I always love a restaurant that chooses to do one thing really well. Although La Masa has a few alternate options on their menu, their claim to fame has been their oven-baked empanadas that are specially made from scratch each time. A unique addition to the hip Brady Street scene, La Masa puts their own take on this Latin American classic (hello Wisconsin cheese curd empanada). They exceeded my expectations, and that’s before I noticed that each empanada they serve is labeled by letter according to its name, causing my organization-obsessed heart to flutter.
Let’s start where it apparently all began – the Argentine beef empanada. What sounds like a strange combo of seasoned beef, green olives, raisins, hard-boiled egg, and crushed chilies comes together to perfectly create what is in my opinion, the best empanada on the menu. Next I tried a more recent addition, the blackened chicken and pineapple empanada. With blackened chicken and a jalapeño-pineapple pico, it has just the right amount of bite and powerful flavor.
Finally, I couldn’t pass up the mushroom truffle parmesan empanada. With a blend of shitake, cremini, and oyster mushrooms melted between parmesan cheese and white truffle oil, I got the empanada of a mushroom lover’s wildest dreams! I chose the Jicama slaw as my side, which was a great idea, considering the Quicos (Spanish corn nuts) that crunched with every bite! Also, the chimichurri sauce on the side is mouth-watering.
I thought I was finished, but then our lovely server mentioned a ricotta chocolate chip empanada for dessert. My group and I were sold on this one before she even finished her sentence. The best part was the flavor of the lemon zest, an unexpected flavor for a chocolate chip empanada. For chocolate + citrus fans, this is a must have! I honestly cannot say enough good things about this spot that serves delicious empanadas that can fit in the palm of your hand! I’m already plotting what will be on my next empanada trio.
La Masa Empanada Bar – 414/885-1866 – 1300 E Brady Street, Milwaukee, WI
Photos & Writing: Olivia Medrow
Wisconsin Female Foodie