Did you know that if you want to make a phone call to Buenos Aires you need to dial 54-11? And did you know that if you want to get unbelievable stuffed Argentine pastries you need to go to 5411 Empanadas? True story.
We initially almost walked right by this quaint little eatery – partially because the winter habit in Chicago is “hood up, head down.” Once warm inside, however, seated snugly at a table with the smell of something yummy in the air, we quickly forgot the chilly temperatures and started thinking we were south of the equator.
A classic pairing with empanadas is a big, bad, bold red. So that’s exactly what we brought: A dark Grenache blend from the Priorat region in Spain. True, we probably should have brought an Argentine Malbec (easy guideline for pairing: match the cuisine country with the wine country!), BUT we wanted to mix it up a little bit. The big dark fruit in the Grenache paired well with the various fillings of the empanadas.
Other reds that could have done well would’ve been a French Syrah/Australian Shiraz, a Bonarda from Argentina or a Cabernet Sauvignon from Columbia Valley, Washington. In the white department, an Argentine Torrontes, Austrian Grüner Veltliner, Spanish Albariño, or a dry Malbec rosé would have been perfect.
As for which empanadas we recommend…um…ALL OF THEM. Malbec Beef, Bacon Date & Goat Cheese, Ham & Cheese, BBQ Chicken, Spinach & Cheese, Caramelized Onion, Sweet Corn, Mushroom & Blue Cheese. It was seriously a smorgasbord of scrumptiousness. There was a picture guide on the table letting us know which empanada shape had what filling inside, which was very helpful. It could have easily turned into a surprising game of empanada piñata. They were all baked to perfection and the cherry on top? Each one was only $2.50!
Word to the wise:
They do NOT have wine glasses, but they do have water glasses, which we used for our wine. If you’re a stickler for a proper wine glass, it’s definitely BYOG!
5411 Empanadas | 2850 N. Clark | (773) 755-5411