Thursday, November 28, 2013

Spanish montaditos 100 ways in New York

Spanish food has long been popular in New York - tapas and paella bars abound, sangria never seems to go out of style, and jamon iberico is increasingly becoming widely available and appreciated by foodies. To add yet more variety to the scene, an outpost of the uber-popular Spanish chain Cerveceria 100 Montaditos (shortened to 100 Montaditos), which offers those namesake snack-sized rolls with fillings a hundred different ways, recently opened in the Village.

#66 Serrano ham with Manchego cheese (left), #20 Spanish tortilla montaditos

Like most tourists, I had come across 100 Montaditos branches in Madrid, and had grabbed a beer or two and perhaps a montadito filled with ham or cheese. Given that country's economic crisis and resulting unemployment rate of over twenty five percent, the locals are also flocking to 100 Montaditos primarily because of the attractive price point - every montadito costs the same - one euro!

So it was quite a surprise to stumble upon the first (there will be more, said the counter person) branch in New York, which had been open a grand total of five days. I figured I'd have a light dinner before heading off to an engagement, and perused the menu, finally making up my mind (a hundred choices!) and ordering #20 (Spanish Tortilla), #54 (Brie, chorizo, and aoili), and #66 (jamon Serrano with Manchego cheese).

Choosing a beer was more straightforward - they only had Bud, Bud Light and Estrella Damm on tap, so I went for the last one. After all, this was a Spanish food experience, wasn't it? Hopefully, better choices will be added soon, and I don't mean Mahou or San Miguel.

The pricing scheme works a bit differently at this branch compared to Spain. Not all 100 montaditos are priced uniformly, but rather 25 varieties cost $1, another 25 cost $1.50, another 35 cost $2 (including the above-mentioned #54 and #66), 15 premium montaditos will set you back $2.50, and finally 5 varieties of sweet dessert montaditos go for $2. (On Wednesdays ALL montaditos are offered for $1).

It's still a pretty good deal - my three montaditos plus one beer cost $10 before tax and tip - and I felt full after my "light" dinner. So it's not gourmet food but they were quite tasty, and I was pleasantly surprised that chips came with my order. These are good quality snacks which everyone who loves Spanish food will enjoy, regardless of your budgetary constraints.

Now that I've crossed three items off the list, 97 more to go...check out the menu here.

100 Montaditos on Urbanspoon

No comments: