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
lengua
—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
brings.

Tutto Bene, 501 N. Randolph St., Arlington;
703-522-1005.

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

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