THE ORIGINAL MARINI'S EMPANADA HOUSE
Empanadas, to me, are like a sassier version of an eggroll. There are so many different types of eggrolls (vegetable, chicken, Vietnamese pork, to name a few), and then there are many types of empanadas (Argentinian, Cuban, Colombian, to name a few.) So far my favorite has been Colombian empanada with their can’t-fail chimichurri sauce, but whenever I dine at The Original Marini’s Empanada House, this family-run place makes the Colombian ranking comes down just a tiny bit.
We have been to Marini’s many times, often getting too excited about the many choices of empanadas. There is so much variety that our bill often would rack up because most things sound so good. The main one I often find myself ordering is the Hot “Tia Maria”, a perfectly fried good-sized empanada filled with chopped brisket cooked in tomato & spices sauce, accompanied with onions and jalapeños. The filling is perfectly nestled in with well made dough, and fried to perfection. I have yet to try all of the choices, but the Four Cheese one is Eddie’s favorite, containing Mozzarella, Provolone, Cheddar & Asiago cheese.
Another notable item we also often order is their Churrasco sandwich, which is thinly spiced beef strip marinated in chimichurri, served in a nice, crispy baguette roll with lettuce and tomatoes. The thin curly fries are added to the show, and the small 1oz cups of chimichurri to pour over everything is like a great finale right before you start your meal. While the sandwich is large enough for a meal, ordering at least one empanada is a must. I find their dessert ones are usually too sweet, too much sugar concentrated in the palm-sized empanada that I prefer to order a savory one instead of a sweet one.
On a recent trip, I have decided to venture out from the Churrasco sandwich to see what I have been missing out for a while. I am a creature of habit, and when it comes to going to a restaurant for a specific item, I make sure to eat that. This time, however, I ordered the Choripan Sandwich, in which was the same as the Churassco, but with mild Italian sausage instead of the beef. While the dish was alright, I’d still prefer the Churrasco sandwich. There was one sausage, cut in half, and 3/4 of the bread, in which some of the times I was only biting into bread, lettuce, tomato, and chimichurri sauce. The sausage was nothing to scream about, but it was still a sandwich that I didn’t mind to have again.
All in all, Marini’s gives a great variety, and their dedication shows through it. It’s a great place for a meal, for a snack, and even just for dessert.