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Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Resilient Empanada Maker Launches New Shop on 16th Street

Posted By on Tue, Jan 12, 2010 at 4:09 PM

click to enlarge Chile Lindo's beef-filled empanada de pino. - L. CHONG
  • L. Chong
  • Chile Lindo's beef-filled empanada de pino.
News of the many year-end restaurant closures made us sad, so we're glad to find a business that is able to set sail, sort of speak. Chile Lindo is the storefront kitchen of popular street-food vendor Paula Tejeda, a.k.a The Girl from Empanada. The store Tejeda opened in 1995 with former husband Dennis Maxwell didn't survive. A short-lived collaboration last year with Esperpento Wine Bar marked another setback, but not enough to discourage Tejeda.

Like the mythical phoenix, Tejeda was determined to rise. Her company's rebirth in a new space on 16th Street started early last year, when Chile Lindo was open sporadically as Tejeda oversaw renovations and added equipment. Finally, on Monday last week, Chile Lindo opened its doors with a schedule of 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Mon.-Fri.; weekend hours are still tentative, to be determined after Tejeda assesses store traffic.

The current menu includes three types of empanadas: pino (beef), cheese and jalapeño, and a vegan version. Our favorite is the traditional trapezoid-shaped empanada de pino ($5), filled with ground beef, onions, hard-boiled egg, black olives, raisins, cumin, and paprika. If you haven't tried Tejeda's empanadas, check them out. In the opinion of this blogger, they're the best.

Chile Lindo 2944 16th St. (at Capp), 642-8887

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Luis Chong

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