I was a big fan of my first visit to “Boqueira”, an authentic Spanish Tapas restaurant that took the traditional bar fare and gave it a slight New York zest. However, one thing that I regretted not getting was the Paella. On my two trips to Spain, Paella was my big thing. I was even lucky enough to have Paella Negro, a type of paella made with squid ink that was special to Valencia.
It was only a matter of time before I went back for round two, and my mission was clear. I had to have the paella, end of story. I had high expectations of it from my last visit, but a burger is a vastly different world than Spain’s national dish. How did this visit compare to my first time at “Boqueira”? Let’s find out!
Tapas are something that I learned to appreciate on my foreign exchange trip to Spain during high school, and have been something I have missed since then. It’s also an awesome word to say to someone who has never heard the word before, like when I tried to explain it to my ex-girlfriend’s Jamaican aunt and she thought I was bragging about going to a topless bar. Awkward…
Soho’s “Boqueria”, named after Barcelona’s famed “El Mercat de la Boqueira”, has been serving up authentic Spanish finger food and meals in a cozy little nook on Spring Street since 2006. With two locations in New York, one in Washington, DC, and another all the way in Hong Kong, “Boqueria must be doing something right, and it was up to this Encyclopedia Brown to find out what.
I kicked things off with the “Bombas de Barcelonata”, a trio of potato croquettes stuffed with beef and doused in their signature spicy tomato sauce and garlic allioli. Fried foods, as we are all aware, are golden brown ambrosia from the heavens, but it’s easy to go too far and turn into deep-fried dough at the carnival. These bombas were light and fluffy, with the perfect combo of sauces on top to add some hot and milky complexity to a simple ball of starch and meat.