After picking up Matt from hanging out with his friends, he said he was hungry (it was around 4 PM), so I asked him if he wanted dinner, or a snack – he waffled, so I pulled into a parking lot, and asked, “dinner atÂ Saba, or a snack at Dulce Bakery and Empanada Shop?” A snack it was, although it turned out to be a pretty burly snack.
We originally went in for a couple of empanadas, but I also wanted to try a salteÃ±a. Normally $3 each, you can get two, plus a can of soda, for $6, so we went with aÂ Cheese Empanada + Chorizo Empanada + Diet CokeÂ ($6), andÂ Two Chicken SalteÃ±as + Diet CokeÂ ($6), got them to go, and after about ten minutes, they were ready.
Eating the salteÃ±as in the car, I warned Matt about possible drippage, and wow, was this warning appropriate. I’ve had juicy salteÃ±as before, but never anything like these. If you turned them, point down, I’d say they were nearly one-third full with broth, and both of us paid a dear price once we got about halfway into them.
I’m a little surprised these owners are Bolivian because these salteÃ±as were not quite like any I’ve had. I was grateful that they used dark-meat chicken, but there was no olive (pitted or otherwise), and no egg; just chicken, peas, potatoes – essentially a chicken stew, most likely ladled into the salteÃ±a with a lot of juice. The pastry crust was somewhat granular (think shortbread, not croissant), dark in color, and sweeter than normal; the stew used dried, powdered spices that tasted a little cheap (like chili powder), and these salteÃ±as were merely “good,” not great.
The empanadas had a slightly more appealing crust, but still had that granularity thing going on – the chorizo was pretty well loaded with what almost looked like sloppy Joe meat, and the cheese was Queso Fresco-like with good saltiness and a nice little tang on the finish. I preferred the empanadas to the salteÃ±as, although not by much – they were both well-worth the price. As for the cans of Diet Coke – they found a home in my refrigerator for later consumption.
Employees at Dulce are extremely nice, clearly Latino, and putting out a product with love, even if it isn’t the Best In Class. Note that they also provide wedding cakes (with enough notice), and have a display case full of interesting treats, including blueberry empanadas. If it’s greatness you seek, you’ll not find it here, but there’s also nothing keeping me from returning.