Calavera is an empanada and tequila bar located in downtown Raleigh where two of my coworkers and I walked to for lunch recently. For your money, Calavera is one of the best deals in town for lunch. You can buy two empanadas and get a drink for $5.99!
To start off our meal, Andrea, Chrissy and I split the guacamole. The guacamole is made with fresh, organic avocados and is served with plantain tortilla chips, which are extra crunchy and add a slightly sweeter flavor to the dip. The guacamole was excellent; creamy with chunks of tomato, onion, peppers, the perfect amount of lime juice, and lots of cilantro! Calavera changes their guacamole recipe often because it’s made fresh every day at the restaurant. I suggest you start your meal off with this appetizer.
I ordered the Al Pastor empanada filled with sweet guajillo pepper marinated pork, cilantro, chunks of pineapple and lime. The crust of the empanada was flaky and soft but the best part was the definitely the filling. I loved the sweet flavors of the pork and pineapple. The empanada crust and shredded pork seriously melted in my mouth. The empanada was served with a traditional red salsa and a tomatillo salsa verde. I especially enjoyed the tangy, tomatillo salsa verde accompanied with the sweet Al Pastor empanada.
To end our outstanding meal, we split a dessert empanada. The key lime empanada was Calavera’s special during lunch and it was absolutely delicious. I felt like I was eating a warm piece of key lime pie. The powdered sugar and whipped cream were also nice additions.
Not only is Calavera great during lunch, you can pay them a visit for dinner or after a night out on the town. I’ve been to Calavera one other time (around 12am) and ordered the King of Kong, an empanada filled with bananas and nutella. This empanada was incredible; the gooey hazelnut chocolate and warm bananas left me wanting another! If you’re craving a dessert late at night, Calavera’s empanadas will hit the spot. They are open until 2am every night, even on Sundays. You can also try one of their specialty drinks or a shot of tequila if you’re feeling adventurous!