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Julia's Empanadas, Dupont Circle and Adams Morgan


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I was disappointed to note that the Julia's Empanadas on Vermont Ave. recenty lost their lease. At least there are still the other locations. But it's a shame, it was one of the better cheap eats near me.
That is awful. I hope they relocate somewhere. They are fresh and great and yes cheap! I guess downtown folks will have to travel up to Dupont to get their fix.
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Having been to Julia's only a couple of times (years ago, late-night in Adams Morgan, when my critical facilities might not have been at their most honed - after a certain hour, it was between this, and a jumbo slice, and the decision pretty much made itself), I was under the impression that all their empanadas tasted pretty much alike, and I can't say I really cared for them. Is this true, or should I have another go at it?

Cheers,

Rocks.

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...should I have another go at it?

It depends on what you're looking for. Julia's occupies the same culinary landscape as Ben's half smokes, Hooters wings, or Jumbo slices. They are the culinary equivalent of what I call "bowling beer" (any mass-produced American lager). Sometimes they seem like an affront to human decency. And sometimes they feel like the single greatest thing in the world.

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After having real Bolivian Saltenas, I would consider Julia's as more like a store that stuffs things into a baked pastry shell than a real empanada...but for approx. $3, they make for a decent snack.

They are what they are...yesterdays Jamaican happened to be note worthy, again, I think it helped that it appeared to fresh out of the oven and hadn't been sitting around all afternoon in the warming display.

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After having real Bolivian Saltenas, I would consider Julia's as more like a store that stuffs things into a baked pastry shell than a real empanada...but for approx. $3, they make for a decent snack.

They are what they are...yesterdays Jamaican happened to be note worthy, again, I think it helped that it appeared to fresh out of the oven and hadn't been sitting around all afternoon in the warming display.

Not sure what's meant by "real empanada." There are many, many, many variations of and approaches to the empanada. Many South American countries have their own idea of 'empanada.' For example, I grew up eating the heck out of Cuban-style empanadas. In my Miami neighborhood, there was a small shop that sold about 40 varieties of Cuban empanadas. These stood out for being fried. Many other countries and culture deep fry their empanadas. The Cuban empandas were decadent and rich and much smaller than Julia's Empandas' empanadas. They were filled with all types of fruits, vegetables, meats, and combinations of those ingredients. They were most certainly "real" empanadas and they looked and tasted nothing like Bolivian Saltenas. Even though they're not like the Cuban empanadas I grew up on or like standard Bolivian empanadas, I'd still categorize Julia's Empanadas' product as "real."

As for what they offer, I've always found them to be very tasty. Don, I think you should give them another go. Ingredients always taste fresh and vibrant. Raisins are plump. Hard-boiled eggs are cooked right. Chicken is nicely shredded. Almond paste in the dessert empanada is rich and smooth. When I used to eat them regularly for lunch in Adams Morgan (about seven years ago), they offered a vegetarian option that changed at least two or three times a week. I thought they got pretty darn creative and thoughtful with some of those. They'd include winter greens when in season. Others had sweet potatoes or leeks or other mildly interesting and unexpected ingredients.

They're good, cheap, and usually relatively fresh from the ovens.

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I had a massive craving for Julia's today and the realization that I did not have anything I needed to do. So I hopped on the Metro, went down to Farragut West, and walked over to Julia's.

Only problem: I forgot that the Dupont location doesn't have interior seating. Or, if it did, they'd filled it up with packages of bottled water. Adams Morgan location has a couple of chairs you can sit at.

Oh well! A Jamaican and a Chilean, a bottle of water, and a walk over to that little park around the statue. Nom nom nom.

I love me some Julia's. :)

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As of today, Boccato Gelato in Arlington is selling Julia's Empanadas. I haven't been yet so I don't know specifically what flavors -- I saw they have "beef" and I'm hoping that's the Chilean beef with egg and raisins. A handwritten sign listed beef, chicken, pulled pork, veggie, and ham and cheese.

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