My friends Kelly and Ken took me to Empanada Mama the other night for dinner in Hell’s Kitchen. Let me tell you right off the bat how incredible the food is here! First of all, everything is so inexpensive! The three of us had drinks and dinner for $50 (in case you don’t live in New York City, that’s pretty inexpensive). The empanadas are what you have to order when you come here. Of course there are other great things on the menu, I can’t wait to order the avocado salad (it looks incredible). And the guacamole is outstanding! When you order the guacamole, it comes with a side of nicely salted plantain chips — the two are the a perfect combination.
There are so many options on the menu, I was extremely overwhelmed when I ordered for my first time. But I had to remind myself that I would be coming back for other meals and I didn’t have to worry about ordering everything. (Look at the menu below, you’ll see exactly what I am talking about.)
I ordered the Cheesesteak Empanada that has skirt steak and mozzarella cheese with a Latin twist, as well as the Shredded Beef Empanada that comes with onion slowly cooked beef that’s marinated in a traditional Colombian spices.
The cheesesteak empanada really hits the spot for someone who loves cheese and hard core steak. The cheese was nice and hot and creamy when I split open the empanada. The dough on the outside is perfectly cooked — nice and crispy on the outside, and doughy on the inside.
I can’t wait to go back to eat at Empanada Mama again… Luckily, this joint is located in Hell’s Kitchen (not too far from my apartment, but very close to my office) and they are open 24/7. Since the restaurant practically seats only 20 people, you may want to order your food to go if there is a massive line/wait.