3011 Harbor Blvd
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
I was out running errands in Costa Mesa the other day and decided to stop for lunch at Empanada's Place. Either they put an apostrophe somewhere it doesn't belong, or this place belongs to someone named Empanada.
Empanadas are pretty much the only thing on the menu here. There are about 20 different varieties, half of them vegetarian. The empanadas are $2.99 each or $29.99 for a dozen. They also offer "cocktail size" empanadas for $19.99 a dozen, but they must all be the same flavor.
Since neither J nor I had been here before, we decided to order small to try them out. J ordered a classic Criolla empanada. This is the most typical type of Argentine empanada with ground beef, raisins, hard boiled egg and green onions inside. J thought that the empanada was ok, but lacked flavor.
I decided to order a Spicy Cheesy Beef and a Arabe empanada. The empanadas here are deep fried instead of baked like they are at Empanada Man in Lake Forest. This makes them a lot tastier, but a lot more fattening as well. The outer crust was hot, crispy and a little flaky. The filling inside the Spicy Cheesy Beef empanada was also a little bland. It was in no way spicy. I asked if they had any hot sauce and they brought me out a small cup of a watery sauce that resembled watered down Tabasco. It wasn't great, but it did improve the empanada. The Arabe empanada (the triangle shaped one) was filled with ground beef, onions and tomatoes and was seasoned with lemon juice. The flavor in this empanada was much stronger and I enjoyed the tangy beef mixture a lot more.
Overall the emapanadas here are pretty good, but a little bland. I also thought they were a little pricey ($2.99 each). Two of these empanadas were definitely not enough to fill me up at lunch. I'd probably have to order at least 3 or 4 to fill me up. I do however think that these empanadas are a little tastier than Empanada Man because they are fried instead of baked. If I were craving an Argentine emapnada, I would probably choose Empanada's Place unless I was on a diet.