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Tucked into a Westchase strip mall on Westheimer near the beltway, Marini's is a family-run empanada delicatessen offering sweet and savory varieties of the fried pies. The Gaucho is the standard variety, with onions, spices and olives that accentuate the finely ground beef without overpowering it. Vegetarians and omnivores alike will enjoy the Humita — traditional creamed corn and cheese. Add an apple, banana or dulce de leche dessert empanada to your plate for a "balanced" meal. Don't forget to break off a corner and vent the pies before dining to avoid cooking your tongue.


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