Had a very nice meal last night at Los Alambres on California just south of Belmont. Everything was great. Best table chips I've ever had and an amazing steak gordita. But the Mexican food has all been written about previously.
I'm here to talk about the empenadas. Ordered a cheese only empenada. That the empenadas are on the back page with the pizza (yes, pizza) should have been a tip off. What came out was less an empenada and more a calzone. And, yes, I do know, in essence, they are very similar. But taken out of context of a Mexican restaurant, this would be identified simply as a calzone.
The verdict? A damn good calzone. In fact, one of the best calzones I've had in a long time. Part of this is because they make a calzone like I think a calzone should be made. Most calzones are hallow dough shells full of gloppy cheese and sauce that comes pouring out of the crust, but not mixing with the dough very much.
Los Alambres calzone/empenada has much less sauce and cheese inside and everything comes together when it's baked. The other reason this calzone stands out is because, unlike their Italian counterparts in Chicago, Los Alambres actually uses good ingredients. If the calzone is any indication (and I think it must be) the pizza must be very good. Great cheese, slightly above average sauce--nothing special but not bad, and great dough/crust.
I can't say I'm going to get a calzone every time I go there because I want to try all the differnt Mexican items on the menu.