One of Argentina’s most popular comfort foods is called a milanesa, which is essentially a thin, breaded piece of beef, similar to a chicken cutlet. Unfortunately, Argentine ex-pats in Brooklyn have said that an authentic version of the dish is difficult to find here.
Three Argentine natives and Williamsburg locals, Hugo Heinz, Fermin Couto, and Juana Montenegro, decided to fix this problem and founded a company called Milasburg that sells frozen milanesas by the pound.
“When we moved to the city, we tried looking for places that sold milanesas by the pound because it is a practical solution for cooking after long hours of work,” Heinz said. “We never found a milanesa that reminded us of Argentina, so we decided to make them at home in bigger batches and freeze them.”
Heinz told Greenpointers that he, Couto, and Montenegro were all born in Argentina. Heinz grew up in Miami, and “always dreamed of living in NYC,” while the other co-founders met in Argentina and moved to New York last year when Montenegro’s job offered the opportunity to move to United States.
All three co-founders now live in the same area of Williamsburg and often host dinners for other Argentine friends. During these dinners, they would serve the milanesas that they made and froze.
“Milanesas are a very common dish to make especially for an Argentinian crowd and our friends loved them,” Heinz said. “They started asking if we ever thought of selling them… After a few more conversations and research, we decided to start Milasburg.”
Selling milanesas frozen is very common in Argentina. The Milasburg team feels it is the best way to preserve quality and can make them in batches weekly. They also feel that it makes things easy for customers. “For the client, it is something very practical and easy to prepare,” Heinz said.
Every order from Milasburg comes in an insulated bag and includes clear and precise preparation instructions and a fresh lemon, a small touch that will mean a lot to Argentine ex-pats who know the only way to eat a milanesa is with a squeeze of lemon juice on top.
Milasburg’s authenticity is woven through the whole experience. The team buys premium quality beef and marinates it for hours. They also spend time on the breading mix which leads to a perfect crunch when fried.
Currently, the only way to order Milasburg’s milanesas is to send a message to the team on Instagram, but next month, Milasburg’s website will launch, and orders can be placed directly through it.
The team has more in store for 2024. Milasburg will open a small restaurant in Williamsburg toward the end of next year. The team lovingly called it a “hole in the wall” that will serve milanesas and other traditional Argentinian small plates. Heinz said that the space will feature a simple counter to sit down and enjoy a few dishes with good wine and good music.