Empanada Mama: You have been reviewed

I like it when someone recommends a place and I agree 100 percent or close to it with their take. Well this was the case with Empanada Mama, on 9th avenue in the 50s in Manhattan. Two people from work recommended it.

The place is maybe 10 feet wide if that, and it has tables up against a booth like couch. Then there is maybe 1.5 feet of walking space and then 1 foot of space to sit up against a wall on a bar stool. The lights are dim and there are candles. I could not imagine the place with bright lights. It would be so imposing since everyone is so close. The distance between tables is like 6 inches, so each time you get up you have to shift the table. God help you if you are a little thick. It is also a fairly long place and the back looks like an algae hallway.

We saw everyone’s food but I already knew what I wanted, no rice and beans. I could do that at home for free. So I checked out the small plates menu and then the Empanada menu. I ordered corn tamales-yum. It was a nice sized portion-maybe 5 inches by 1.5 inches wide. It was just the right amount of sweetness, very important as I tasted my BF’s spicy chicken sandwich with the table sauces. FIRE, FIRE. I also ordered a baked Greek Spinach Empanada and a Pernil Pork Empanada. I was full and my mouth was hot. The flavor was excellent if not eye watering. It was something to excite my palette. There were many other choices on the menu that sounded tasty and fun.

In total we spent 17.42 and with 3 dollars tip, 20.42. Man that was good. I will be back. I would say for my first go, I give it 6.5. It is kind of crowded so that might upset some people. However it was a fun thing as I think in other places, it would be how people eat on a regular basis, as if in a communal fashion. That forces social interaction and then people start to drink. Everyone becomes your friend. Then that place becomes the hang out. I want a place like that. I want to have a regular spot.

There are only two waiters/servers as the space is so small and at times they might forget what you asked for–but– there are only about 24 people there so they will eventually get to you. About the popularity of this place: there were people waiting outside and as soon as a table cleared there were people to sit. There was a steady flow of business in the 1 or so hour we were there.

So check it out. Tell me how it was and how it was on your wallet. 🙂
When you are done-hike a block away to either Dairy Queen or ColdStone and soothe you burning stomach or tongue.

Until then. Have fun when you eat!

Sample of Menu
Guacamole with plantain chips (regular mild or hot) 6.95
Yucca Frita fried cassava served with guacamole sauce 5.95
Tostones mashed fried greens plantains, served with garlic puree 5.95
Maduros fried sweet plantains 4.95
Veal & Rice Balls with lemon mushroom sauce and a splash of our albarino wine from galicia, spain 6.45
Guacamole with plantain chips (regular mild or hot) 6.95
Yucca Frita fried cassava served with guacamole sauce 5.95
Tostones mashed fried greens plantains, served with garlic puree 5.95
Maduros fried sweet plantains 4.95
Veal & Rice Balls with lemon mushroom sauce and a splash of our albarino wine from galicia, spain 6.45

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