What's amazing about empanadas is how versatile they are. Last week, I grabbed some of the Spanish pastries from Colombian restaurant Pal Rancho. Those were filled with shredded beef and potatoes, with a supremely crunchy corn shell that was fried. Another version I had yesterday from Argentine/Peruvian bakery, Manny's (10281 W. Sample Road, Coral Springs) were completely different.
Instead of having a corn-meal crust, these empanadas were made with the kind of dough you'd use to bake a
pie. The crust was sweet and buttery and dense, with a dusting of flour
on the bottom and a glossy egg-wash glaze on top. They come in four
varieties: spinach and cheese, spicy chicken, beef, and just cheese. I
grabbed some spinach and chicken empanadas to go and brought them home
to warm up. At $1.80 a pop, two or three empanadas from Manny's make a
The spinach empanadas are great. Inside is creamy,
fresh-tasting spinach that reminds me of a greek spanikopita. But the
chicken empanadas are the bomb. Manny's gives these an Argentine
twist by cubing white-meat chicken and bathing it in guiso, a tomato-heavy sauce flecked with cilantro. There's so much flavor in each bite
that these empanadas don't need any salsa at all to spruce them up. And
the chicken, cut into sizable cubes, is fresh and lean.
is planning to move soon (location yet unknown). Its current space
is bare-bones but packs up with Latin families on weekends, especially
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around lunchtime, when it makes Peruvian-style "butifarra" sandwiches
from fresh-baked bread along with big tamales wrapped in banana leaves.
You can get a big sandwich and a drink for under $8.
10281 W. Sample Road, Coral Springs