Empanadas are food filled happiness pockets much like sealed sandwiches and known throughout the Americas. In Argentina, they’re cute and ball-like, in Venezuela always fried. Over yon they’re big, and hither they are tiny. I like all of them. What’s not so food festival are the factory made versions stocked inside a lot of mom n’ pop snack shops around these parts. They’re baked and boring. But not to fear, there are great ones to be had all around Santiago de Chile.
Los Almeyda: Although the name is barely visible, you’ll see the giant EMPANADA sign out front. Run by very friendly ladies, they make everything in house, and they are fried just right. Cheese, mushroom, chicken and pino. They got ’em all. But the best are the seafood options: cheese mixed with camarón (shrimp), jaiva (fresh crab) or ostiones (scallops) all caught off the coast very nearby. The pino type is beef with hard-boiled egg, onion and raisins and are pretty standard for independence day parties. Although these aren’t my favorite, if done right they can be quite good. They offer a typical pebre topping, but without the tomato, meaning it’s mostly onion, hot pepper, vinegar, cilantro and salt. It’s the perfect piquant accompaniment, ladled inside the recesses of your favorite fried pocket with a simple popsicle stick. They offer ice cream and fresh juice, too.
Address: In Providencia on the north side of Avenida Alferez Real 1232 (called Rancagua as you head west) half a block west of Manuel Montt and one block north of Bilbao. The two other locations are Dublé Almeyda 1746 in Ñuñoa and Vergara 39 downtown.
Hours: Noon – ten M-F and S/S Noon – four