A Taste of Spain in NYC

When I miss the places I’ve traveled to, I try to relive those experiences through food. It’s quicker and easier to get there and stirs up wonderful memories. It was at this time a few years back that I was traveling through Europe. One place in particular that I loved was Mallorca. Time and money won’t allow me to visit right now. The next best thing…. El Quinto Pino .

El Quinto Pino is a small wine bar and cafe serving up authentic dishes from Spain including Ensaimadas (larded sweet rolls), tapas, churros and submarino de Chocovic (hot chocolate). They recently started serving breakfast and that’s what I came for.

The menu is small but sounds delicious. I’ll try the Bikini and a Cafe con Leche. Their bikini is a pressed panini of Serrano ham and cheese pressed so thin, it’s almost like a quesadilla. Small in size by huge in taste. I take my first bite. Salty from the ham, sweet and gooey from the cheese, paper thin bread. Verdict – the best panini….EVER. A sip of my cafe and I am back in Mallorca. Delicioso!!!! I was having such a relaxing time that I ordered another cafe and chatted with the chef for a while. I honestly didn’t think that sandwich would fill me but it was so rich, I was stuffed. Darn…I really wanted to try something sweet. Next time.

Well next time came a few days later. This time I tried the tortilla which is a potato and onion omelet. It is so fluffy that it looks like a piece of pie on a plate. I’m getting full but I must try a dessert. They’re known for their ensaimadas but I wasn’t sure about the lard. I chose instead churros with dulce de leche sauce. They are made fresh on the spot and you can tell. Crunchy on the outside, airy on the inside dusted with sugar. The sugar grains were a little too powerful for me. I would rather a dusting of superfine sugar mixed with cinnamon. But delicious none the less. They were so filling, I had to take them home. The chef wrapped them up in a paper bag and let me take the bowl filled with the caramel sauce home. Ooops….I still have it home. Good excuse to go back.

I guess good things do come in small packages.

Happiness, $25 and under.

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