An­d­ina brings Peru­vian street food to down­town

Baltimore Sun Sunday - - LIFE&TRAVEL - By Christina Tkacik

Good ideas have a way of trav­el­ing. The em­panada, a half­moon-shaped pas­try of­ten filled with meat, by some ac­counts orig­i­nated in an­cient Per­sia, caught on in Spain dur­ing the Moor­ish in­va­sion, and later ar­rived in Latin Amer­ica along with the con­quis­ta­dors. To­day, they’re a sta­ple of street food of coun­tries in­clud­ing Ar­gentina, Colom­bia and Peru. And then there are cousins: In­dia’s samosa and the Mid­dle East’s fa­tayer, per­haps the clos­est descen­dant to the orig­i­nal, ac­cord­ing to the book “Em­panadas: The Hand­Held Pies of Latin Amer­ica” by San­dra Gutierrez.

Charm City res­i­dents can now find some tasty ver­sions at An­d­ina, which ar­rived to down­town’s lunch scene late last fall. The spot comes from mar­ried cou­ple Con­nie De Vic­to­rio and Jose Vic­to­rio, also be­hind nearby Puerto 511. A term for a woman of the An­des Moun­tains, An­d­ina is a way for the cou­ple to honor their own Peru­vian her­itage while of­fer­ing a fast lunch al­ter­na­tive to chains.

Run­ning two restau­rants?

“Yes, it’s a lot of work,” De Vic­to­rio said. “But it’s grat­i­fy­ing… We’re am­bas­sadors for Peru.”

First im­pres­sions: The in­te­rior

BAR­BARA HAD­DOCK TAYLOR/BAL­TI­MORE SUN

Em­panadas are a fea­tured item at An­d­ina, a new Peru­vian restau­rant on West Lex­ing­ton Street.

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