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Lunch at Panas in DC

Last week I met Mary of Arugula Files and Sangeetha, who doesn't yet have a blog but hopefully will start one soon about Indian food (hint, hint, HINT), for lunch at Panas in Dupont Circle.

Who doesn't like empanadas? Flaky dough, interesting fillings, portable, and no forks required! Panas is a casual dining experience with friendly, quick service and oh so many options of empanadas. Luckily, there are several meal deals where you can try anywhere from 3 to 6 empanadas.

I chose combo 2: 4 empanadas + guacamole + regular soda. I was hungry, and these empanadas weren't nearly as big as the ones in Julia's empanadas.

And then came the decision time: what to get?

Luckily, part of my meal was already predetermined: guacamole and baked plantain chips. I was a happy girl. Not only do I love avocados, but I also love anything with plantains. These chips did not disappoint!

Here are the four empanadas I chose:

1. CubaNova (CU): Roated pork rillette with onions, cilantro, lime and grand marnier.
2. Carne (CA): Beef, green olives, Spanish peppers, hard boiled eggs, onions, and parsley.
3. Smoked Eggplant (SE): smoked eggplant, roasted red peppers, mushrooms, tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, onions, hard boiled eggs, and spices.
4. BrieArt (BA): Brie cheese, mushrooms, and artichokes hearts.

I also chose two types of sauces: chimi (garlic, oregano, parsley) and pimenton (roasted red peppers and chipotles).

My favorite empanada was the one with brie and the vegetables, but how can you go wrong with brie? My least favorite one was with eggplant: it had very little flavor or texture, which was disappointing because not only do I usually am a huge fan of eggplant, but this was also recommended by several friends (I'm looking at you Nicole and Danielle!)

Closer to the end of the meal, I noticed that each empanada has initials: brilliant! Panas put initial on top of each empanada to identify the type of filling!

Overall, this was a good casual spot for lunch. I will definitely come back and try other fillings, especially shrimp empanadas because Mary said it was her favorite.

Do you make empanadas at home? What do you put inside?


Debbie said...

love empanadas...

there is a place in L.A. called Porto's - they have everything there from empanadas to fried plantains!

I like them with meat or vege!

Sasha said...

Mm this looks great. I bet a brie and mango stuffing would be fabulous.

K said...

Nikki and I were there on Saturday! I liked the Cubanovo that I got, the Chipotle Steak one was good not great.

♥peachkins♥ said...

I love empanadas!

The Peach Kitchen
peach and things
blowing peachkisses

Simones Kitchen said...

That is a pretty impressive selection of delicious looking empanadas! Looks like a real fun place!

adrienne said...

Oh, gosh. I'm jealous. Empanadas are one of my favorite foods. Yummmmm

Tales from the Fruit Cellar said...

I'm definately gearing up for an empanada project. Two years ago I went to Buenos Aires and gained 6 pounds on carne empanadas....the originals with spicy ground beef, green olive, raisin and hard boiled egg. They were to DIE for and I haven't found anything like that here. My friend and I wrote a business plan for an empanada food cart on the plane home. I wonder where that went.....

Fernando said...

How do they compare with Julia's in terms of flavor?

I love empanadas. It was my daily lunch all through grade school and high school in PR. We usually had two choices: ground beef or pizza (tomato sauce and cheese), and I usually went for the pizza.

The Cuban sounds interesting. It has inspired me to make a Cuban sandwich as an empanada (roast pork, ham, swiss, pickles, and mustard). I've thought of making dumplings in that manner before, but now I want to make it into an empanada!