Quantcast
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

Fancy Hot Pockets?

What's worth savoring at Empanada Kitchen

Empanada Kitchen sells empanadas for $3.50 each or three for $9.50.
Empanada Kitchen sells empanadas for $3.50 each or three for $9.50.

I wanted my family to try something different, but it was a hot night and we wanted something casual.

Place

Empanada Kitchen

819 C Street, San Diego

Knowing the family liked tacos, I thought empanadas might be a nice alternative, since they are somewhat similar — although you don’t have to tilt your head sideways to eat an empanada.

The broccoli and bacon empanada, one of an ever-changing of seasonal specials.

We headed out of hot and sweaty East County downtown to Empanada Kitchen, a relatively new restaurant located on C Street between 8th and 9th streets.

On the way there, my son asked, “What’s an empanada?”

The beef empanada is filled with savory ground, onions and spices.

Well, I explained, they are a savory pastry common in South America where dough surrounds a filling like meat, cheese or vegetables. Sort of a calzone.

This apple empanada comes open-faced.

He looked confused.

“Mom?” he asked.

“It’s like a fancy Hot Pocket,” she said.

“Oh, I KNOW WHAT THEY ARE!” he exclaimed.

Empanada Kitchen is a brightly covered hole-in-the-wall right next to the trolley tracks. It’s the type of place that gets most of its business at lunchtime, but there was some decent foot traffic while I was there.

And some decent empanadas too. Each one is $3.50, and comes with a choice of two types of chimichurri sauce: Regular and spicy. A plate of three sells for $9.50, or two plus a salad for $9.95.

I’m a three-plater, but my wife felt the empanadas were so filling, she preferred the salad option.

I don’t claim to be an empanada expert, but between the four of us, we got a good taste of what was offered.

My favorite was the Beef Empanada, which the owner, Matias, described as “the benchmark for all empanadas.”

The beef empanada was stuffed with savory ground beef flavored with onions and other spices. There was a slight pucker to the filling that I enjoyed, especially when dipped into the spicy chimichurri.

The Sweet Corn and Basil was the best vegetarian option. The combination of corn, basil and mozzarella cheese screams savory, this could actually be a good dessert, thanks to the sweetness of the corn. Another vegetarian empanada, the goat cheese and mushroom was OK, but I would have preferred a slightly tangier version of the cheese.

Although many of the empanadas are based on varieties served in Latin America, Empanada Kitchen is branching out with experimental varieties like the broccoli and bacon (not enough bacon for me) and a breakfast version including bacon and egg (not available during my visit).

We finished up our meal with a dessert empanada: An apple version that was served open-faced. It was a nice topper, but when I go back, I think I will return to the sweet corn and basil for my dessert.

I enjoyed Empanada Kitchen, but its hours are geared towards the downtown lunch crowd. The kitchen plans to extend its weekday hours to 8 pm in a few weeks, but I hope they find a way to stay open later: These empanadas would really hit the spot during the 2 am lush rush.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

Skin: A History of Nudity in the Movies, uncovered

Nudity does more to advance an actress’s career than it does the plot
Next Article

Don't forget Escondido

We're still spaying cats in San Diego
Empanada Kitchen sells empanadas for $3.50 each or three for $9.50.
Empanada Kitchen sells empanadas for $3.50 each or three for $9.50.

I wanted my family to try something different, but it was a hot night and we wanted something casual.

Place

Empanada Kitchen

819 C Street, San Diego

Knowing the family liked tacos, I thought empanadas might be a nice alternative, since they are somewhat similar — although you don’t have to tilt your head sideways to eat an empanada.

The broccoli and bacon empanada, one of an ever-changing of seasonal specials.

We headed out of hot and sweaty East County downtown to Empanada Kitchen, a relatively new restaurant located on C Street between 8th and 9th streets.

On the way there, my son asked, “What’s an empanada?”

The beef empanada is filled with savory ground, onions and spices.

Well, I explained, they are a savory pastry common in South America where dough surrounds a filling like meat, cheese or vegetables. Sort of a calzone.

This apple empanada comes open-faced.

He looked confused.

“Mom?” he asked.

“It’s like a fancy Hot Pocket,” she said.

“Oh, I KNOW WHAT THEY ARE!” he exclaimed.

Empanada Kitchen is a brightly covered hole-in-the-wall right next to the trolley tracks. It’s the type of place that gets most of its business at lunchtime, but there was some decent foot traffic while I was there.

And some decent empanadas too. Each one is $3.50, and comes with a choice of two types of chimichurri sauce: Regular and spicy. A plate of three sells for $9.50, or two plus a salad for $9.95.

I’m a three-plater, but my wife felt the empanadas were so filling, she preferred the salad option.

I don’t claim to be an empanada expert, but between the four of us, we got a good taste of what was offered.

My favorite was the Beef Empanada, which the owner, Matias, described as “the benchmark for all empanadas.”

The beef empanada was stuffed with savory ground beef flavored with onions and other spices. There was a slight pucker to the filling that I enjoyed, especially when dipped into the spicy chimichurri.

The Sweet Corn and Basil was the best vegetarian option. The combination of corn, basil and mozzarella cheese screams savory, this could actually be a good dessert, thanks to the sweetness of the corn. Another vegetarian empanada, the goat cheese and mushroom was OK, but I would have preferred a slightly tangier version of the cheese.

Although many of the empanadas are based on varieties served in Latin America, Empanada Kitchen is branching out with experimental varieties like the broccoli and bacon (not enough bacon for me) and a breakfast version including bacon and egg (not available during my visit).

We finished up our meal with a dessert empanada: An apple version that was served open-faced. It was a nice topper, but when I go back, I think I will return to the sweet corn and basil for my dessert.

I enjoyed Empanada Kitchen, but its hours are geared towards the downtown lunch crowd. The kitchen plans to extend its weekday hours to 8 pm in a few weeks, but I hope they find a way to stay open later: These empanadas would really hit the spot during the 2 am lush rush.

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Cop defunding advocate gets $10,000 in Tony Atkins campaign cash

Democrat's reelection committee awash in Sempra, union, and insurance money
Next Article

Angry Pete's Pizza brings Detroit to Kensington

Thick crust and caramelized cheese will make you forget about round pies
Comments
0

Be the first to leave a comment.

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Art Reviews — W.S. Di Piero's eye on exhibits Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Best Buys — San Diego shopping Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits City Lights — News and politics Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Famous Former Neighbors — Next-door celebs Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Here's the Deal — Chad Deal's watering holes Just Announced — The scoop on shows Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Of Note — Concert picks Out & About — What's Happening Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Pour Over — Grab a cup Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer News — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Set 'em Up Joe — Bartenders' drink recipes Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Sports — Athletics without gush Street Style — San Diego streets have style Suit Up — Fashion tips for dudes Theater Reviews — Local productions Theater antireviews — Narrow your search Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Waterfront — All things ocean Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close