I have been wanting to try Julia’s Empanadas (four locations in DC, I visited 1221 Connecticut) ever since returning from this summer’s excursion to Empanadaville Argentina. Alas, today’s lunch excursion to Julia’s was disappointing. I tried the Saltenas (chicken), Jamaican-style (beef), and spinach (creamed). All three were heavy and bland, dull pastry, goopy filling. Very little flavor. They would have ranked no higher than Carrefour in my Argentine empanada ratings, and maybe even below El Palenque (which were mostly cheese, not normally involved in South American empanadas, so it’s almost an unfair comparison, except their pastry was so doughy…).
One problem is that Julia’s empanadas are too big; if they cut the size in half, put some lard in the pastry, maybe a little more salt, and make the fillings spicier and less goopy, they could have a winner. On the other hand, that’s asking a lot.
Julia’s also has soups and salads, and the potato salad was the big winner of the day. More of a vegetable salad, very fine dice, potatoes and peas and celery and bell pepper and pickle. A nice balance of savory and tang, good vinegar level. A touch of cilantro. They have beet salad too, but I didn’t try that. If I were to go back — I am not likely to do so under my own power — I would get a couple of salads and a soup.