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Sep 5, 2001 09:58 PM

In Search of Queens's tastiest empanadas!

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I am an empanada lover. I thought that by moving to Queens I'd be more likely to run into some delicious ones. Unfortunately, I haven't had much luck. Does anyone have any suggestions? I prefer the baked ones, filled with meat, olives, and a slice of egg. These were the kind I grew up on. Any recommendations? So far I've only encountered the deep fried ones, which I don't think are as tasty.

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  1. Wow, I have never heard anyone say the baked ones are more tasty. I eat the baked ones because they are healthier. I checked out 4 Argentine/Uraguayan places that make empanadas in Emhurst at Corona Ave. and Junction Blvd, the 2 Grill joints, the bakery, and the pizzaria/cafe. I didn't like the ones at the Rio De La Plata Bakery at all, and the 2 grill joints had decent empanadas. My favorites were the empanadas at La Cantina De Don Chicho, a pizzaria/cafe. They have parrillado (grilled meats), pasta (on the board in the back), rotating appetizers, empanadas, and pizza. they also have wine and old fashioned seltzer bottles if you are into wine spritzers. They serve the empanadas or pizza on wooden plates. If you want an interesting pizza experience, theirs has a great thicker crust. The jam and roasted red pepper pizza (w/a few green olives) is particularly good, and is called jamon y morrones. I like their gnochis con estofado (meat in tomato sauce.)

    I have posted about Don Chicho's before.

    Make sure to stop by the bakery for some of the little pastries they sell by the pound, the ones that are drenched and have dulce de leche. Their regular pastries (facturas) are good as well. There are a few tables in the bakery to sit down.

    1. La Fusta, an Argentinian steak house on Baxter Ave near Broadway, serves exactly what you're looking for. Well worth a visit.

      1. s
        steve alberts

        Of course I can't remember the name -- but there is a bakery on 37th avenue between 86th and 87th Streets in Jack Hts that has tasty baked ones. The place is always packed, with a long line, so they might very well have other good stuffs as well.

        6 Replies
          1. re: Jayask
            Jeremy Osner

            Or possibly La Nueva?

            1. re: Jeremy Osner

              I think it has to be La Nueva - but doesn't it have Buenos Aires in its subtitle? Or at least an allusion to it - like the word Portena? (Sorry, I can't do a tilde over the n.) I noticed it when I picked up their card recently.

              Their empanadas look appealing, never tried 'em. I've been concentrating on their croissant with ham-and-cheese sandwiches. Kinda weird, the croissant seems to have been brushed with a sugary wash before baking, but somehow it all works together. Gives me the strength to go back to the laundromat and do what needs to be done.

              Nearby, at Chivito D'Oro, 37th & 84th, are some worthwhile baked empanadas (and lots and lots of meat.)

              1. re: Helen

                Well, I was half right - there's definite B.A. allusion in La Nueva's subtitle, just not the one I thought. It's Rioplatense. ("Of the Rio de la Plata".)

                For the record, it's at 86-10A 37th Ave. Open 7 days, 7am-9pm. Amazing how I've started to look forward to laundry day!

                1. re: Helen
                  Jeremy Osner

                  Do be sure to try their empanadas -- they are very good and a bit different from the ones you get at Portena or Fusta, though the style is similar. The crust on these ones is a little flakier and can be crispy around the seam, where the steak house empanadas tend to be a bit chewy/bready. I like the meat filling, I believe they also have chicken but have never tried it.

                  1. re: Jeremy Osner

                    It's filed securely in my memory, thanks. Welcome back, by the way, enjoyed reading your International correspondance. I keep thinking somehow I'll spot you strolling around the neighborhood with your little tyke.

        1. La Esquina Criolla and El Gauchito both have decent empanadas Argentinas with the traditional meat, egg and olive stuffing and are both located at the intersetion of Junction Blvd, and Corona Avenue. The best empanandas I have tasted were at Pampa restaurant on Amsterdam Avenue and 97th Street. I had a meat empanada and a blue cheese empanadas and both were superb.