We’ve been continuing to try empanadas wherever we’ve been, though to our disappointment, they’ve been rather lackluster in the last little while. I had been hoping that there would be lamb empanadas in Patagonia (though we did try lamb down there and it was awesome, Patagonian update next), but they were not to be. Sadly, the only empanadas worth reporting (but boy are they worth reporting!) are from a little mom-and-pop takeout place in Esquel called Empanadería Molinari. Truly it is mom-and-pop – the store, attached to their home, was a small, cramped room with a name-day calendar on the wall and a clock that didn’t work over our heads. There was a small display case showing what she had for the day and a wall hiding what I guess was her kitchen where she’d boil your order up in after you’d ordered.
The empanadas were fanatastic, though. We tried the beef, chicken, vegetable, and the ham and cheese. The vegetable (usually chard, which I think is what it was in this case) was the weakest of the bunch, though still good, and the beef was astounding. It was so nice and juicy, full of tasty spices and onions and garlic – an empanada to kill for. The ham and cheese was unusually tasty, so good that even Chris liked it (this is a rare occurrence). Usually, the ham and cheese is one of the most boring flavours you can get, but this one was made with lots of ham and (I believe) the delicious Chubut cheese you can find around these parts (being in the province of Chubut).
I would easily say that these are the best empanadas I have had outside of Tucumán. If you’re ever in Esquel, get your empanada-loving butt over to this place. The long walk from the bus station may help to burn off a couple of the delicious bundles of food love you’ll be buying.
Empanadería Molinari, Molinari 633, Esquel, Argentina