Cheap Eats

La Estancia's Excellent Empanada

Went to renew my drivers license at the Coral Gables DMV the other day. The office is located right by Village of Merrick Park, and so is a branch of La Estancia Argentina. The lunch menu looked tempting, with some decent deals on hand -- grilled skirt or flank steak sandwich for $8 certainly sounds fair enough. But the empanadas caught my eye, especially the one filled with steak. As you can see in the photo, the exterior was beautifully bronzed (other empanadas appeared noticeably paler in the case), the pastry was flaky, the interior solidly packed with flavorfully grilled nubs of meat. Price for most of La Estancia's empanadas are $1.50 apiece, but this "premium" pie goes for $2.50. I bought one after another after another; it was really one of the best empanadas I've ever had (excepting my Argentine friend Marie's turkey empanadas, which aren't for sale).

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Miami New Times' restaurant reviewer for the past decade, and the world's indisputable master of disguise.
Contact: Lee Klein