Spiciest Dish in Columbus: Choripan Argentine Grill
In the former shell of Tweeter’s Chicken Crib sits a new restaurant serving up “simple and healthy food with an Argentine flair.” Choripan Argentine Grill uses Ohio meats and poultry and Head Chef and Owner Joel Linik also happens to be a Primal Health Coach. With frequent specials, be sure to check them out on social media to see the latest in terms of what’s cooking. We’re unsure about delivery, but they are doing curbside pickup and were super friendly when we picked up our order.
They typically have sandwiches with house-made bread, but it’s not a sure thing during quarantine, so be sure to ask about them or double-check the menu if you order online. Alright, we teased empanadas, so let’s get to some empanadas!
With 6 empanadas to choose from we went with 4 flavors (Atun, Chorizo, Pollo and Carne) and two of each (leaving out the Espinaca and Champignon empanadas). Hand-packed, each of these has it’s own shape, color and edge, making it easier to tell them apart. We enjoyed them all, but there was a clear favorite, so let’s roll through each from least to most favorite.
Pollo Empanada – Grilled chicken, bell pepper, red onion, chipotle and scallions line the inside of this one. Tiny kick from the chipotle, nice combo of flavors and a puffy, crunchy pastry. While this is the least favorite, again, we ate all of it, soooo not like it’s bad. We’re just not sure what to say as the least when you enjoy all of them. Shrug.
Atun Empanada – Tuna, bell pepper, jalapeño, scallions, hard-boiled egg makes for a more helpful travelling tuna sandwich. The jalapeño adds a little extra bitterness and spice, with another puffy, flaky exterior.
Carne Empanada – Beef, onion, garlic, oregano, paprika, cumin, potato join forces for a slightly greasy, but excellent tasting empanada. The paprika and cumin really bring out the flavor in this one.
Chorizo Empanada – Chorizo, sweet potato, scallions, garlic. Simple, but effective, the chorizo empanada was the definite favorite of the four that we tried. The handcrafted chorizo is awesome and brings some spice along with it, blending great with the sweet potato and garlic.
So yes, big fans of the empanadas and would recommend going with the Carne or Chorizo and leaning in to the larger amounts to get a discount per empanada or DPE as we’re going to call it.
Originally we came here for the wings (alitas) so let’s check those out.
The habanero wings caught our eye when perusing the menu and seemed like a dish that we could get on the list. We opted for 12 of the habanero wings in their homemade habanero sauce. A quick note on the wings themselves, these are not the hulk wings you see some places and some would say are a little on the small side, but they are cooked well and were easy to eat. As for the habanero sauce, working through the box induced several sniffles, but we were left longing for more sauce. Thankfully, we had ordered a side of the homemade habanero sauce.
Dipping the wings into the sauce, we realized that this was a thicc boi. The sauce is made with apple cider vinegar, onions, parsley, tomato, oregano and a tonnnn of habaneros. Dipping the wings into the sauce ratcheted it up to another notch. My lips started to burn, that deep habanero heat started to set in and the nose drips began. Through a sniffle I held it up to the Lady of the Farm.
Me: Snifffff. “You should try this it’s really good.”
LotF: “Yeah, no.”
Me: sniffle sniffle “Seriously, you should try it.”
LotF: “No, really, I’m good.”
Rejection! But that just meant more for me. The wings gone, I examined the Batata Frita, a new-to-us side of fresh cut waffle sweet potato fries. When we originally saw it on the menu, I figured it had to be chips, or thick fries, but I was wrong.
Seriously, do you see the thickness of that sauce? It just coats on to whatever you dip in. It’s awesome. Oh yeah, the Batata Frita are an anomaly. They look like chips, but after a quick crunchy exterior, are soft on the inside. Still not sure what’s going on there, but with the habanero sauce as a sidekick, it’s an awesome add-on.
I was like a man possessed and anything that remained had to go into the habanero sauce. The slight spicy high had set in and my inhibitions were out the window. Wings? Dip them in the habanero sauce. Batata Frita? Dip them in the habanero sauce. Empanadas?! DIP THOSE PUFFY BOIS IN THE HABANERO SAUCE!! Nose dripping, mouth enraged by the heatt, I closed the lid on the sauce, we put the rest of the empanadas away and I sat in silence, reflecting on the spiciness. Before placing the order, something inside had told me “you need to get a side of that sauce” and this experience would have been totally different if I hadn’t. The wings by themselves would be in the 20s on our list, a good heat, but middle of the road, but once you dip into the extra sauce, and the citrus-y goodness gets into your nose, this cranks up all the way to #12, over-throwing the Thurman’s Cafe: Extreme Wings and sitting just below the Woody’s Wing House: Diablo-Q. Do yourself a favor and get a box of empanadas with a side or two of this habanero sauce. You will not regret it.
You can find Choripan at 5927 Karric Square Drive, Dublin, OH 43016.
Look below for more in our spiciest dish in Columbus series and hit us up if you have any suggestions that are not already on our list!
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