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Empenadas in Manhattan

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Sr. Caricatura Sep 23, 2004 03:11 PM

My wife and I love the casual latin-american bakeries (like _El Nuevo_) in Jackson Heights, particularly for the awesome empenadas. What's the best place for a similar experience in Manhattan? Ideally I'm looking for a bakery-like setup, not a sit-down restaurant, but any suggestion will do. Thanks!

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    Raymond RE: Sr. Caricatura Sep 23, 2004 03:20 PM

    There's a place on Broome St in Soho, very close to Broadway Panhandler that is "supposed" to be very good. Not sure of the name but am sure some Hounds know.

    8 Replies
    1. re: Raymond
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      adamandeve RE: Raymond Sep 23, 2004 03:27 PM

      The place you mention is called Ruben's, and though decent they aren't great.

      1. re: adamandeve
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        Raymond RE: adamandeve Sep 23, 2004 03:28 PM

        Ruben's, yeah.. thanks. Not great huh? Oh well, sorry I couldnt help.

        1. re: Raymond
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          Adrian RE: Raymond Sep 23, 2004 07:50 PM

          Actually, I think Ruben's are amazing. I worked around the corner and for a year, all I ate was empanadas for lunch.

          1. re: Adrian
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            Pupster RE: Adrian Sep 23, 2004 11:27 PM

            They are NOT amazing. They are not even average. The crust is like cardboard. The fillings are boring and tasteless.

            Empanadas are a worthwhile search. They are easily messed up, so that when you taste a good one, it really stands out.

            1. re: Pupster
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              xavier RE: Pupster Sep 24, 2004 09:32 AM

              If I worked around the corner from Rubens, I'd be eating empenadas all the time, too.

              If I worked 4 blocks from Ruben's, I wouldn't.

              1. re: Pupster
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                bigskulls RE: Pupster Sep 24, 2004 09:46 AM

                the downtown version (Stone St.?) is lousy as well....

                1. re: Pupster
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                  MV RE: Pupster Sep 24, 2004 11:47 AM

                  I will have to agree, the crusts are flavourless and dry and the fillings are mediocre as well. I see no reason to pay over $3 for a crappy empenada when you can get good authentic ones for $1

                  1. re: MV
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                    ultbil RE: MV Sep 24, 2004 07:10 PM

                    Where can one get good, authentic empanadas for $1 (preferable in the city and south of 10th st if possible).

                    Thanks.

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          RGR RE: Sr. Caricatura Sep 23, 2004 03:57 PM

          I have not sampled empanadas from any Latin-American bakeries, but I like the ones at Havana Pies, on E. 23rd St., b/t 2nd & 3rd Avs. There's a big variety, both savory and sweet. The information on their web site states that they have booths and tables, but unless they've recently expanded considerably and added booths and more tables, I wouldn't call this place a "restaurant." The last time I was there a couple of months ago, there were, as previously, only 2 or 3 tables. So, I'd describe it as a small eat-in/take-out shop.

          Link: http://www.havanapies.com

          1 Reply
          1. re: RGR
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            Orik RE: RGR Sep 23, 2004 04:07 PM

            Another place that sells empanadas (I haven't tried them) is Gauchas, on 91st st. and 1st.

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            TP RE: Sr. Caricatura Sep 23, 2004 08:34 PM

            Havana Pies is good for filling the void. I like their Cuban Sandwich Empanada

            But one of the best I've had in the city has been @ CAFECITO on Ave.C b/w 12th & 13th St. Had their picadillo (beef) empanada twice, and twice it has been great. Flaky, crispy crust with a juicy, savory, well-seasoned picadillo inside.

            It is a restaurant, casual, and very good.

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              mrnyc RE: Sr. Caricatura Sep 24, 2004 12:51 AM

              i got the goods you want! SUCELT has a great variety. 14th street and 8th avenue. also, cuban SWEETHEART BAKERY nearby on 14th ave below 8th avenue has recently added new versions of their three basics empanadas of spinich, beef and chicken. now they have a ham&corn and also a tuna version too. overall SUCELTS are the best by far, and that is including RUEBENS and HAVANA too.

              2 Replies
              1. re: mrnyc
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                Maria RE: mrnyc Sep 24, 2004 02:08 PM

                I second this place...the empanadas are good (fried not baked)and so cheap...($1.50 each)

                --Maria

                1. re: mrnyc
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                  a&w RE: mrnyc Sep 27, 2004 12:45 PM

                  Tried sucelt this weekend and was very impressed. Chicken, beef, and cheese empanadas were excellent-- fresh fillings with a wonderfully flaky fried crust that wasn't too greasy. Bravo, mrnyc!

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                  blowthisclambake RE: Sr. Caricatura Feb 18, 2007 10:33 AM

                  Okay. Forget about Ruben's Empanadas in the East Village on 1st Avenue. They are tasteless and dry, dry, dry. The fillings remind me of frozen mush stuff you get at fairs. YUCK! Also, the guy at the counter is not friendly, even when you try to be nice. I never told him that the food sucked and he already had a bad attitude. I am VERY friendly and open and this guy was a sourpuss. I wanted to like the food, but I didn't even finish the small one I had. It was that bad. I went to go get a smoothie to wash down what I did eat. Sorry, but, it was bad, man.

                  1. j
                    JoLi RE: Sr. Caricatura Feb 20, 2007 03:09 AM

                    There's a place next to the Bowery subway station, close to the Chipotle there, I can't remember the name unfortunately. But they specialize in empanadas and have about 10 varities. The few times I've been, I thought they were pretty good.

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                      downtownstefanie RE: Sr. Caricatura Feb 20, 2007 06:59 AM

                      Pan Latin Cafe in Battery Park's north neighborhood makes nice ones, all free range chicken and other fresh ingrediants. www.panlatincafe.com

                      1. ronoc RE: Sr. Caricatura Feb 20, 2007 08:04 AM

                        There's a good place on 9th ave and... 50th? Mama's Empanadas, I think? All made to order, some inventive varieties. You choose either baked or fried in either corn or flour. I liked it. I remember the simple chicken one being really well-spiced and tasty.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: ronoc
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                          trinyc RE: ronoc Feb 20, 2007 08:11 AM

                          Empanada Mama is the place, its fun and pretty tasty! Interesting combinations.

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                          GurglingStomach RE: Sr. Caricatura Feb 20, 2007 05:35 PM

                          Check out Calle Ocho on the Upper West Side right by the Natural History Museum

                          http://damnedgoodfood.blogspot.com

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                            ACknowsStyle RE: Sr. Caricatura Feb 23, 2007 10:39 AM

                            Aspen and Dos Caminos... and I cannot WAIT to try Amalia.

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