Oak Cliff’s Argentine restaurant is about to take center stage in our gateway. La Carreta Argentina is the new name for Carolina Rivarola and Samuel Garcia’s restaurant, the insider’s favorite empanadas and pizza spot, Don Panza.

The husband and wife opened that restaurant on Clarendon in 2007, and closed it about a month ago to focus on their new space at the Zang Blvd. X, down Beckley from Spiral Diner and next door to Beckley Brewhouse.

La Carreta could open as early as the first week of January. It will have the same menu items as Don Panza, just fewer of them. Spicy beef, chicken, and bleu cheese-and-ham empanadas will make the new menu, as well as Argentine pizza, but some of the 13 empanadas are history.

Argentine grilled meats, like in those Brazilian churrasco joints, are additions to the new menu, along with homemade-style pasta and Argentine sweetbread.

Another change is that La Carreta can apply for a liquor license now — the old location on Clarendon was next to a school.

“It’s a better location,” says Rivarola. “The place is bigger. We have a lot of loyal customers, but we’re not well-known.”

Rivarola and Garcia’s new partner, Mario Szama, says he invested in the place because it’s a unique concept from a hard-working couple with a good reputation.

And Rivarola agrees.

“It’s new in Dallas, and it’s unique,” she says. “We know we have good food.”

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