More portable than a PB&J, less messy than pizza, the empanada may be the perfect to-go meal. The savory Argentine pastries pack a taste wallop in a palm-sized package. Now Burbank has a new empanada outlet to supply picnics, trips to the park and I-just-can't-cook-tonight dinners.
World Empanadas opened in May on Victory Boulevard, and the kitchen has already worked out any new-business kinks. The take-out-only kitchen is snuggled next to a liquor store and situated on a street of tire shops, car-repair joints and rental-car outlets. But oh, what comes out of that kitchen.
Chef Matt Hirtz, a 2010 graduate of Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts and onetime line cook at Granvillle Cafe, is the power behind the pastries.
The dough of the pastries is perfectly done, light but not too flaky. The fillings range from slightly bland to knock-your-socks-off spicy. The chicken empanada contains breast meat, potatoes, bell peppers, garlic and onions. We liked the kick of the Santa Fe chicken empanada with breast meat, corn, black beans, onions, bell peppers, tomatoes and a nice bite of cayenne. A favorite is the ham and cheese, with a creamy sauce that bursts with the taste of mozzarella, Parmesan and cheddar, with a smattering of jalapeños to bring up the heat. The corn empanadas contained tender whole kernels with onions and a hint of garlic, with a slightly floury Parmesan cream sauce.