Viewing Pleasure: Beef & Rice Empanadas @ Lito’s Empanadas

Lito’s Empanadas, operating out of a little storefront in Lincoln Park, has built a nice reputation for itself since it opened late last year. We’re happy to see a family-run place that decides to offer only one thing, and does a really good job at it.

Look how positive MenuPages reviewers have been!

Make it a point to get to Lito’s. Lito’s is a very small, sparkling clean place which has a few window seats for dining in. Much of their business seems to be take out. The empanadas which are fabulous, travel well and stay warm. Try my favorites: beef,olives,rainsins, rice or the beef and rice. My ultimate favorite is the choco-banana. The empanadas are inexpensive -a wonderful deal for the money. The owner and his wife are very friendly. These would be great to take to a party. If you are in the neighborhood, stop by. If you are not in the neighborhood, make it a point to get there. I am convinced you will not be disappointed.

QED. Another reviewer noted how the “empanadas were definitely lighter and more flavorful than any [he or she] ever had.” This is, in part, because they use “100% Heart Healthy Oil,” which the nice lady on the phone couldn’t identify, but likely does not contain the transfats that often animate empanadas and their cousins, the samosa. Looking at the photo (apologies for the quality; the only one on the Internet is from an iPhone), you can see how thin the shells are, but they still have the fabulous golden brown and bubbly surface that indicates a soft, buttery crunch.

Lito’s empanadas range from $2.09 to $2.29 (regular unleaded, premium unleaded circa 2005?), with the beef and rice smack in the middle at $2.19. Which is a bargain, compared to how empanadas are priced elsewhere around town. Que Rico! does two cheese and spinach empanadas for $6.80 (but we didn’t want two!); Cafe Ba-Ba-Reeba’s are $5.25 a pop for your choice of chicken or beef; and it doesn’t get much better from there. No, Lito’s is pretty unique in what it’s doing — if you’ve never had an empanada before, this is a good place to start.

Lito’s Empanadas [MenuPages]

[Photo: R.A.M.O.N.E./flickr]


Viewing Pleasure: Beef & Rice Empanadas @ Lito’s Empanadas