Spanish: Boqueria

Eating Out




Last Friday, the 13th (oooOOooooh), I sampled the tapas at Boqueria with some friends.  Tapas always bring back memories of my backpacking trip through Europe four years ago, where we had copious amounts of tapas, pork products and manchego cheese as we traipsed our way through Spain.  Would Boqueria live up to those high standards?

We were greeted by a large board featuring the specials of the day – special cheese, sangria, typical dishes such as tortilla Espanola, and….dum dum DUM!…in giant block letters – Jamon de Pata Negra!

Often know by its more popular name, jamon iberico, this pork product is the fattier, fancier cousin of jamon serrano. Salty, flavorful, and full of umami, jamon iberico is a cured meat whose enjoyment is worth of the most dastardly of migraines.  I mean, take a look at that beauteous leg:

We started things out with drinks – white sangria for eating buddy and a good ole’ ice tea for me:

We started with some traditional dishes – first, the Tortilla Espanola, a traditional egg and potato omelet:

We also ordered my second favorite tapas dish (my absolute favorite is coming up later) – Bunuelos de Bacalao, or cod fritters!  The citrus alioli was superb.

The jury is out on this one – I wasn’t too crazy about these Patatas Bravas (crispy potatoes), but eating buddy really liked them.

And finally, my go-to favorite tapas dish: dates stuffed with bacon and Valdeon, wrapped in bacon.  LOVE this – sweet, creamy, crispy and porky all in one.  Unfortunately, it was gone too quickly.  Into my belly, that is.

We also ordered tapas that I hadn’t sampled as much of in Spain, such as razor clams with sweet corn salsa (first picture) and the sauteed wild mushrooms with pork guanciale and manchego:

There was one mushroom that tasted sour, which although not unpleasant, was unexpected.  However, the cheese was an excellent addition – the manchego did not melt completely and provided a chewy, slightly curd-y touch.

We also ordered the the shrimp with garlic and pepper in olive oil – the large chunk of bread that accompanied the dish was perfect for soaking up the garlicky goodness.

Our final dish was the creamy croquette dish – three were mushroom croquettes and the other three were chard.  While croquettes are common in Spanish tapas cuisine, these varieties were not.  The mushroom croquettes were especially delicious.

Boqueria can’t compare to the tapas I had years ago in Madrid and Barcelona, but I challenge you to find a place in NYC that does (no really, find one and let me know!).  That being said, the restaurant is perfectly suitable for primarily traditional tapas dishes, and the ambience is perfect for a Friday night out.  The dishes are a little pricey, but if you split among friends or find a dining coupon, it’s not exceedingly tough on the wallet.

Dependable location for mostly traditional Tapas.

171 Spring St. (off Thompson)
There is also a Flatiron location, which I have not tried.

Do you like tapas? What’s your favorite tapas dish?

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  • Reply
    Try Anything Once Terri
    August 18, 2010 at 3:13 pm

    I went to Boqueria, the original Flatiron location, about three years ago I think. It was good then. My only issue with tapas is that I feel like I need to get so many in order to feel like I actually had a meal. Maybe I need to shrink my stomach 🙂

  • Reply
    August 18, 2010 at 3:38 pm

    Oh my goodness, loved the jamon iberica in Spain! This place looks great! If you're ever in SF, definitely try Zarzuelas in Russian Hill – best tapas I've had in this city! I hope I get to go to New York in the fall and try some of these places on your blog 🙂

  • Reply
    August 18, 2010 at 3:45 pm

    Tapas are my favorite to share with friends. They are perfect bite-sized meals so you get to enjoy so many different varities of food.

  • Reply
    August 18, 2010 at 3:55 pm

    That razor clam dish looks like its right up my ally. I haven't had great tapas over here on the west coast but I'm still looking.

  • Reply
    August 18, 2010 at 3:59 pm

    oh i love croquettes. love 'em. have you tried in chelsea? i went there once and it was pretty good!

  • Reply
    August 18, 2010 at 3:59 pm

    p.s. i love all your pictures of the food–amazing!

  • Reply
    August 18, 2010 at 5:04 pm

    I studied abroad in Spain for 9 months and I love tapas! Seems like a decent place to check out. I agree–I have yet to find a tapas place in NYC that compares to Madrid or Barcelona itself!

  • Reply
    August 18, 2010 at 5:08 pm

    The food looks amazing. It's 10am here- can I go to lunch now?

  • Reply
    August 18, 2010 at 5:45 pm

    Thanks for all your comments and restaurant recommendations, everyone! Looks like I have a good selection of places to try :). And I agree, I sometimes feel that I'm not full enough on tapas – for example, I could have easily downed 10 of those bacon wrapped dates. 🙂

  • Reply
    August 18, 2010 at 5:49 pm

    oh, i didn't realize they opened this location. if you want to try a really exciting place, take a trip out to newark, nj to Mompou. the prices are reasonable too, so i usually leave totally stuffed.

  • Reply
    Mrs. Hot Cocoa
    August 18, 2010 at 7:07 pm

    Love tapas. Patatas bravas are my favorite dish . . . every time my husband and I get to go to Jaleo in DC we get two orders of them and squabble over who gets to lick the dish.

  • Reply
    AubreyRose @ My Simple Everyday
    August 18, 2010 at 9:10 pm

    Yum!! Tapas are delish and those pictures are making my tummy growl!

  • Reply
    August 18, 2010 at 9:54 pm

    I've been there 2 times and can't say that I love the place. I really wanted to but I didn't love the sangria and some of the food. But I do agree that the dates were fabulous 🙂

  • Reply
    August 19, 2010 at 2:24 am

    Those dates sound so awesome. Okay so when do I apply to be your eating buddy? I'm a good eater… promise. 😀

  • Reply
    heart the day
    August 19, 2010 at 3:24 am

    Your pics are food porn! They look delish 🙂

  • Reply
    August 19, 2010 at 3:51 am

    Justin – I will travel for food! Thanks for the reco! 🙂

    Jessica – I always love meeting new eating buddies 🙂

  • Reply
    Jina of JAC Beauty
    August 19, 2010 at 4:30 am

    I LOVE tapas except when it comes out in odd numbers! Who gets the last piece?

  • Reply
    August 19, 2010 at 10:52 am

    i can already tell this blog is going to make me hungry alll the time 🙂

  • Reply
    August 19, 2010 at 3:44 pm

    Everything looks so good! I need to stop reading this blog before lunch time.

  • Reply
    August 20, 2010 at 1:03 pm

    I am so incredibly hungry right now and your post just made me even hungrier! Such interesting food choices. Would love to try someday <3. Oh and what a great sign to put outside a restuarant :)!

  • Reply
    August 21, 2010 at 2:22 pm

    This makes me hungry for home! I'll be in nyc for a couple of days next week before flying back to Spain so maybe I'll try this place. Great post and thanks!

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