Business Travelers: Do you recommend Jamonera for
I remember reading a quote from Valerie Safran, who opened Jamonera with Marcie Turney, about why they closed Bindi, the Indian BYOB which had previously occupied the space. I found the quote again on Foobooz: “After a while you get tired of hearing people say, ‘We don’t eat Indian food’.” That was me, although I’ve eaten several terrific meals at Tashan. Thanks for making the switch to Jamonera.
I walked into Jamonera on Thursday, March 29, 2012 a little after 7:30 pm. I had been to Jamonera for dinner before and was really looking forward to sitting at the bar, having a meal and writing a review for BarTaste. Ugh, I was quickly disappointed as there were no bar seats available. The very nice hostess said she thought some people were leaving soon but the place is small with nowhere to really wait. I went across the street to a bench in front of Zavino (a good place for a bar meal, review to come) and did some email and tweets, it was a beautiful evening. I kept my eye on the door of Jamonera (is it possible to stalk a restaurant?) and suddenly three people I had seen sitting at the bar walked out the door. I quickly crossed the street and claimed one of the 3 seats on the short side of the bar. Turns out this is the best place to sit.
I order a drink and ask for a menu. The bartender was very nice and attentive and extraordinarily busy. Lots of people working here, one guy behind the bar was just wiping glasses. They could have helped out the bartender a bit, maybe with place settings at the bar for example. The bartender worked fast, furiously and efficiently and my service did not suffer at all. I often will just drink some of my cocktail before ordering a meal and did just that this evening. I’ll order something else to drink with my meal. The bartender nicely asks to borrow my menu (menu shortage?) to show someone else, promising to bring it back which he does but I already knew what I was ordering. Maybe some trees were saved?
I order the Spanish Breakfast and it just looks good but tastes even better. A nice start to a Thursday bar dinner. It was served on a skinny plate, long and narrow. I’ve encounter this before while eating a bar meal at Valanni. Maybe I’m a sloppy eater but I struggled to keep the food on the plate again, eating some of it off the bar. It was all worth it. The Spanish Breakfast was delicious and I highly recommend it. I remembered a Marcie and Valerie connection to Valanni and found Marcie mentioning it on Grub Street Philadelphia. Perhaps the skinny plates came along.
I’m ready for another course, my bar neighbors say the Papa Frita is very good, it sure looks good, but I already know what I am ordering. I order the Mergues Sausage which was terrific. What else to follow the eggs on my Spanish Toast?
Jamonera has about 8 seats on the long side of the bar and 3 seats on the short side. The long side faces the wall so the best place to sit, if you can, is the short side 3 seats which allow you to see half the restaurant and out through the windows onto bustling 13th Street. Food is terrific, service wonderful and the Sangria is not bad as well. I highly recommend.