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Tuesday, June 19, 2012

El Gaucho Market in Anaheim: Chimichurri Saves the Day, er, Empanadas

Just as I was pleasantly surprised to see there was a Little Arabia in Anaheim, I rejoiced when I found an Argentine market that also sells empanadas nearby where I was staying. They were baked empanadas at that, even better than the fried ones.

I tried the ground meat, ham and cheese, the chicken one they gave me by mistake and the spinach one.

All of them were huge disappointments except for the spinach one.

The chimichurri sauce made everything better, of course. I drowned each bite with a generous spoonful of this amazing parsley, garlic and oil sauce.
The crust was great -- baked to a crusty golden brown. That wasn't the issue.

It was the filling. The ground meat was completely lacking flavor and don't get me started on the bland as water chicken. Even the ham and cheese, which should have at least been salty from the ham, was bland. No stringy melted cheese.

On the upside, the coffee was good. I had the cappuccino and it was very respectable.

I can't say the same for the service -- curt and really makes you not want to return. The only semblance of service was the "hasta luego" I got when I left. I would advise they save the "hasta luego" and start with "servicio con una sonrisa (service with a smile)."

I'm still searching for an empanada here that's as good as Julia's in DC.

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