|An assortment of empanadas at La Dulcita, with chimichurri (Argentinian garlic-parsley sauce).|
Edit: Sadly, La Dulcita is no longer in business - it appears the owners have decided to extend their other business, Brother Burger, to cover that shop area as well. If anyone knows where else I can get awesome empanadas, please leave a comment!
I first got a whiff of Argentinian bakery-cafe La Dulcita (413 Brunswick St, Fitzroy) when, one day, I noticed an ad seeking staff for a new South American eatery. While the job was not for me, this was an exciting find! Lo and behold, it emerged several weeks later, just as Simon and I were leaving for our Sydney-Canberra trip, so I promised myself that we'd visit it, first thing, upon our return to Melbourne.
And so we did.
Simon and I are both baked egg fiends, so naturally we went for the Huevos Portenos - baked eggs with potato, chorizo, cheese, salsa and chimichurri... a combination of flavours that radiate warmth, comfort, and satisfaction.
|Huevos portenos - baked eggs.|
I was familiar enough with the concept of South American food to know of empanadas, but till then, I had never actually tried one.
So it stands to reason that we had to try ALL the empanadas. In any case, there were only three different flavours (beef & olive; chicken & corn; zucchini, capsicum and egg), and they were quite small.
The texture of the empanada was unique to me - there's an almost bread-like softness to it, with just a gentle hint of flaky crunch. All three were delicious, but it was the beef and olive empanada that really won my heart, falling apart in the mouth like a slow, savoury, sensational stew.
|Cross section of beef and olive empanada.|
|Cross-section of chicken and corn empanada.|
|Cross section of zucchini, capsicum and egg empanada.|
When we paid at the counter I decided to get a few of the sweet pastries for takeaway. They were pleasant enough, though having been kept at room temperature all day in the bakery, I suspect they could be exponentially better if I had warmed them up a little in the oven before eating.
|Sweet pastries from la dulcita.|
Verdict? I'll be back to further explore the La Dulcita menu. They have some tasty looking quiches (featuring goat cheese, no less) that I'd like to try next time; and, of course, I look forward to immersing myself in more empanada goodness.