ABOVE: The apple and dulce de leche empandas at Valencia.
VALENCIA LUCHERIA: 172 MAIN STREET, NORWALK
If Valencia Luncheria were in Stamford it would be a staple in my weekly lunch rotation. But it isn’t and this makes my visits there seem a little special, which is why I will indulge in their desserts – not something I normally partake in during my mid-day meal.
Their ridiculously decadent Nutella and cream cheese empanada is a deep-fried masterpiece. The fresh fruit batidos are fantastic. And the flan and rice pudding look pretty damn good, though I haven’t tried them yet.
But the apple and dulce de leche empanada is king; it is not too sweet, not too tart [the apples are pre-baked] and the pastry shell is incredible.
This is something of an unfair comparison, but they instantly bring to mind McDonald’s apple pies, you know, back when they used to deep-fry them* [in 97% beef tallow no less].
But who am I kidding, these are so much better.
THE BOTTOM LINE: Run over there and try them for yourself, you will not regret it.
*I would just like to point out this site, which lists locations where McDonald’s may or may not still sell fried apple pies. This is dedication and a work of love and I absolutely respect that.