From now until our Best Of issue, we are counting down our 100 favorite dishes of the past year. If you've missed some, we've included a linked list at the end.
#72. Spinach Empanadas at El Gaucho #2
You could be forgiven for never knowing to order these; after all, the sandwich counter on the north side of the excellent El Gaucho #2 Argentine market is oriented more toward sandwiches, especially those of the skirt steak (entraña) and sausage (choripán) varieties.
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You'd be missing a lot, though, because what is almost the only vegetable on the menu is also the best thing on the menu: baked turnovers filled with fresh cheese, chopped spinach a hint of nutmeg and garlic. Grab one of the jars of homemade chimichurri from the counter when you pick up your order and slather them over the golden-brown, tender crust. At $1.25 each you can afford to have three for lunch--financially, if not calorically--and you'll never miss the fried variety of empanadas.
El Gaucho #2, 847 S. State College Blvd., Anaheim; (714) 776-6400.
The list so far:
#100. Jerk Carnitas Torta at The Crosby
#99. Nem Nuong Cuon at Brodard
#98. Pork Chop Anything at Nice Time Deli
#97. Flying Saucer at Alberto's
#96. Frozen Custard at Marc Burger's in Macy's Signature Kitchen
#95. Collard Greens at Johnny Reb's
#94. Strawberry Shortcake from Job's Daughters
#93. Cuban Sandwich at DeSimone's Deli
#92. Lamb with Preserved Cabbage at Mas Islamic Chinese
#91. Baked Rice at Luc Dinh Ky
#90. Beans on Toast at The Olde Ship
#89. Midnight Al Pastor Burrito or Taco at Taqueria Tapatia
#88. Budino di Cioccolato, Pizzeria Ortica
#87. Beef Teriyaki Bowl, Teriyami
#86. Salmon Onigiri at Cream Pan
#85. Beef Fat Fries at SideDoor
#84. Silken Tofu & Thousand Year Old Egg at Asian Tapas
#83. Cambodian Beef Jerky at Sophy's
#82. Com Tam at Com Tam Tran Quy Cap
#81. Chipotle-Piloncillo Goat Cheese at SOL Cocina
#80. Nem Nuong Cuon at Au Lac Restaurant
#79. Blackened Mushroom & Tofu Burger at Taco Loco
#78. Fried Veggie Fish Fillet at Dong Phuong Tofu
#77. Tofu Vegetable Salad at BCD Tofu House
#76. Che Ba Mau at Thach Che Hien Khanh
#75. Barracuda Sushi at Ohshima
#74. Whole Lamb with Kabsa at Olive Tree
#73. 5 a.m. Chitterlings at Tri-Village