Bite of the Week: Empanadas at Boludo

Boludo's Empanadas // Photo by Becca Dilley

Boludo’s Empanadas // Photo by Becca Dilley

Bite of the Week is a weekly feature showcasing an exceptional meal or dish, curated by The Growler.

White subway tile on the wall; Latin pop blasting across the counter directly at the customers; cramped quarters; service that could be described as “relaxed.” All of Boludo’s atmospherics, plus an enticing bakery-like display of empanadas, suggest to the customer that this is a place that is confident about the quality of its product.

Rightfully confident, it turns out. The empanadas of Boludo have a proud, if recent, heritage, springing from Facundo De Fraia’s time in the uber-trendy kitchen of Martina in Linden Hills and the Lowry Hill Meats experience of Teddy Kordonowy. We tried three of the five available varieties of these little Argentinian savories ($3.50 each) and found that they delivered balanced flavor in elegant pastry packages.

Puerro (leek) was unctuous and soothing, the mix of pureed leeks and gorgonzola smooth and salty; Jamon y Queso (ham and cheese) leaned on the queso a lot harder than the jamon (which was more of an accent than a main player) but still worked as a dish; and Carne, a mix of ground beef seasoned with ground red peppers and minced olives was comforting and stimulating all at once. All of them were wrapped in delicious pastry that offered up varying degrees of chewiness, crispness, and buttery depth.

We thought that three empanadas ($11 before tax) made a splendid light lunch for two, which makes these crusty delights among the better scratch-made lunch options on Eat Street, an avenue that’s full of them.

The Carne Empanada (left) and the Puerro (leek, right) Empanada at Boludo // Photo by Becca Dilley

The Carne Empanada (left) and the Puerro (leek, right) Empanada at Boludo // Photo by Becca Dilley

The Dish: Empanadas, $3.50

The Place: Boludo, 3749 Nicollet Ave., Minneapolis

The Reason: Each empanada has its own culinary perspective, and the value is superb