Egads, Empanadas & Elation

I was sitting at a red light today and had that deja vu feeling that I had been at this spot before.  If anyone recalls my plight from three years ago…Mom and I had just finished taking eight or so designers out for dinner here.  As our taxicab pulled away the next thing I knew my nose was plastered against the plexiglass divider panel- good freaking times.  I looked like Marsha Brady after she got hit in the face with the football.  Yeah, nose was broken in two places, but hey Dr. McDreamy stitched me up, so it wasn’t all that bad.

Well after I shook off the ebbie jeebies of seeing that spot again- I headed to El Nandu for some hot empanadas.

I couldn’t find what El Nandu stood for, but based on the restaurant sign, I am going with “duck who runs with light bulb rope.”  This restaurant is in Logan Square and has been serving up Argentinian food for 20 years.  The empanadas are served with two impressive sauces; one was the standard chimichurri (parsley, garlic, oil, and vinegar) and another one was blended with chilies.  Both added such a simpatico flare, I kept switching it up with each bite.  One cool thing about El Nandu’s empanadas, is that besides the deep-fried pocket of love, a basket of empanadas comes stamped.  No confusion about what one you are eating.

This is the ‘traditional’ Criolla.  I’ve been baking mine, so it was interesting to try one deep fried.  The crust was light and flakey and not at all oily.  How do they get that stamp on there???  Hopefully that is edible ink.

And there is no better way to get over thoughts of scarred up nose images, than to hit Floriole Bakery. They were just named Chicago’s Best Bakery.

Decisions, decisions…okay the hazelnut chocolate caramel torte.  O-M-G.  All I know is that that tart is some kind of chocolate goodness.

Last February I had attended a pastry show at Logan Square Kitchen and tried this fabulous chocolate-raspberry tart.

The owner of Floriole was only selling her tasty treats at the farmers market back then. Now she has opened up her own place and is it possible????  Yes, I can eat them year round now!  YEAH!!!

Autumn has officially started and getting into the 50’s at night.  I feel a big soup marathon coming on. Not to mention enjoying the last 8 weekends left of the farmer’s market.

If you haven’t checked out my other site www.mindfulmealsforkids.com; click on over.  The recipes have been a bigger hit than expected and the kids are literally eating it up.

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