Operating a diner serving classic Spanish dishes seems like the best of both worlds. Who doesn’t love eating fried eggs with a side of chorizo and churros? That’s the aim of the Spanish Diner at Hudson Yards, a project backed by Jose Andres and the famous Adria brothers, a Who’s Who in Spanish cooking. The all-day restaurant sits on the ground floor of Hudson Yards in a sparkling new dining space that looks like it would be the cafeteria of a well-funded tech company. The menu reads like a dream of the food you ate on your latest Spanish getaway. Unfortunately, the food probably tastes better in your dreams than the real life Spanish Diner Spanish breakfast on your plate.
You can’t compete with the memories of eating churros at San Gines or noshing on tapas in Madrid, and I wasn’t expecting the meal at the Spanish Diner to live up to that standard. But nothing that I ate was remotely close to walking me down Spain memory lane. The closest may have been the rum-soaked pineapple that I had for dessert, but that may have been the alcohol talking. And it brought back memories of Cancun or the Caribbean, but not Spain. In all seriousness, the pineapple was excellent.
Being here reminded me of a Disney simulacrum of a Spanish food hall. Everything looks new and great, but the actual food is overly sanitized and a bit soulless. And might I add extremely expensive. I somehow paid over $40 for a plate of eggs and mixed meat. Certainly not a price point you’d expect for a diner, but definitely for something out of Disneyland. The $40 egg dish was 50% soggy french fry, by the way, and 100% grease. Sure, there were slices of Iberico ham and blood sausage in there, but not enough to warrant that premium. The flashy name of the dish–huevos rotos casa lucia–was a real winner, I have to give them that.
I did really enjoy the churros, although more in the way you enjoy eating free doughnuts at work. They may not be the best, but you do look forward to them. The pancake, on the other hand, was dry. As was the pan con tomate. I don’t remember Spain being this arid. I’m happy to return to Spain and a diner on separate visits, but not combined at the Spanish Diner.
Spanish Diner at Mercado Little Spain
10 Hudson Yards
New York, NY 10001