Best Empanada Innovator
Panas Gourmet Empanadas
Ever since Pizzeria Paradiso changed locations on P Street NW, it’s been hard to keep track of all the businesses that have moved in and out on the 2000 block. An Afghan place slid into Paradiso’s former space and a fro-yo place gave way to a cupcake joint. Now, there’s Panas, a new gourmet empanada eatery, too. In a city long accustomed to cheap eats from Julia’s Empanadas, the idea of an up-market empanada place might seem to betray the simplicity of the Latin American stuffed pastry. But one bite from a brie and mushroom empanada, and you’ll want to put in an order for a dozen to take home (or the office, if you work near Dupont Circle). High quality, quick, and reasonably priced—$8.80 for three empanadas, a fountain soda, and plantain chips—Panas has a winning formula. And unlike the new food truck that’s hawking specialty empanadas, you can sit down at Panas. D.C has a shortage of reasonably priced, quick eats. You can dine cheaper at Julia’s, but Panas takes simplicity and jazzes it up.