My daughters and I may have found the perfect spot for a wintertime snack. Not that this tiny Spanish delicacies/sandwich/tapas shop on the eastern edge of Soho is anything new... in fact Despaña has been slicing serrano and such for almost two years now. But after our first visit last week, there's no way we're waiting that long to stop in again.
First up? Tons of free samples of things we really like to eat: several hams, lots of olives, four different kinds of balsamic vinegar, y muchos quesos ricos. Anyway, when we finally made it to the cramped cafe area in back, we went straight for the bocadillos, Spanish-style heros served on crusty, chewy ciabatta. Any one of the ten or so choices sounded good, but we decided to split the Gallego, pressed and served warm, the serrano ham, chorizón and melted arúa ulloa cheese delivering an intensely flavored, perfectly balanced sandwich experience.
For dessert we opted for a double order of churros and hot chocolate, the doughnutty sticks moist and covered in sugar; the sweet cocoa beverage refreshingly liquid, rather than the trendy (though admittedly delicious) sludge most places seem to be serving these days. All in all, this was a totally satisfying snacking adventure.
Despaña is located on Broome Street between Lafayette and Centre. It was pretty empty when we were there, around 3:00 on a Friday afternoon, but I can imagine on weekends having to wait for one of the six stools in the back. The counter workers are all extremely helpful and friendly.