Book club brunch at Boqueria

Things have been going relatively well with Larry aka The Beautiful Man (TBM). There was a rocky period after his law school’s barrister’s ball, where I had a business trip, he started his finals prep and I was convinced he was starting to phase me out because we just could not seem to make time to see each other. During this span of three weeks, we just sporadically texted and I spent way too much trying to convince myself that it did not really matter if he did not want to continue seeing me because whatever, this is totally chill and I really did not even like him that much (all lies, by the way). He finally got his head above water enough to have dinner at DBGB one Saturday at the end of April and as soon as I saw him, I immediately reverted back to a giggling prepubescent tween with a schoolgirl crush. We had a fantastic meal consisting of fried burrata, steak tartare, Atlantic cod, and profiteroles (definitely recommend this dessert), followed by drinks at Poste and Denson. Afterwards, he dropped me off at my place before heading home to finish up some papers and I was left wondering if I had been friend-zoned again because of his quick good-bye peck. I did not see him again for another two weeks, this time for a quick patio dinner at Lupo Verde before he went back to his papers. It was another wonderful date with delicious food (fried artichokes, seared scallops, short ribs, an insane amount of charcuterie and cheese, and some kind of nutella-flavored ice cream dessert served in a giant grandma mug) and hilarious stories. I left this date feeling high from the sunshine, bourbon, carbs, and TBM’s smile (I mean, the man literally has perfect teeth). The problem was that the high from each of our dates only lasts for so long. Then it’s followed up by all of this time in between where I think about wanting more from him but also trying to convince myself that I should not even like him that much. We are in the vague space between casual dating, and something more. And there is nothing that screws with my mind quite like waiting. It creates expectations; it builds up fantasies; it puts me on pause, and it just allows too much down time where my mind goes crazy. And I understand a lot of this space and uncertainty can be attributed to his busy school and work schedule. Well, the build up has finally led to the completion of his program, and I am still trying to not get all of my hopes up that things will be different (failing miserably at this) now that he is not balancing work, school, fellowship and various other life factors that are not as important as me (sleeping, eating, breathing, etc). Well, he finally finished up his finals and papers the second weekend of May, and met up with me to celebrate. After a long night of bar hopping all around U street, I passed out hard in his incredibly comfortable bed (of course the perfect man has a perfect bed), and woke up a few hours later still exhausted, with an impressive hangover. TBM dropped me of at my place around 11am, and I desperately needed some sodium and nourishment to take the edge off of my headache. Luckily, I had brunch plans with my “book club” at Boqueria, an NYC implant located in Dupont. After a quick shower, I walked over to the tapas bar with SBS and N where we waited at the bar for the rest of the group to arrive. I had already started sweating during the walk over to 19th street and all I could think in my pounding head was filling my stomach back up. Of course, when you have a group of 12 females getting together on a sunny Saturday morning, you are definitely not going to start the brunch festivities on time. By the time everyone arrived and the Boqueria staff seated us at a long table in the back, I was in rough shape. As everyone put in their drink order, I turned to the waiter and pleaded for him to bring me a serving of bacon, stat. IMG_2853 This was exactly what I needed to slowly bring me back to the land of the living. The thick, salty slices of bacon are cooked until they as crispy as a chip, which is just the way I like it. After munching away on a few slices, I reverted to a functioning, social human being again and rejoined the conversation. We all decided to go with the bottomless food and drink option for $39, and told the waiter to just bring us out all of the brunch dishes in whatever order he saw fit. We started with the Surtido de Tapas, which actually was one of my favorite dishes. Each board consisted of Jamón Serrano, Spanish omelet, olives, and was served with country bread and aioli. The thick squares of creamy Spanish omelet had large, silky chunks of potatoes in it, perfect for dipping into the delicious, garlicky aioli. After polishing off these boards, I ordered another plate of bacon for the table while the main dishes kept rolling out. One of the highlights of the meal was the Albóndigas (lamb meatballs with tomato sauce and sheep’s milk cheese). I love lamb meatballs because I think lamb gives the dish an earthier flavor, and the fresh herbs sprinkled on top add to this effect. The Soldaditos de Pollo, potato chip crusted chicken breast, also hit the spot for me, and reminded me… in a good way…. of chicken nuggets. The Mejillones con Salsa Verde was also enjoyable, and the mussels tasted very fresh while the garlic and white wine broth was light. At this point, my stomach was starting to fill up, but that did not prevent from flagging down the waiter for another plate of bacon. I had mentioned to him at the beginning of the meal that he should just keep bacon coming, but he must have thought I was kidding. I was not. I wanted a bite of bacon after every dish. IMG_2854By the time the Revuelto de Setas de Temporada came out, I was beginning to reach my limit of savory dishes. This soft, creamy scramble of eggs, wild mushrooms, goat cheese, Idiazábal cheese, basil was so fragrant and delicious but I could only manage about a bite and a half. I wish they had brought this out at the beginning, because we were all starting to fade a little and could not enjoy this simple and lovely dish as much as we wished we could have. Out of all the savory dishes, my least favorite dish was the Cocido de Garbanzos, which was a Garbanzo bean cassoulet with chorizo, pork sausage and pancetta, served in a mini cast-iron skillet. The garbanzo beans tasted a little chalky, and the sparse chorizo and pancetta pieces were overly salty. The other brunch dishes were good, and we appreciated the variety. Finally, we moved onto the desserts. First came the Churros con Chocolate Traditional, which were freshly fried churros served with a deacdently thick, hot chocolate dipping sauce. As soon as I saw the chocolate sauce, I knew what I had to do. I ordered yet another plate of bacon from the waiter and dipped it into the sauce. It tasted like perfection. Basically it tasted like TBM in the form of a dessert. IMG_2855   The kitchen was kind enough to also send out a few orders of the Churros Rellenos, which are churros filled with Nutella. Of course, this is right up my alley, and if I had not woken up beside TBM, I would say that this dish would have been the absolutely highlight of my day. These churros are crispy on the outside, and soft and fluffy on the inside. Each bite was oozing with warm hazelnut spread, and sent me into a near orgasmic coma. IMG_2856 The bottomless option is a really good deal, and I was glad we got to sample all of the dishes which are relatively simple, and well-executed. It is a good spot for big groups, and the servers were responsive and attentive, which is fantastic when you are dealing with a dozen, buzzed, starving females. Overall, it was a fantastic experience and I immediately went home and passed out in a hazy food coma for the next few hours before attempting to do an 8 mile in order to burn off about 1/8th of my meal.

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