Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Don Pablo's Kitchen & Bakeshop

-Grubbing in Chicago
Chilean Empanadas in Uptown

Over the last decade or so there hasn't been anywhere in Chicagoland to get Chilean food, except maybe a Chilean persons kitchen. You can find all sorts of restaurants serving food from other South American countries but Chilean food had been non-existent in Chicago for some time. That was until just last year when a local news reporter of Chilean descent decided to start selling empanadas out of a ghost kitchen. Mike Sula with the story. They've since gone full brick & mortar in Uptown. 

Recently Opened in Uptown

Because there is no definitive Chilean community in Chicago owner Pablo Soto chose to open in Uptown bc of it's diversity. Empanadas are indeed a universally loved snack. They come in all shapes and sizes and most of the time they're fried but sometimes they're baked. Chilean empanadas are different than most others bc of their both large size and the fact their most traditional version is baked. After the pandemic made Soto and so many others question their priorities he decided it was time to start his own thing and he did so by traveling back to Chile and gathering all the info he could about his homelands signature snack, the empanada. Some secrets were learned and with that his dough was perfected. Mike Sula's article in the Reader mentions the use of white wine in the dough. 

Empanadas at Don Pablo's Kitchen & Bakeshop 

I made sure to give the “Clásica” a try on my first trip in. It’s made with hand-cut sirloin steak, onions, hard boiled egg, black olives and spices. Also pictured up above is the “Pluma Pesto” which is served fried with pulled chicken, creamy pesto, onions, hard boiled egg, black olive and spices inside. The dough on each of these was high quality and I very much enjoyed them both. I thought the classic baked version was better than a busy spot in Miami that I recently tried (there's a handful of Chilean restaurants in South Florida). They also make a popular Chilean dish that they call the “Epic Corn Pie” or Pastel de Choclo which is a comforting casserole that feels at home in the Midwest. It has sweet corn, basil, and layers of hand-cut angus sirloin steak with pulled chicken breast and hard boiled egg and black olives. It'll be interesting to see what else is added to the menu as time goes by.

Epic Corn Pie at Don Pablo's Kitchen & Bakeshop 

Don Pablo's Kitchen & Bakeshop
1007 W Argyle St
Chicago, IL 60640
(773) 293-7040

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