

Red Ribbon Bakery
200 4th St, San Francisco, CA 94103

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