Ahhhh Argentina. The country that gave us the tango, Lionel Messi’s right foot, and yerba mate. For every silly fact or pop culture reference I do get about their culture I’m sure there’s a million things I’ll never understand despite my lifelong fascination with their culture, cuisine, and most importantly their women. When I find myself getting tired of the familiar food I stick to nearly seven days a week I take a walk down 17th St. towards Bristol and make a stop at one of the most unassuming buildings that line the busy intersection. The South American grocery store known as Puerto Madero.

The store itself isn’t particularly large or small, it’s exactly the size it needs to be. To the left of the entrance sits a row of refrigerators displaying foods I couldn’t begin to understand how to cook. Sodas and other comfort items from places I’ve only dreamed of seeing make up the bulk of the impeccably clean showroom. To the right is our actual destination. A small counter with an empanada menu is the only guide you need while navigating your choices until a woman greets you with a friendly

“¿que tú quieres?”

No matter what answer you give you’re gonna be happy with the results. The only problem with smoking the devils lettuce before buying those tiny pillows of joy is that you’re going to purchase about six more than you can actually eat. Which means your late night snack for later that night has already been taken care of. So next time your eyes are red, your brain is mush, and your stomach sounds like a beginning of a volcanic eruption head to North Santa Ana for the best South American food I’ve ever eaten on a curb. Enjoy!

Puerto Madero
1225 W 17th St
Santa Ana, CA 92706