The Boqueria NYC Flatiron is a way to have tapas in Manhattan
We found Boquería NYC, Flatiron while looking for a good place to eat in the area. Literally, I put into the search engine “Restaurant, Lunch, Flatiron, NYC” and up popped a long list of restaurants at various prices. Of course, the first thing that I noticed was a place called “Boquería.” At first I thought that it would specialize in Boquerones, but it turned out to be an authentic Spanish restaurant and the sandwiches were reasonably priced, so we decided to give it a try.
Boquería NYC is easy to find, located just off 6th Avenue at West 19th Street. The little brown awning invites you to pop inside and the ham legs hanging in the window, along with the tortilla española (Spanish omlette) sitting in the glass case at the bar confirmed the authentic flavor of the restaurant. The décor is done in cream and brown tones and the high tables are accompanied by stools and high benches. It is a perfect mix between Spanish style bars where there is no room to sit and patrons stand while eating tapas, and New York chic.
We ordered a glass of water and sat down to study the menu. The first thing I noticed was actually at the table next to ours. The size of the tapas, despite their higher prices, was very small. An order of pimientos de padrón (which was half the size of what I get in Madrid) cost seven dollars. I suppose that when you apply the conversion factor the price is about on point. Others were similarly expensive- Gambas al ajillo would run about 13 dollars, and a pincho of tortilla was 7 dollars. Three dates wrapped in bacon were 7 dollars. The people next to us ordered various tapas to share, but I think the more economical approach is to try one of the bocadillos or sandwiches.
We chose to order two different sandwiches and try half of the other person´s. This turned out to be a great idea because each sandwich came with an order of patatasmixtas (fried potatoes with ali-oli sauce and spicy bravas sauce), as well as a salad of mixed greens. I chose the Bocata de Boquerones which had pickled white anchovies (boquerones), goat´s cheese and green apple on grilled country bread. It was delicious! The boquerones were authentic and the creamy goat´s cheese paired with the crunchy tart apples were a compliment that, although not typical in Spain, was a great contrast. We also tried the BocataMoruno which had pieces of roasted lamb on French bread with a mix of spices and garlic. The sandwich was very moist with the juices from the lamb and the spices mixing and seeping into the bread.
To drink we chose the house red wine (Tremenda), which ran 11 dollars a glass. It was a nice compliment to our meal, and when the waiter came by to ask if we wanted a dessert, we could not pass up the CremaCatalana. This dessert is served in a small ceramic dish and holds a creamy vanilla pudding with cinnamon and is covered in a hard sugary carmelized crust. As we tapped through the carmelized sugar with our mini spoons I knew that the dish would be typical and looks did not deceive! The dessert melted in our mouths and we scraped the sides of the small dish, literally licking our plates clean.
The quantities served at the restaurant were on point. Sometimes in America you are faced with enormous sandwiches and piles of French fries that you can hardly begin to finish. In this case we ate everything on our plates and felt satisfied but not overly stuffed. The prices for our sandwiches were also very good considering we were dining in Manhattan: Bocata Moruno: 13 dollars, Bocata Boquerones, 10 dollars, two glasses of house red wine: 22 dollars, and crema catalane: 7 dollars. The total came to 26 dollars a person.
I would highly recommend going to this restaurant either for a special lunch or to have a celebration with friends. The wait staff was extremely helpful and friendly. We didn´t have to wait very long for our food and the atmosphere was animated, but not overly loud. In short, a Spanish experience with a New York twist. On the black board outside where in Spain you would have seen the Menu del dia offerings there was a drawing of the New York skyline and the map of Spain. Great things go together. We ruskomend Boqueria NYC with 5 boquerones!