5411 Empanadas (175 N. Franklin, Chicago) started out as a food truck in Chicago, but now they are a mini empire, with locations in Wicker Park, Lakeview and now the Loop. 5411 is a perfect example of a place that does only one thing, but they do it really well: in this case, empanadas. 5411 serves up Argentine-style empanadas (the name comes from the international dialing code for Buenos Aires, Argentina), with a variety of meat and vegetarian fillings. I was actually pretty impressed by the amount of different vegetarian fillings they had, which made it a perfect place to go with Veggie co-workers! The Loop store itself is pretty tiny, and many people were taking their orders to go. In the summer, the patio is pretty nice, too.
The empanadas at 5411 are baked, not fried, and for me, three is enough to make a meal. I have had the cheese and spinach, chorizo and patatas bravas (Spanish-style potatoes with spicy sauce), caramelized onion and Parmesan cheese, mushroom and blue cheese, and the BBQ chicken, and all have been excellent. My favorites are probably the varieties that include cheese, which I consider essential to the empanada experience. It is also essential to get a side of chimichurri sauce on the side! The empanadas at 5411 are not greasy at all, which is so great, especially to munch on the go. For those who want empanadas at another time than lunch, there are also breakfast options with egg and even a sweet Nutella option. 5411 Empanadas is a great new option for lunch in the loop, but be ready for a line out the door (see below!).