Makus is an Argentinian restaurant that prepares many types of empanadas in their new home in Hope Valley Commons. The owners, Hernan & Santiago Moyano and Ricky Yofre use their grandparents’ recipes to fill the stomachs of the Bull City’s residents.
Hernan Moyano describes the empanada as an omnipresent Argentinian food, enjoyed all day long and year-round. The resturant’s name stems from a nickname given to Moyano by his late wife: “Ma-koos,” which was later changed to sound more like “make us” (empanadas). The chefs began a catering business in the Triangle in 2013, and the owners felt very strongly about choosing Durham for its appreciation of food. The brick-and-mortar, pictured below, opened in early 2016.
The interior is set up for counter-style dining, with plenty of seating next to modern surfaces. Orange you glad they chose that bright color?
The empanadas ($2.50 each) come marked with their flavors. Shown above is the “SC” for “Sweet Corn.” Nice touch.
Most of the flavors are inspired by the Argentine varieties. Some American additions, such as Bacon & Cheese or Pepperoni, have been added for our palates.
Makus has several vegetarian flavors, including Onion & Cheese and Spinach. There is even a vegan option.
We tried the Makus Meal ($9.95), which includes 3 empanadas, 1 side, 1 sauce, and 1 drink. Shown above are the black beans and the chimichurri dipping sauce, all served on a steel tray. Can you tell from the letters which three flavors of empanadas are part of this meal?
The outside crust is delectably flaky, with layer after layer of thin crust happily breaking apart to yield to miles of stretchy cheese. The Chicken has ground poultry, onion, and spices. Ham & Cheese, made with mozzarella, and parmesan, is the most cheesy we tried. We loved the Sweet Corn as well as the Spinach, for our vegetarian friends.
For those in doubt, salty Italian pepperoni is quite content to wrap itself in an Argentinian flaky cocoon.
Chipa Bread ($3) is a Latin American cheese bread- soft on the inside (think mochi) with a dusting of cheese on the outside (think Goldfish crackers).
We finished with Homemade Cookies ($1) which look and taste even better with a generous coating of Dulce De Leche (50¢).
As has been the case with many mobile ventures that have bought storefronts in Durham, we hope Makus will continue to thrive. Come for lunch (or dinner!) and enjoy some excellent empanadas.
1125 W NC-54 #304, Durham, NC 27707