Best Empanada - 2008
The Original Marini's Empanada House
Owner Marcello Marini claims his are "the best empanadas in the world," and while we can't know if that's true, we can certainly vouch that they're the best in Houston. The Marini family has expanded its empanada empire, opening this location at the Carillon Shopping Center last year to go along with its more established restaurant in Katy. Inside, don't be surprised to see Marcello or his daughter greeting customers new and old like family, welcoming them with warm smiles and lots of friendly conversation. Argentine-inspired, the half-moon meat pies boast a delicate golden crust on the outside and a choice of more than 25 mouthwatering meat, cheese or vegetable fillings inside. And don't forget dessert. There are nearly as many sweet-tasting treats as savory on the menu, including dulce de leche, a heavenly caramel sauce that, when mixed together with fresh apples, makes you understand why the Marini family is always smiling.