[FHCx99] National Empanada Day


AK was desperately hunting for a Filipino bakery somewhere in the area to get our fix for empanadas. SP, being clueless as usual, had no idea that California had such a wealth of Filipino bakeries (specifically bakeries, not just restaurants) that made especially good empanadas. Unfortunately, the majority of Filipino restaurants in the area have shut their doors. I guess that’s just the way things go.

An empanada is basically a pasty. And a whole number of cuisines all over the world have their own dishes similar to the empanada. The Latin-American version is a folded dough with stuffing of meat and spices that is baked or fried. Other versions of the empanada in other parts of the world include:

  • Panades in Belize are made with masa and stuffed with fish. Mmmm.
  • Calzones are basically the Italian version of an empanada
  • Knishes are the Ashkenazi Jewish version made with potatoes
  • Pasties from the UK (basically Cornwall) have made their own impression here in the States, too.
  • Hot Pockets. Am I right?

So we took a trip to one of the SPamily favorites, Victor’s 1959 Cafe. This Cuban cookery is the total business. SPam used to live half a block away from the place, so the place was quick to jump on to our list. Terrific brunch, amazing dinner menu, and of course, empanadas.

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Left: Beef, with a lot of cumin flavor. Right: Chicken, with a Cuban zest.

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Bonus: SP ordered the Lechon Asado, a longstanding favorite of slow-roasted pork. That’s some fried Yucca on the right.

Tomorrow is Chinese Almond Cookie Day.



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