Saturday, May 31, 2008

Run Like the Bulls to Pamplona

One of my friends and a fellow blogger Smith was working on a feature about his favorite deals in Manhattan…some of them are well-known and some are pretty secretive. Only the cool kids are in the know! So, we met for lunch one day to try out one of the great deals. Pamplona is a modern Spanish restaurant in the Flatiron area that features a great tapas menu along with a host of other dishes. When I first glanced over the menu, my first thought was, “um, a $30 lunch during the workday isn't my idea of a deal!” Then Smith quickly informed me that they have unpublicized lunch deal: soups, salads, sandwiches all for under $6. Ahh, much better.

We walked in and saw no mention of a lunch menu, but spoke to the hostess and she rattled off the take-out specials of the day. The menu rotates daily, but from the options she told us about, it seems like there’s something on the menu for all tastes, whether it’s steak, chicken or vegetarian.

I ordered the chicken sandwich, which came with roast chicken, avocado, manchego cheese, lettuce, tomato, and a garlic aioli served on a fresh baguette. I knew it’d probably be good, but was thinking to myself, “how different can this chicken sandwich really be from the ones I order at the deli across from my office?!” Well, VERY different. First off, it was a huge sandwich, probably a foot-long, and only $6! Second, the chicken was very flavorful and moist. The avocado was nice and ripe. I love anything that has melted manchego on it, so that was a no-brainer! And lastly, the baguette was the perfect consistency…crunchy on the outside, soft on the inside.

I was sold…but, it left me wishing my office was a little closer! Smith ordered a soup/sandwich combo (which is only $5!) and got a ½ steak sandwich (prepared in a similar fashion to my chicken one) and a cup of green gazpacho. I didn’t try his sandwich, but the gazpacho was delicious and very refreshing on a warm Spring day.

If you work anywhere in the vicinity of 28th b/t Madison and Park Aves, you must try Pamplona for lunch! It’s not fair to us who work in the 40s and 50s if you don’t! Another great perk is its proximity to Madison Square Park. Fantastic way to get a great meal at a great price and break up the work day by spending lunch in a beautiful park!

Pamplona
37 East 28th Street
b/t Park & Madison Avenue
website
Menu Pages listing

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