Durham >Food & Dining > Sarah's Empanadas
5410 NC Hwy 55, Durham, NC | Directions 2771335.890383 -78.896170
Mon. - Fri. 11am - 3pm;Sat. - Sun. CLOSED
A favorite lunch destination for RTP workers. – In Short
Empanadas are mouth-watering Spanish pot pies, with a thick, rich crust holding a variety of fillings--cheese, beef, chicken, spinach, broccoli, or a combination thereof. Add side dishes of rice or beans, and you have a delicious, hearty lunch that is a favorite of those who work in the park. The decor and atmosophere are simple, as you'd expect for a lunch-only place located in a shopping center, but the empanadas are a unique treat.
Down home South American flavor – Being someone who's lived in South America for a good part of my life, I'm always looking for places that serves authentic South American good. Sarah's is one of the few places that hits home. The beef empanda tastes just like what you would get had you bought them in South America, even the ingredient is exactly the same. Highly, higly recommended. Also try out Guarana (soda) when you visit.
Great value, but... – I was intrigued enough to drive from Chapel Hill, mainly because I LOVE empanadas. I got the mushroom & cheese, and sadly, the mushrooms made the filling way too watery. The beans and rice were excellent, though - better than the empanada itself. I'll go back and try the chicken and cheese, since my husband thoroughly enjoyed his meal and I think mine was bad only because of the mushrooms.
A good, quick lunch – The empanadas are tasty ... everyone who goes develops their favorites; mine are corn and cheese & spicy cheese. And here's a tip for ya -- the Gazpacho is *terrific*, so if they happen to have it the day you come in, give it a try (their version of gazpacho is thick, and exactly as spicy as it should be). You can get in and out very quickly (if you get the right waitperson -- watch out for the young lady we call "the serializer", who deals with exactly one table at a time ... takes their order, and will not take anyone else's order until she's given that table their food). Your biggest wait will probably be to pay -- it seems the owner won't let anyone else touch the cash register. All in all, a good quick, simple lunch.
best empanadas on east coast – I've had "empanadas" in D.C., New York, and Spain, but Sarah's Empanadas makes them best. Great prices, great service, and more important... homemade salsa! It's the perfect place for a quick lunch.
Good for a quick bite – The empanadas are tasty. I guess they have to be considering that is pretty much all that is on the menu. You have around 10 different fillings to choose from and a handful of sides (rice, beans, rice&beans, salad etc...). I think the culinary highlight has to be either the salsa which is tasty and actually has a little kick or the fact that they serve up the bizarre peruvian soda, Inca Cola. I haven't seen that stuff since I was fighting off altitude sickness in Cusco when that unnaturally colored, heavily caffeinated, sugar laden fuel saved me. The interior feels like a a crappy mall with some random Bolivian craft pieces scattered around. The wait staff is fine. The service is certainly as fast as I've ever seen.
Unique – Once upon a time you could walk away from Sarah's for $6 but these days you end up spending $7 or $8. the food is still excellent and the speed is amazing. Most of the empanadas are served to your table in less than 5 minutes.
The specials don't feel that special anymore either as they seem not to have changed in 5 years.
Overall this is a fun place and good for groups with the fast sevice and good food.
A Gem in the Triangle – Not enough people know about Sarah's Empanadas, but more seem to be finding out every day. For a special treat, or to impress an out-of-town associate, take them to this unassuming-looking bistro in Greenwood Commons. Though it's very busy during the rush, Sarah's consistently has great food, very fast sit-down table service, and something for everyone. Try all of the empanadas in time. They say Chicken with Cheese is the most popular, but the hidden gems are the Mushroom with Cheese and Corn with Cheese. The soups are always fantastic, changing daily, and the specials are good if you can pull yourself away from your favorite empanada for a day. Highly recommended.
Something different – I recently discovered this place and have been back several times since. The empanadas are fabulous--order one with a side of rice and you have the perfect lunch. It gets unbearably crowded during the lunch rush, so don't expect much in the way of service, but the upside is that you can get in and out without a long wait.
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