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If you’re looking for a major treat without a bank-breaking bill, this is it. Beautiful place, beautiful food. ■

Cueva Bistro

★★1/2 (Good to Very Good)

2123 Adams (near Alabama Street, just east of Farmhouse), 619-269-6612; cuevabar.com

HOURS: Monday–Thursday, noon–10:00 p.m.; Friday–Saturday, noon–11:00 p.m.

PRICES: Appetizers and salads $3–$8; soups $7–$8; large, fresh-baked empanadas $9–$11 for two; flatbreads $10–$11; desserts $6–$7.

CUISINE & BEVERAGES: Eclectic, creative, health-conscious menu of tapas sized to share, including empanadas and other Latin-flavored bites. Adventurous, affordable wine list emphasizing Latin America and Spain; everything available by the glass, plus long list of international beers.

PICK HITS: Cocoa flatbread with nuts, fruits, cheese; chicken gumbo (Mexican-style); empanadas of beef, chicken, plus (my guess) guava. Chef favorite: albondigas soup.

NEED TO KNOW: Small space popular with neighborhood, best to reserve. Whole-wheat doughs for baked goods available for $1 extra. Casual, comfortable, civilized. Street parking. Low-fat, health-conscious cooking with plenty for lacto-vegetarians, few vegan choices but several dishes adaptable with “hold the cheese!”

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Comments

Posse_Dave April 13, 2011 @ 6:33 p.m.

A. R. Valentien: YES, indeed---wonderful. (and I actually did consume one oyster, and enjoyed it-almost)

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jughead April 14, 2011 @ 11:22 p.m.

Thanks for reviewing this place. You put me to shame as I live nearby and have probably driven past it numerous times without noticing it's there--likely guilty of zooming to Café 21, Farmhouse or the Small Bar. Having been fortunate enough to travel to Buenos Aires last fall and take a cooking class (where we were taught how to make empenadas), I learned that the locals favor a Torrontés in one hand and an empenada in the other at parties. I was surprised, thinking they'd drink a Malbec or maybe even a Bonarda with a beef empenada.

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