5411 Empanadas, A Taste of Argentina in Lakeview, Chicago
Have you been to 5411 Empanadas in Chicago?
The other night I had a rather violent dream which took place in Paraguay.  I know!  I am still scratching my head about that one.  However, rather than go into the curious details of that particular nightmare, I will simply chalk it up to having watched a recent, less-than-stellar episode of Anthony Bourdain’s  “Parts Unknown” which took place in Paraguay (Sorry, Anthony.  I love you anyway!).
Being no stranger to bizarre dreams, I decided to replace those unfortunate Paraguayan images with much more lovely memories from a solo trip I took to Argentina several years ago.  Skipping down memory lane of my adventures in Buenos Aires made me smile but it also made me hungry.  So, I hopped the CTA Brown line up to the Lakeview neighborhood in Chicago to indulge in some Argentinian fare from 5411 Empanadas.  
5411 Empanadas in Chicago
Diversey 'L' stop near 5411 Empanadas
CTA Brown Line near 5411 Empanadas
5411 Empanadas is located at 2850 N. Clark Street, just 4 1/2 blocks from the Diversey ‘L” stop.
There is another location in the Wicker Park neighborhood and they have a food truck which roams around town (score!).  The name of this cute spot is derived from the country (54) and city (11) dialing codes for Buenos Aires, Argentina.  5411 Empanadas is owned by 3 friends from Argentina who wanted to bring a bit of their homeland to  Chicago.   Muchas Gracias!

5411 Empanadas in Lakeview
The Clark Street location is a teeny, tiny joint which seats about 15 people at best.  There are 6 window counter seats, a mid-room counter with another 3 seats and row of seats along one other wall.  This space is a perfect communal dining setting for the solo diner.  You can also place your order to go. There are 12 empanada choices on the menu which are prepared on-site.  For all of you figure-conscious folks out there, these empanadas are baked, not fried.  The empanadas are roughly 4 inches in length but they pack a big and flavorful punch.  Oh…the Laveview store is also a BYOB!! You’ve got to love that, too.  The Wicker Park store offers wine and local draft beer.  Both stores deliver within a certain radius.  
5411 Empanadas Lakeview location
5411 Empanadas Chicago locations
Baked empanadas at 5411 Empanadas
 Before I forget, the empanadas here are only $2.50 each.  You simply cannot beat that, folks!
While memories of trying to dance the Argentinian Tango in Buenos Aires filled my head, I ordered my empanadas.  2 empanadas here are a good snack while 3-4 are recommended for a meal.  I ordered the following 4 empanadas:
Malbec beef empanadas at 5411 Empanadas

Before I dug in!

The Malbec beef empanada is made with slow-braised beef, carrots and onions in a Malbec wine reduction.
Menu at 5411 Empanadas

Malbec beef empanada

The bacon, dates and goat cheese empanada is made with smoked bacon, medjool dates and goat cheese.
Bacon date empanadas at 5411 Empanadas

My favorite – the bacon, medjool dates and goat cheese empanada

I ordered a side of delicious chimichurri sauce for the Malbec beef and the bacon, dates and goat cheese empanadas.  It bumped up the flavor a notch.  Hot sauce is also available.
Mushroom and blue cheese empanadas consist of mushrooms sauteed in butter and garlic, with a bit of thyme and, of course blue cheese.  I love garlic so this was a no-brainer for me.  Sorry, but I devoured it before I could take a picture.
Banana & Nutella  empanadas (I had to have dessert!) was filled with yummy bananas which were coated with brown sugar and covered in gooey, delicious Nutella spread.  ‘Nuf said!
Banana and Nutella empanadas at 5411_empanadas

banana & Nutella empanada

I loved all 4 of my empanada choices.  I would say that the bacon, dates and goat cheese was my favorite.  I loved the ratio of the smokey bacon to the sweet dates.  On my next visit, which will be very soon, I will try the carmelized onion and parmesan, the BBQ chicken and the ham & cheese empanadas.  See? I am already planning my next meal, as I usually do (HA!)
Menu at 5411 Empanadas in Lakeview
5411 Empanadas also offers a nice (non-empanada) dessert  selection as well as coffee and espresso drinks.
5411 Empanadas store
Coffee at 5411 Empanadas
News flash!  5411 Empanadas in Lakeview is located a few steps from the Landmark Century movie theatre.  So, it is the perfect spot for a bite to eat before or after seeing a film.
For more information about 5411 Empanadas, visit www.5411empanadas.com.

In keeping with the spirit of Feeding Off The Rails, I encourage you to leave your car at home and take the CTA Brown or Purple lines to 5411 Empanadas.  Avoid traffic, parking and road rage.  Reduce pollution.  Don’t drink and drive.