A Hell’l Kitchen Guide staple from day one, this mama hasnt skipped a beat since it opened. Even when things seem slow everywhere else in the neighborhood (between lunch and dinner), these guys are busy. I’ve gone on a special empanada diet for the past few weeks. And for the purpose of this post, I picked 10 Empanadas which consists of all the popular ones, plus a few I was just curious about (e.g. polish). Scoring is 1 to 10 Z’s, with 10 Z’s being the best. Congratulations to the winners.
ZZZZZZZZZ (9) – SPICY CHICKEN. The creme de la creme. Chunks of chicken breast slowly cooked in mama’s special picante sauce which is reminiscent of the Israeli S’chug, a fiery delicious Yemeni spread. This is the definition of “pleasant Heat” that stays with you for a few hours. Fairly spicy, not for everyone
ZZZZZZZZ (8) – BRASIL – Traditional Brazilian style empanada with ground beef, olives, sauteed onions, and potatoes. Juicy, flavor packed with excellent depth.
ZZZZZZZz (7.5) – CUBAN – Slowly roasted pork, ham with mozzarella cheese and a touch of sofrito sauce. Very nice! The ham and the sauce take this to another level
ZZZZZZZz (7.5) – DESAYUNO COLOMBIANO – Colombian sausage, cheddar cheese, eggs and Spanish onion. A solid breakfast snack that’s available throughout the day.
ZZZZZZZ (7) – VIAGRA – Seafood stew with shrimp, scallops, and crab meat. The shrimp half is a bit boring, but then when you get to the other stuff.. oooh boy! Nice fishy flavors. The Viagra especially goes well with the Brazil!
ZZZZZZZ (7) – TJC – Mama’s tuna melt with cheddar cheese and jalapenos. While I didnt rate it here because I havent had in a while, the Tuna/Jalapeno Empanada (no cheese) may be even better
ZZZZZZZ (7) – MAMBO ITALIANO – Roasted Italian sweet sausage with red and green peppers, onions, mozzarella cheese and a touch of tomato sauce. Pretty much exactly what you’d expect… Sausage and Peppers
ZZZZZZ (6) – POLISH – Polish sausage (Kielbasa) sauteed with sauerkraut. Good if not a bit bland. I like my Kielbasas a bit tangier.
ZZZZZ (5) – REGGAETON – Caribbean style roast pork with sofrito seasoned yellow rice and peas. I’ve enjoyed this in the past but now finding it a little dry and in desperate need of that green sauce. Would have been better without the rice
ZZZZ (4) – CHEESESTEAK – Skirt steak with mozzarella cheese and a Latin twist. The latin twist is it squirts all over the place when opened! Steak a bit tough, no flavor, no likey
Even though I ranked the Polish and Reggaeton at the bottom, the only one I would avoid is the last one. Reggaeton is fairly popular.
The green sauce is nice. Red sauce not so much