August 13, 2008

Empanada Mama - A Tasty Treat in Hell's Kitchen

Empanada Mama is a tiny, former "hole in the wall" empanada joint, serving up a diverse array of empanadas- ranging from a classic spicy chicken, to interesting combinations like tuna and jalapeno, and the aptly named Viagra - a seafood stew empanada.

As a former resident of Hell's Kitchen, I remember when Empanada Mama first opened. It was a classic hole-in the wall, a little grimey, a little suspect, but sure serving up hot and tasty treats.
Nowadays, after some renovations, it's modern - a "hipper" version of a hole in the wall. Albeit, very small, Empanada Mama is a great place to go with friends. Get a pitcher of sangria (white or red) and an order of guac - served up with plantain chips. The guacamole is a my opinion one of the best guacamoles around town.

As for the main meals...I recommend going with the empanadas and the tapas and staying away from Mama's Meals. At these types of array of small eats is often the better way to go. And always get what the place is known for.

Empanadas - served in both corn flour and wheat, it's hard to go wrong. I usually stick with the spicy chicken or the shredded beef, but feel free to go adventurous. Go International if you please - you can have everything from a polish empanada (sausage with sauerkraut) to an Americano (hot dog with cheese).

For dessert- more empanadas! From classics like guava and cheese, to Belgian chocolate and bananas. Don't forget to go "a la mode."

Empanada Mama also serves a variety of arepas and tamales - sweet corn with mozzarella is a favorite.
A great after work spot for midtownites - just be prepared. It's a small space, so the wait can be unpredictable. In the summertime, grab some to go and picnic at one of the piers along the Hudson River.
(picture from New York Metromix)

Empanada Mama
763 9th Ave, New York, NY

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