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Oct 13, 2009 11:49 AM

Terrible Empanada Experience La Mamma Allston

Ordered 3, they only fried two. Only realized it after I had waited 5 minutes for the fry job. Ended with one guy yelling at the other in Spanish that he told him 3 not 2. The place had a real depressing vibe unlike in the past.

Of the two, the spinach one had ruptured in the fryer losing 1/3 of it's contents. The chicken one had sprung a leek the other way, so the filling was 2/3 chicken, 1/3 liquid fryer grease. The chicken one was NOT edible. The spinach one only barely.

Won't eat there ever again.

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  1. Oof, bummer, dude. I've stuck my head in there, thinking about trying it, and thought again. I guess what really put me off was the combination of sub-shop/pizza menu and Central American food. That flouts a Chowhound maxim about finding great food in unlikely places, but it sounds kind of like my instincts were okay on this one.

    4 Replies
    1. re: MC Slim JB

      I had eaten them a few years back and they were much better. The whole vibe of the place felt like a joint where noone cared any more.

      1. re: MC Slim JB

        I ate there years ago based on a chowhound thread that touted their chacareros as being better than Chacareros. I tried them; it wasn't even close (imho, of course). I saw no reason to return. (Although, to be fair, if I lived in the neighborhood and had a not-nearly-as-good-as-Chacarero chacarero craving, I'd go again.)

        1. re: MC Slim JB

          MCSlimJB get used to it, a lot of House of Pizza places are changing hands to other ethnicities. Chelsea, Roslindale, Woburn.... And it can work out well even if the pizza doesn't improve. For instance The Snack Bar in Cambridge offering solid homestyle Portuguese food (never a HoP, but it has greek style pizza), Tropico in Cambridge with decent carne asada tacos and grilled chicken legs, Bishop's in Woburn doing Brazilian lanches and decent Brazilian Pizza, PicNic in Cambridge did a decent "prato feito" for a while although there are better options now. I can think of a bunch of Pizzeria's offering tacos, Roslindale, Chelsea on Broadway, Carl's NYPizza in Malden was for a while, and even Carl's subs. One problem, though, is they might be good for a while but then change staff the quality can vary a lot. But its attractive as a business venture because they inherit the existing American pizza clientele and offer delivery ethnic food.

          Striper, I wonder if anyone has ever tried the Empanadas at the Big A on Cambridge St just outbound of Union Sq. Far from my favorite sub shop, I doubt they have the variety of La Momma and would expect pre-made frozen, however they are decent on the fry job on other items. (They were willing to make up a x-tudo at one point, but that may have depended on who was working there.) Probably an exercise in futility, but its been a curiosity of mine and maybe someone's tried it. Cafe Belo used to offer a pastel in their bar which was usually an improvement over la momma's. But given they are no longer doing it in Somerville, I think its even less likely the interim takeout operation offers it (is that still going?).

          1. re: itaunas

            When it works, it seems like the new owners' food is the thing to order, e.g., Mexican at Romano's in Rozzie (though the Sicilian slices are pretty fine, too). I certainly ate enough Greek HoP pizza growing up, don't really need more of that, so I like the idea. I'd be grateful to learn about other HoP's that are doing worthwhile non-pizza/subs fare under new ownership.


        2. Points against La Momma: I could easily see this happening there. It seems like an inconsistent place, to say the least.

          Points for: I have only been there twice, but both times I've had a great quesadilla. It was served in a small pizza box, and was about half the size of a small pizza. Flaky and soft tortilla with the perfect amount of browning and crunch. Good refried beans on the inside and a small plastic cup of fresh pico de gallo were selling points.

          I love my mexican (Jalisco and Lupita, whatup) and this is certainly not on the regular rotation. That being said, these were good quesadillas. Worth a try.