It’s hard to pigeonhole Cafecito, and with good reason: Owners Andres Paglayan and his wife, Solange Serquis, hail from Buenos Aires, but Paglayan’s roots are Armenian and Serquis’ are Armenian and Spanish. The large menu reflects a mixture of Argentinian, Armenian, and Italian foods that somehow, strangely, makes culinary sense. Opened in October 2019, Cafecito weathered the worst of COVID-19 and now seems to be thriving.

On a recent Tuesday during the noon hour, I tried the classic empanada sampler ($15), with three different little baked pies: ham and cheese, spinach and ricotta, and beef and potato. All were hot. The beef was ground and potatoes cubed; the ham was ground as well, which was unexpected but probably tastier than if not; and the spinach was processed into tiny bits mixed with the cheese. I found the beef best, rich and hearty. My companion, with whom I shared bites, preferred the creamy spinach. The crust of true empanada dough (usually made with egg), not the poor second of pie dough I use for my own empanadas, gave the pastry tooth. A specialty of the house, Cafecito’s empanadas are available for takeout, baked or frozen, by the 10-pack ($32-$70).

True to their roots: Cafecito

Medze, an appetizer medley of dips served with pita bread

True to their roots: Cafecito

Matambre (stuffed grilled steak)

True to their roots: Cafecito

Caprese cake

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