For some reason, people in DC call this place “Hoolia’s” Empanadas. I am guessing that privileged white people came up with this pronunciation; just because the empanada is a Latin item doesn’t mean that the “J” in Julia is pronounced as such. Have you ever met a girl named Hoolia? I didn’t think so.
I met with Charles, the co-owner of Julia’s after about twelve phone calls to the place and we synced up for a Friday noon meeting the day before the shoot. I’d had a chorizo empanada to try the day before and it was a bit dry, but I got it at an odd hour, so I gave them the benefit of the doubt when I came back in. My first impression was way off, and I can now see why this is one of the most popular drunk food places in town. We had two (the Chilean and the Jamaican), and the Jamaican was my favorite. I stopped worrying about my health and learned to love the beef patty during my stay in Brooklyn in 1999 and have been a connoisseur of sorts ever since. Julia’s takes #2 spot on my top U.S. beef patties list. I say that because it would be unfair to include the ones I have had on the Caribbean coast of Honduras and Belize; they were on another level down there.
Julia’s Empanadas wins the Why Have I Never Heard Of It? award for 24 in 24: DC. I lived here for five years, I am one of the biggest late-night eaters that I know, and I had never tried an empanada from Julia’s. I have to say I was never much of a Golden Triangle frequenter and I almost always stayed on the North Side of 18th Street as far as Adams Morgan goes (and we parked down by Florida, so I wouldn’t pass it on the way, either).
Virginia? Why not. The 2:00 PM stop is Ray’s Hell Burger in Arlington.