Cafe Valparaiso

Looking for a place to eat dessert last weekend, we stumbled upon Cafe Valparaiso on Solano Avenue in Albany, California.   A Chilean restaurant, I was sold at the words “empanada” and “lucama” from on the menu.

My friend got the chocolate decadence, as she is gluten intolerant and thought it was delicious.  I got their Torta de mil hoja – pastry dough layered with walnuts and caramel milk and a scoop of lucama ice cream on the side.

IMG_0138  The lucama flavor of the ice cream was very subtle but went really well with the pastry.  The caramel milk was like a dulce de leche but thicker.  I would have liked the pastry to have been warmed a bit, making the caramel flow and allowing the ice cream to melt into each bite.  🙂

I love empanadas.  It’s my favorite snack or meal to eat in south/central america.  So, when I saw online that they were rated best empanadas in the area, I ordered one of each to go!

For the sweet empanadas, they were fried with powdered sugar on top.  One had a pumpkin and black sesame filling and the other was lucama:

IMG_0257  Oozing with honey syrup, they were just fine the next day!

Since it was later in the evening when I was there, they only savory baked empanadas left.  The meat empanadas were designated by the folded over crust – the Pino (beef) and the Pollo (chicken).  Both filled with their respected meats, onions, raisins, hard boiled eggs and olives.  I loved the baked crust; the flavors inside were great and pretty authentic.  The vegetarian one had the braided crust, with onion, spinach, mushroom, roasted green pepper, and zucchini inside.  Also pretty tasty.


All in all, I was pretty impressed with the quality and authenticity of flavors used in this Chilean restaurant.  Our waiter was from Chile and offered a lot of insights of the food and culture of his people.  I am definitely heading back there…

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