Cheap Eats 2013: Quick Change

During the week, Tutto Bene slings spaghetti. But on weekends, it’s all about Bolivian salteñas.
Diners enjoy a Bolivian spread in an unlikely setting at Tutto Bene. Photograph by Scott Suchman.

Long before “pop-ups” became a trend, Tutto Bene owner Orlan-do
Murillo was transforming his Ballston Italian dining room into a Bolivian
eatery on week-ends, with soup-filled salteñas popping up next to
platters of fettuccine Alfredo.

The kitchen switches gears smoothly. South American
ingredients—Argentinean sausages, beef tongue for spicy aji de
—start arriving on Thursday. Potatoes, a staple in Bolivian
cuisine, take pasta’s place as the favored starch.

Soups, such as the hangover-helping pork stew, are left to
simmer overnight so they’re ready for customers come lunchtime. Turn up
the heat with the house-made chili sauce, and wash everything down with
mocochinchi, an iced tea made from Bolivian peaches.

Then there are those salteñas. The warm, empanada-like
turnovers, filled with stewed beef or chicken, are the sole Bolivian item
available on weekdays—a hint of the deliciousness the weekend

Tutto Bene, 501 N. Randolph St., Arlington;

This article appears in the August 2013 issue of The Washingtonian.


More from News & Politics