Jesús Manso has opened a narrow storefront next to his Mulberry Street branch of Socarrat Paella Bar called La Churreria (284 Mulberry Street, 212-219-0400), which, as the name implies, sells churros — the long sticks of fried dough often served with small cups of hot chocolate for dipping. We stopped by recently for a quick lunch, and while the churros were decent, it was really the tasty sandwiches that made us want to return for more.
The space doesn’t offer much by way of seating, with only a handful of tables and stools, but sandwiches are available to-go, and the portion sizes are fairly small, so you’ll probably be in and out in a short amount of time — think of it as a midday-snack/coffee-break pit stop. The menu is composed of small breakfast sandwiches ($6, and not yet available according to the menu), crustless toasted sandwiches called bikinis ($7), and larger baguette sandwiches called bocatas ($9.50). We opted for the pollo chimichurri bocata, which featured a flattened grilled chicken breast, fried onions, chimichurri sauce, a smear of balsamic reduction, and a grilled padrón pepper. The chicken was moist and flavorful, while the assorted sauces added a gentle floral spice and tang. A nice twist on the standard chicken sandwich.
Even better, though, was the trio bikini, a sort of Spanish grilled cheese made with Serrano ham, young Mahon cheese, and membrillo (a/k/a quince paste). Cooked to a buttery golden brown, it was all at once salty, sweet, and savory. The only downside is that it’s easy to wolf it down and then want another one. Savor it slowly with one of the many coffee or espresso beverages available.
And, finally, the churros (pictured above). Six bucks will get you six plus a cup of chocolate, or you can get the churros in portions of five, 10, or 15 for $3, $5, or $7. Although they were warm, they actually didn’t have much flavor (or, in our opinion, enough sprinkled sugar), and instead just tasted fried. We prefer our churros thick and crunchy with a creamy inside, and these fell a little short. Nevertheless, we loved the laid-back ambiance of the mirror-and-tiled spot and would definitely come back for lunch or just when we need a 4 p.m. coffee-and-grilled cheese pick-me-up. Which is pretty often.