The new Che! Empanada in Newtonville is an authentic, delectable Argentinian spot perfect for a lunch break right off the Mass. Turnpike.
Che! opened its first spot in Worcester—where there’s a large Latino community, the manager said—in January 2021. But now, the restaurant is growing into a regional brand. The Newton location opened in April, and the manager, who requested to not be named, said there are plans to expand into Harvard Square and other parts of Boston.
The Newton location is small, but not stuffy. Three tables line the colorful dining room in which flags that read “Grand Opening” indicate the restaurant’s mint condition.
Approaching the glass case sitting next to the register, both the empanadas you’d expect to see and some sweet surprises like pionono roll cake meet your eyes.
Che! serves 25 types of empanadas, ranging from the Beef Clásico to more experimental options like the Caprese, featuring mozzarella, basil, and cherry tomatoes. All of the options, served cold or warm, light up the eyes with their intricate braiding and golden color.
Despite an affordable price—three filling empanadas are $10.99 at lunch time or $12.75 at dinner—the empanadas come served on an ornate wooden board like you might expect from a Newbury street spot.
The Beef Clásico has a smooth consistency. The onion and red bell peppers balance out the softer flavors of ground beef and egg that fill the soft dough.
With a bit of a bolder bite, the Beef Tango is a nice choice. Its tougher steak filling diversifies the empanada’s texture, but soft olives and red pepper keep things manageable.
In addition to beef fillings, Che! Offers empanadas filled chicken, chorizo, veggies, and seafood. The dough is vegan, according to the manager.
The Chorizo Empanada has a rich flavor profile. Barbecue sauce grounds the spiced pork chorizo, and cabbage adds a needed bitter dimension to the dish. A spicy chimichurri sauce on the side adds a fresh acidic tone to all the empanadas.
The restaurant sources its chorizo and the rest of its ingredients from the Worcester location’s kitchen. The restaurant makes everything it serves fresh and with no preservatives, according to the manager.
Che! also sells its empanadas in bulk. The manager said they last for two weeks in the fridge and can freeze well. The restaurant also sells goods imported from Argentina, including Dulce de Leche and candies.
Business at the restaurant has gone well in its first few months, the manager said. Located a short walk from Newton North High School, students can purchase two empanadas for $6.
Che! Empanada is open at 795 Washington St. Monday to Saturday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.