I've already declared my love for dining in North Beach and Normandy Isle, and now there's a new favorite spot in the neighborhood. Bodegon 71 offers seemingly endless empanadas, along with juices, smoothies, decadent desserts, and much more.
This family-run restaurant is still waiting for a wine and beer license, but in the meantime, I've tasted a majority of the items on the menu. And virtually every dish and juice shines.
What first appears as simply a window selling empanadas is actually far more extensive. This eatery offers a ton of healthful options and Argentine staples.
The juice options are a bit limited, but you can mix and match up to three ingredients for a variety of combinations.
This grapefruit, carrot, and celery blend cost $3.99. Even better is they will most likely juice more than fits in your cup, so if you stay and sip, you can get a free refill.
The Spanish tortilla ($5.99) was irresistible and massive, filling an entire plate with its fluffy, eggy, frittata-like form chock full of tomatoes, potatoes cut like fries, onion, and red pepper. Other tortillas feature chorizo.
The empanada station is the heart of the restaurant. The varieties offered range from spinach and cheese to caprese to guava and cheese. Breakfast, savory, and sweet empanadas are sold for $1.99 each or a dozen for $20.
The spicy chicken variety boasted a perfectly doughy casing filled with marinated, shredded chicken and slivers of garlic. House-made red chimichurri sauce added a kick of spice.
Another popular Argentine empanada is the Arabian. It comes shaped like a hamantash, with a filling of ground beef marinated in lemon juice. It's light, tangy, and unique.
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The sweets on the counter near the register are not to be missed. They include freshly baked alfajores and chocolate conitos. The conitos, which are shaped like a cone, come dipped in chocolate with bits of toasted coconut on the side. The cone is placed in a thick pastry shell for added support. One bite of the conito reveals the richest, most decadent dulce de leche. It trumps all other sweets.
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