Budget Beat

Latin-Inspired Lunch Under $10 at Fuego Bistro

Lunch under $10 at Fuego Bistro? Is that even possible?

Why yes, yes it is.

With only seven tables and five bar stools inside, the place gets packed fast. Although almost every table was full on our recent visit, the atmosphere felt calm. Maybe it was the warmth of the servers, the dim lighting, or having the owner Jeff Ward open our door (that guy always seems to be in the right place at the right time when it comes to good service). Even at 12:30 the lunch rush was far from hectic.

We apologize if we're outing your favorite tucked away Latin inspired cuisine found within the confines of a beautiful garden patio off of 7th St just south of Bethany Home Road, but everyone deserves a well prepared meal midday for under $10.

Even with only one lunch item priced above our $10 budget, it took us all of two seconds to decide on what to eat: empanadas.

Fuego Bistro's signature empanadas come stuffed with ground beef, cheddar cheese, black bean, corn, peppers, onions, and roasted aneheim chilis served with a homemade chipotle BBQ sauce ladled over the top. All lunch items come with a side of arroz con gandules (pigeon peas) and Cuban black beans.

Like a savory pie folded into a pocket for convenient face stuffing, our empanadas were perfectly golden brown, slightly sweet with a flakey crunch. In all honesty the plate is perfectly shareable. However, that homemade chipotle BBQ sauce kept calling us back bite after bite, until there were only a couple spoons full of black beans left on the plate.

You'll be ready for a nap after this lunch. Sigh...If only we had a midday siesta incorporated into our daily work schedule.

There are also plenty of $5 drink specials, if you're feeling splurge-y on a Friday afternoon. It's a bit out of our budget for a $10 lunch, but why not treat yourself.

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Nicole Whittington