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Salteí±as


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Hi Rockwellians,

I just got back from a trip to Peru and Bolivia and I am now in search of the delicious Bolivian treat- saltenas. Are there any places in the DC area that have them? More specifically in MD? They are like empanadas but with more sauce and even more delicious. Thanks all!

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Hi Rockwellians,

I just got back from a trip to Peru and Bolivia and I am now in search of the delicious Bolivian treat- saltenas. Are there any places in the DC area that have them? More specifically in MD? They are like empanadas but with more sauce and even more delicious. Thanks all!

If you just got back, you're probably going to be disappointed. Question: Does the crust in authentic Bolivian Salteí±as contain sugar? Because the vast majority of the ones around here does. The best I've found - which are also the most expensive I've found, are at the Venezuelian La Caraqueí±a in Falls Church; everything else is vying for second place. However, they don't have them every day, so call in advance and reserve some (I believe they offer them on many weekends).

Try them and see how you like them, and also let us know if there are any things you do, or don't, like in your Salteí±as - unpitted olives, for example, or juice that is guaranteed to run down your forearm partway into the treat.

My experience is that almost all salteí±as here are "good," almost none are "great," with La Caraqueí±a being the one exception. I would also call La Canela (yes, I know it's Peruvian), and see if they will make some for you (if you buy in bulk, the restaurant is more likely to make you a special batch, and if you wrap them individually, they freeze beautifully, to be reheated in a hot oven, wrapped in aluminum foil, long enough so that they're heated throughout.

In my opinion, the great Bolivian treats in DC aren't salteí±as; they're baked goods - on a relative basis, the Salvadoran baked goods are better than the Salvadoran salteí±as in this area. We can talk more about this later - start first with La Caraqueí±a and La Canela. Note: I have not tried Kantutas, so that's another place you might want to try early on.

Tell us about the salteí±as in Bolivia proper - I'd love a full description of what they're like.

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You're asking for advice in Maryland, so I can't help you there. But in Springfield, the under-appreciated Sabor Bolivino on Backlick Road has some really good varieties. (I still can't get over the concept of the single olive with pit buried inside a typical salteí±a, as if the restaurant owner gets a bonus from the local dentist for the referrals...)

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Thank you both so much for your suggestions. I have family in Springfield, so I'll check when I'm out there, along with the others.'

I was taken to the place with "the best saltenas in la paz" that I am kicking myself for not writing down the name. (If anyone is going to La Paz, I'll find out for you.) They had beef, chicken and veggie options. I had beef. The dough had a pinch of sugar but wasn't overtly sweet. There was a lot of sauce/gravy inside so it is served with a spoon, but I was told real Bolivians never use it. Also, real Bolivians finish their saltenas without spilling anything. out. (I passed)

I was very focused on not spilling but there was definitely not an olive pit inside. There was a slice of hard boiled egg. It was a very balanced snack- a little sweet, very savory- the beef was diced and not tough at all.

Bolivians eat these as a midmorning snack, workers from surrounding buildings were lined up down the block at 10 am. When I tried to get more for the plane, I was told they were gone by 2.

Thank you all for help with my post-vacation quest.

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Thank you both so much for your suggestions. I have family in Springfield, so I'll check when I'm out there, along with the others.'

I was taken to the place with "the best saltenas in la paz" that I am kicking myself for not writing down the name. (If anyone is going to La Paz, I'll find out for you.) They had beef, chicken and veggie options. I had beef. The dough had a pinch of sugar but wasn't overtly sweet. There was a lot of sauce/gravy inside so it is served with a spoon, but I was told real Bolivians never use it. Also, real Bolivians finish their saltenas without spilling anything. out. (I passed)

I was very focused on not spilling but there was definitely not an olive pit inside. There was a slice of hard boiled egg. It was a very balanced snack- a little sweet, very savory- the beef was diced and not tough at all.

Bolivians eat these as a midmorning snack, workers from surrounding buildings were lined up down the block at 10 am. When I tried to get more for the plane, I was told they were gone by 2.

Thank you all for help with my post-vacation quest.

I've figured out a cheat for not letting anything drip. Always face the open end of the salteí±a towards the sky, and when you're about 1/4 of the way done, give it The Big Slurp - if you're skilled, you can do this without making any noise, and it will skim off 50 ml of sauce. Repeat as necessary. Pro Tip: When you hit the olive, act casual.

I'm sure if you search "Best Salteí±as in La Paz," you'll find it eventually.

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Driving through Manassas the other day, I saw a sign outside El Taco (more in the Manassas Park area on 28) that simply read "Saltenas". I've never been there so I can't speak as to whether the place is any good or not. Just mentioning another place that apparently serves Saltenas, albeit a place nowhere near Maryland as requested.

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Driving through Manassas the other day, I saw a sign outside El Taco (more in the Manassas Park area on 28) that simply read "Saltenas". I've never been there so I can't speak as to whether the place is any good or not. Just mentioning another place that apparently serves Saltenas, albeit a place nowhere near Maryland as requested.

It's still useful information, and well-marked to help future readers.

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Not super helpful, but the cafeteria at the Inter-American Development Bank on 13th and NY has excellent salteí±as on Tuesdays. It also has great arepas, pupusas, empanadas and Latin American main dishes. You need to know someone to get in the building, but the cafeteria is a delight.

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Julia's Empanadas in Court House/Clarendon (attached to Boccato Gelato) has them also, though not with a lot of sauce. I believe some of the Bolivian restaurants in Arlington carry them, also, but some may have them only on weekends.

Edit:  I've heard that the Pan American Bakery on Columbia Pike has good ones.

"The Best Salteí±as in Arlington? That's Easy."  by Matt Leighton on rhlarlington.com

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