I wanted to weep tears of joy when I bit into my first empanada at Maria Empanada, the restaurant that's the subject of this week's review. I ate empanadas on a daily basis while living in Buenos Aires, but I hadn't had a real addiction-worthy version of the treat in the States until I stepped through the door of the tiny shop on Sheridan and Mississippi.
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The woman responsible for my revelation was Lorena Cantarovici, a Buenos Aires native who built her catering company-turned-tiny-restaurant with her mother's recipes. It took her months to get the dough right, and even longer to get the fillings -- but she eventually figured it out, and the savory pastries she displays in a case on the counter are definitely good enough to fuel a serious empanada habit.
And there's no question I'm headed for addiction, mainly because I discovered there's another place where you can pick up Cantarovici's empanadas: Tony's Market on 10th and Broadway also stocks these treats -- including my favorite flavor, a pastry pocket stuffed with a gold mine of creamy corn.
You'll find them in the bakery, where, like us, you'll likely be buying them by the dozen.