This time with Mrs. Me and friends (including an Argentine) in tow, back I went to Panas Gourmet Empanadas (2029 P, just off Dupont Circle) (previous review here). Our Argentina native wasn’t sure about the authenticity of the empanadas’ appearance, but he thought the taste was about right — though he ate only the Smoked Eggplant, which isn’t exactly traditional. We also tried the CubaNovo (roast pork, onions, cilantro, lime), good but heavy cilantro, like the chimi sauce is heavy on the oregano — very tasty if you like that kind of thing.
You have to choose carefully at Panas. Some offerings, like the Carne and CubaNovo, are really good, but others are underwhelming, like the bland Tamal (five filling ingredients listed, none but corn detectable) and weird BrieArt (brie, mushrooms, artichoke). I hear the dulce de leche is great, but they were out when we were there.
Panas is small and was very busy (good for them) and it’s kind of distracting to sit at a table (if you’re lucky enough to get one of the few tables) constantly surrounded by people waiting loudly in line. Clearly has already become a popular place, overall a welcome addition to the Dupont area.