You can imagine my excitement when I found out about Sarah’s Empanadas, a popular Bolivian lunch place in Greenwood Commons in RTP, since empanadas are amazing. Although the empanadas themselves are okay, they’re not quite enough to make up for the painful sides.
We got there right at noon and it quickly became packed. The RTP crowd obviously comes for the empanadas, which are $2.50 apiece and are priced from $5 to $7.50 based on whether you get one or two empanadas and one or two sides. They also have fruit drinks, desserts, huge paintings, and llama paraphernalia.
We went with a beef empanada and a chicken and cheese empanada, and a special they called “pollo loco,” which is Bolivian for frozen stir-fry and Zatarain’s yellow rice. The empanadas, on the other hand, are definitely good, especially with the slightly sweet salsa that comes with them. The picadillo (beef, peas, olives, raisins, and potato) and the chicken were tasty, but the real star is the pastry crust. I’m pretty sure the mango drink was Jumex, but the apple empanada and churros were great.
Forgetting the crazy chicken, everything was alright (it’s hard to screw up fried yucca), but to our amazement the fried plantains were so gummy and flavorless they were borderline inedible. My friend guesses that they boil their plantains to save some time before giving them a cursory fry. Is this how they do it in Bolivia?
Since writing about disappointing restaurants is as much fun as reading about them, you guys have been to Pupuseria y Taqueria Orellana, right? It was the subject of one of our earliest posts and is, in fact, holy. The yucca frita con chicharron is out of this world, and if you’ve only had it at El Cuscatleco you’re really in for something (and notice the 100.0 sanitation score!).
Sarah’s Empanadas (map)
Monday-Friday: 11 am – 2 pm
Pupuseria y Taqueria Orellana (map)
Sunday – Saturday: 11 am – 9 pm