Turn-Ons: Colorful and festive Latin eatery that's great for people-watching and eavesdropping while noshing on flavorful fried comfort food.
Turn-Offs: They were out of sweet plantains! How can a Latin restaurant be out of sweet plantains?
Rate My Date:
- Not My Type
- 1 Night Stand
- In Love
- Happily Ever After
I've learned from experience that a big ol' void in your heart can quite easily be filled with food; at least temporarily. And while my listless heart languishes from limited love possibilities, my taste buds never seem to lack vast mouth-watering options to satiate my soul. So, urged by loneliness and a desperate search for oral adventure, I plopped down by the open window at the colorful and festive Latin eatery, Empanada Mama. It was perfect for covertly spying on strangers or eavesdropping on conversations that were sometimes more interesting than my own inner dialogue. Plus, the menu was perfect for my lonely heart; overwhelming with umpteen variations on an empanada and priced to indulge. I was beyond thrilled to be wearing pants that could expand in proportion to the number of fried pastry pockets I was about to consume.
Savory or sweet, wheat or corn, fried or baked and stuffed with complementary combos of meats, veggies, cheeses and spices. My savory empanadas (1 ground beef, 1 chorizo) were delivered in white labeled pouches to distinguish their twin appearances. And they were accompanied by a spicy red salsa and a creamy, mild tomatillo sauce. Crunch went the outside, savory on the inside. They were good, but not as "deliciosas" as the empanadas I'm used to eating in Colombia. Nevertheless, as the spicy flavors wandered my palate, I couldn't help but fantasize about my sweet finish: an empanada stuffed with sweet plantain and mozzarella. So I was justifiably heartbroken as my waitress announced, in what felt like slow motion, "We're... out...of... sweet...plantains." Wait, what? Isn't this a Latin restaurant? So, as I often do in love, I settled for an empanada stuffed with the salty-sweet combo of figs, caramel and mozzarella. Oh well.
763 9th Avenue between 51st & 52nd Streets
Getting There By Subway:
- C, E to 50th at 8th Avenue
- 1 to 50th at Broadway