100 Favorite Dishes

100 Favorite Dishes, No. 68: Brisket Empanadas at Empa Mundo

Leading up to September's Best of Dallas® 2016 issue, we're sharing (in no particular order) our 100 Favorite Dishes, the Dallas entrées, appetizers and desserts that really stuck with us this year.

Brisket is a Dallas hallmark, and it seems like every restaurant tries to serve brisket in something whether they ought to or not. Brisket enchiladas? We’ve got that. Brisket grilled cheese sandwiches? One already made this list. Brisket cheesecake? I bet some daredevil is trying to make that recipe work.

Over in Irving, Empa Mundo adds brisket to their traditional Argentinian empanadas, and it’s a match made in heaven. Empa Mundo keeps the filling simple: just meat and potatoes, thank you. If there’s any extra flavor needed, which is doubtful given that they’re using surprisingly quality meat with noticeable smoke, the restaurant offers a variety of chimichurri dipping sauces.

During the lunch rush, Empa Mundo can get crowded, but empanadas make an ideal picnic food, good for carrying out and eating somewhere else. I’ve made a habit of grabbing three empanadas and finding the nearest amateur baseball or soccer game. They’re also portable enough to sneak into a carry-on before flying out of DFW. Just don't forget to pick out a dessert option, too, like the excellent sweet potato empanada.
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Brian Reinhart has been the Dallas Observer's food critic since spring 2016. In addition, he writes baseball analysis for the Hardball Times and covers classical music for the Observer and MusicWeb International.
Contact: Brian Reinhart