Tapas Y Papas gives hope in Times Square

Decked out in the bright colors of the Spanish flag, this diminutive freight container food stand manages to grab a little attention away from the blaring billboards near 42nd St and Broadway. The signage catches my eye by claiming tortillas as a specialty. We’re talking about the Spanish potato onion omelette, not what’s keeping your Chipotle burrito intact. Only a week ago, I had gorged on an amazing tortilla in the Village from the Spanish chain, 100 Montaditos, which left me craving seconds. Could there possibly be a legitimate version in, of all places, Times Square?

These cones of jamon and cheese first catch my eye as something I’ve only seen on the streets of Spain. Surely that’s a few points for authenticity? But at $6 each, there’s no money left for a real lunch.

A quick survey of their prices and portions declare the Bocadillo (Del Dia) as the only item worth trying for MLers. At $9.99, it slides right under the budget. Add on tax, you’re looking at $10.80. The “daily sandwich” has everything crammed into a long ciabatta-like roll: 3 tortillas (egg, potato, onion), thinly sliced Serrano ham, manchego, arugula, and most importantly, paprika-spiked aioli. That aioli! If they had fries, I would pay extra for the aioli on the side. Disclaimer: I’m a sucker for aioli.

For the carb-averse, there’s straight up tortillas on the menu. However, the rest of you should level up for just $2 more to the sandwich for a real meal. The moist chewy bread doesn’t let down, either. The only downside is you can’t sample their other aioli flavors. With no line and little prep time, I was scurrying back to the warm office in less than 5 minutes with my hot sandwich. Either the day was too cold, or not many people have found this newish stand just yet.

Does Tapas Y Papas transport you to Spain? Not exactly, but the last time any food held my attention in Times Square was the ginormous butter sculpture of Paris at the Best of France street fair. I couldn’t eat butter for several months after that. This time the Spanish are staking out the exact same territory, but with much more palatable results. Spanish fans, check it out and let us know what you think!

Tapas Y Papas
Broadway b/w 42nd and 43rd St.

And in case you missed it, here’s the butter sculpture in almost the same location, only a few months prior!

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