Andina brings Peruvian street food to downtown
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
Empanadas are a featured item at Andina, a new Peruvian restaurant on West Lexington Street.