I’m a sucker for tapas like everyone else, but even more so since I visited Barcelona. Since then, all tapas places have become an inevitable comparison to my love, Bar Rodrigo.
I was at Pipa to celebrate a happy occasion, and like a dictator I monopolized the menu and planned out our dishes ahead of time. I had been studying the menu for few days. Next to Tertulia, my favorite tapas place in NY (but impossible to get into after six), Pipa is a close second. Their sangria rocks too, a little too much actually. It’s like a small docile horse that gives you the smoothest ride but catapults you several feet into a thornbush right before you reach your destination.
But I digress. I remember Pipa’s portions being much smaller. I think they raised the prices and increased the portions, something I prefer over decreasing portion sizes to keep the prices low (a major turnoff in my book).
Case in point, these baby chorizos were only about 4-5 small chorizos the last time I was at Pipa. I quite welcome the increase in portions since most of these dishes are to share.
The patatas bravas had a great crunch to accompany the spice of the cayenne and paprika.
I love pulpo, and I love Pipa’s pulpo for being cooked perfectly (tender, not chewy), and in a much bigger serving that what I’m used to when it comes to octopus. The paella was tasty and can easily become the main event of any evening with the monstrous half lobster asserting its presence. I love paellas, and I love Pipa’s, but it’s still second to my New York paella love Blue Ribbon.
I like reliving moments via food, and tapas joints always bring me back to a fateful evening along Barcelona, coming out of Bar Rodrigo, drunk on sangria and spitting out profanities as I walked out the door. I tripped on a cobblestone and landed on my knees, fueling more laughter with my amore to last many years. We are going back to Spain in November, this time to the Southern coast of the Andalusia Region. Maybe Barcelona will fade a little bit in my eyes. Lord knows more paella awaits. Don’t worry, I’ll tell you all about it.
38 East 19th St
Between Broadway & Park Ave S
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