If you're curious about how I find some of the places I eat, this is one of those stories. A while back I saw this post about homemade churros from Matt Bites. He mentioned how he got the dulce de leche from Tito's Market, an Argentinian market in El Monte. Oh, I haven't had a good empanada in forever! So I added it to my mental checklist of places to try, and the next time I was in the area, I swung by.
Tito's Market is located on Garvey Avenue, a few streets over from Rosemead Boulevard. While Latino and Asian businesses dot SoCal, this area seems to have an even distribution of both, all blended together. Look for the signage on the street because the market is located far inside the parking lot of the strip mall.
It's a grocery store with many Argentinian goods and wines, a meat counter, a dessert display, and a hot food counter where you can order empanadas and a long list of sandwiches.
I decided to order a small milanesa sandwich for $3.59. I found the bread rather hard, the beef was dry and chewy, and the tomatoes not juicy enough. The chili peppers added a nice kick, but overall I was quite disappointed with this sandwich.
Luckily, I wasn't there for the sandwich but the empanadas. What is it about peering into a white paper bag that makes food so tasty? There are two kinds - ground beef and chicken.
The empanada is huge, the size of my hand, for $1.19 each.
Filled with chopped hard-boiled eggs and olives. So juicy and flavorful.
The chicken empanada. I found the chicken chunks a bit dry and much prefer the beef.
Despite my disappointment with the milanesa sandwich, the empanadas were so good that I went back the next time I was in area. This time, I decided to try the New York steak sandwich for $3.79. I took this home and lil' sis was in heaven. Two of her favorite foods - steak and sandwiches - all in one. The steak was thin but thicker cut than the milanesa and so juicy. Very, very good.
There's a small eating area inside the grocery store so you can stay a while if you want to eat through the long list of sandwiches. I highly recommend the ground beef empanadas and the New York steak sandwiches.
Who else ate at Tito's Market?
Henry Chan's Food Videos decided to give it a try, but he didn't heed my advice to get the New York steak and instead got the milanesa sandwich. He said he watched enviously as he ate his dry milanesa while his cousin ate the New York steak sandwich, salivating as the juices dripped out.
Susan of Open Mouth, Insert Fork took my recommendation and said they were the best empanadas in LA.
9814 Garvey Ave.
El Monte, CA 91733
Sunday 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Tuesdays through Saturday 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.