NUCHAS EMPANADAS: Do cry for me Argentina

times square evita

Dear Food Diary:
It just so happens that Evita is playing in Times Square, diagonally across from Nuchas (an empanadas stand developed by my fellow paisano, the Argentinean born Ariel Barbouth). I grew up eating these oven baked pockets of goodness and was thrilled to finally have an interesting quick bite before a show. But in the end, I walked away singing “Do cry for me Argentina”. The truth is, they made me I miss home even more… *sigh*

nuchas empanadas 7
There’s a good selection on the menu and open air seating all around. Not bad for those of us who are a tourist at heart.

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The empanadas were a bit on the small side. At first glance they look somewhat familiar. At $2.76 each, I need at least 3-4 to feel full.

nuchas empanadas 2
ARGENTINE – Pat Lafrieda’s ground beef, onions, pepper, scallions, potatoes & olive with white dough
The filling is quite flavorful (I would of loved hard boiled eggs like the ones back home). It’s very juicy, too juicy… actually extremely hot and somewhat dangerous. Not that juicy is bad or anything, I mean, no one wants a dry empanada anyways. My main problem was the wrap, it’s not authentic looking or tasting, so thin it didn’t hold the stuffing properly. Neither thick or flaky enough, which was quite disappointing. But overall this was my favorite out of the ones I had.

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SHORT RIB – creekstone farm’s slow braised in red wine, onions, peppers, fresh herbs with rosemary  dough.
This was another very juicy one. The meat was tender and the flavors worked fine, but it looked so fragile, this wasn’t the portable quick bite after all. One bite in, I felt the juices down my wrist, it was a bit of a hot mess. I was hoping for a plate, fork and knife at that point.

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SPICY CHICKEN – chipotle, tomatoes, onions, peppers, fresh basil with paprika dough
I wished it was a bit more on the smokey side. The chipotle got lost and it was someone forgettable. And there was nothing spicy about it, no, not even a hint.

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SHIITAKE CURRY – shiitake mushrooms, eggplant, zucchini, potatoes, onions, peppers, coconut milk with turmeric dough
An interesting Asian twist. It wasn’t bad, but again, I couldn’t get pass that wimpy dough that couldn’t withhold the filling.
(I was still hungry, so I ordered an extra one, as you can see, I ate most of it before realizing I didn’t take a photo… that’s what hunger does sometimes)

I was glad to see something different in Times Square, specially if you’re running to a show. Stalker Boy liked them more than I did, maybe because he’s never had the real thing. I’m not saying they are totally bad, but there’s definitely a lot of room for improvement. I hope they’ll do it right, empanadas are one of my favorite comfort foods.

P.S. Chubby’s Rating:chubby rating 2.5
www.nuchas.com
Broadway Plaza (Times Square)
Broadway & 44 St.
646. 477.8247 

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