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Rapt In Dough

Photos by Matt Haas

November 2016

A little over a year ago, La Masa Empanada Bar brought a simple yet brilliant concept to Brady Street: a menu focused on the Latin American-style turnovers of golden-baked pastry filled with savory or sweet ingredients. One of its top sellers, says managing partner Megan Todd, is the flagship Argentine beef, spiced with cumin and made with the traditional salty green olives, sweet raisins and hard-boiled egg. Another favorite in Argentina is the jamón y queso, or ham and cheese, which La Masa stuffs with four cheeses, including aged white cheddar and Gruyere. It’s rich, cheesy perfection and easily as good as any in Argentina, where Todd studied Spanish and first fell in love with the flaky pockets of dough and hearty fillings.

While the East Side restaurant does the classics well — serving them with a tangy, garlicky chimichurri sauce — variety is the name of the game, and La Masa swaps one or two empanadas to tweak its menu weekly, Todd says. This November La Masa will continue offering its popular Malbec-braised lamb empanadas, with meat sourced from Pinn-Oak Ridge Farm in Delavan, and it will welcome back its pheasant potpie empanada, which debuted last year at this time. Vegetarian staples on the menu include spicy potato and peanut as well as mushroom truffle Parmesan ­— another crowd-pleaser, Todd says. Order three empanadas, and you can choose a side of refreshing jicama slaw or crispy  shoestring fries.

La Masa has a takeout counter, and you can arrange for custom-made “two-bite” empanadas for parties.

1300 E. Brady St., (414) 885-1866, 


This story ran in the November 2016 issue of: