I'm pretty damn picky about my empanadas, having been spoiled by the stellar quality of the empanadas at old haunt Caracas in NY's East Village. So imagine my delight when I cut into my perfectly crispy-on-the-outside, molten-and-moist-on-the-inside empanada de tamalito verde at La Mar Cebicheria on the Embarcadero not so long ago.
Filled with sweet corn, cilantro and queso fresco, and served with a salsa criolla (or onion relish) and an uber-spicy Huancaina Rocoto (queso fresco and red pepper) sauce, this dainty hot pocket was everything I'd hoped it would be. Compare this with the limp and lifeless empanada I had at Tacolicious the next day, and it absolutely roared with flavor and contrasting textures. Yes, of course empanadas hailing from Venezuela, Peru and Mexico are different. But this I know: Sad and soggy they should definitely not be.