Concept food shops in Paris are frequent and I am always curious how the owners think of certain combinations of food that I never thought of putting together before.
Clasico Argentino takes a classic Argentinian dish and combines it with an American classic: empanadas and ice cream. For me, this is a winning combo, something in a pastry shell followed by something with cream in it.
Just opening their third space near the Place des Vosges, the new Clasico Argentino is tiny with just a takeout bar and counter with a few seats. The other spaces are full restaurants with takeout counters.
I spoke with the Gaston, the chef, an affable Argentinian. I looked at all eight of the various empanadas and was trying to decide on two and asked Gaston his personal recommendations. He said to have the choriempa, a sausage empanada made with Argentinian beef and queso y cebolla, made with cheese and onion. The empanadas are made by hand and each one has a different shape, which makes for a nicer presentation and also helps one distinguish between the different ones. I spoke with Gaston further about other food items in the shop while I waited for the empanadas to be warmed. I guess they have to heat them the old-fashioned way and not microwave them, but boy did it take long, or at least it seemed that way since my stomach was growling for it’s past due lunch feeding since it was already 1:30.
I sat at the appealing counter that had a calming sea blue wall and the food is served on white china plates, with stainless flatware and real drinking glasses, which impressed me for counter service at a takeout place. I also liked the distressed wood stools. The empanadas were worth the wait, as the cheese and onion one was a bit gooey inside and the crust flaky and warm. The sausage one was slightly dryer but tangy with a spicy bite to it. Two hit the spot but they were so good I opted for a third, the excellent chicken one.
Now more than sufficiently stuffed, I didn’t have room for ice cream, a very rare occurrence, kind of like those eclipses that come along every 80 years. I did have a spoonful of dulce de leche, which was rich and a tad too sweet for my palate.
Clasico Argentino also sells other Argentinian food products including fernet, a type of amaro, which is like a bitters and usually served with Coca Cola and mate cocido, a tea leaf from Northern Argentina.
Eight seems to be the magic number at Clasico Argentino, as they offer eight varieties of empanadas and ice cream.
8 rue de la Pas de la Mule, 75003
Metro: Bastille or Chemin Vert
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I am happy to announce the launch of Eye Prefer Paris Cooking Classes. Come take an ethnic culinary journey with me and chef and caterer Charlotte Puckette, co-author of the bestseller The Ethnic Paris Cookbook (with Olivia Kiang-Snaije). First we will shop at a Paris green-market for the freshest ingredients and then return to Charlotteís professional kitchen near the Eiffel Tower to cook a three-course lunch. After, we will indulge in the delicious feast we prepared along with hand-selected wines.
Cost: 185 euros per person (about $240)
Time: 9:30AM- 2PM (approximately 4 1/2 hours)
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Minimum of 2 students, maximum 6 students.
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