Calgary Restaurant: Empanada Queen

The last time I had empanadas was in New York. The crispy crust and tender inner texture of the Venezuelan empanadas was deliciously unforgettable. Since then, I had been longing for it, but was never in close vicinity to any community that has empanadas as a traditional food.

This summer, I happened to stumble across Empanada Queen in the SE.

Hidden away in an industrial area, Empanada Queen is almost unnoticeable unless you carefully look for the colorful vinyl banner marking the entrance to the restaurant.IMG_1932

Inside the establishment, the space was minimally furnished, just enough to keep the business running. Menus were displayed on the whiteboards on the left hand side. The space was primarily designated for food preparation with a few tables for dine-in customers. With Chili flags hanging around in every corner, it was difficult not to notice where the food originates from 😉

IMG_1934

Advertised by the staff as the bestsellers, Kev and I ordered a spicy beef and a cheese+bacon empanadas ($4.25 each) to begin with.

The spicy beef empanada was baked. The thin, flaky hot pocket was filled with fine, seasoned ground beef and a black olive. It tasted especially fantastic when dipping in to their fresh housemade salsa sauce!!

spicy beef empanada

spicy beef empanada

spicy beef empanada

spicy beef empanada

On the other hand, their cheese empanada was deep fried, which rendered it a crispier crust but not overly oily. The cheese was well-melted, gooey and you can pull a long string of melted cheese with your teeth! Stuffed inside was bits of crispy bacon.

cheese + bacon empanada

cheese + bacon empanada

cheese + bacon empanada

cheese + bacon empanada

Two were obviously not enough. We ordered one more cheese + chorizo empanada to fulfill our appetite. Compared to the bacon one, the chorizo yielded a more fragrant taste. I loved it!

cheese + chorizo empanada

cheese + chorizo empanada

Before we left, we purchased a box of 6 empanadas ($3.7 each) to bring to a dinner party. Empanadas without salsa aren’t really empanadas. Knowing that the restaurant also sells tubs of homemade salsa, we bought a small one ($4.50) to go along with these stuffed pastry!

I would definitely come back for more of those tasty empanadas! I can have them at any time of the day, no problem 🙂

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