Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Washington DC - Julia's Empanadas

So I didn't get stuck in the house after all. The ice storm that's affecting much of the US spared Washington DC. Thank you, ice storm gods and goddesses!

I was able to visit my nephew, who is totally adorable by the way, and also grab lunch at another DC hotspot: Julia's Empanadas. As their website and storefronts explain, many countries have an "empanada" concept. Calzone in Italy, knishes in Israel, patties in Jamica, etc., etc., etc. In Latin America (and Washington DC), we call them empanadas

They have many different types of empanadas and I've tried four of them: Chilean Style Beef, Saltenas, Spinach, and Jamaican Style. My favorite: Saltenas. (I hate that I don't know how to add the squiggly line above the "n" to make it a Spanish "n" on this keyboard - any advice on this would be greatly appreciated). Anyway, saltenas are Bolivian empanadas - filled with chicken, potatoes, green peas, green olives, onions, and a hard boiled egg. Yum.
Notice the snow in the background...this little empanadita kept me warm.

The population of Washington DC is around 600,000, and is extremely ethnically diverse, which is one of my favorite things about it. The black population is roughly 56%, whites around 36%, Hispanics around 8%, 5% other, 3% Asian, and 1% mixed. 

Mount Pleasant, where I happened to enjoy my empanadas, feels like you are in El Salvador. Salvadorans are the largest Hispanic group in DC, and I believe it is safe to say that it is the largest population of Salvadorans outside of El Salvador. Salvadorans are the backbone of the service industry in DC, and, lucky for us, they make darn good food. So, my next food stop in DC...pupusas - funny name, yummy food.

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