I totally went nuts at Despaña. For years (ok, maybe one year), I've had intentions of heading out to the Jackson Heights wholesale location. I go to Jackson Heights pretty frequently, the problem was, if I'm correct, that their open to the public hours were only 9am-1pm on Saturdays. I can never get it together that early on weekends. It's not like I ever make it to Nolita, Soho, or wherever you call Broome and Lafayette streets, either, though I did have business in the neighborhood twice this week (haircut and blue food dye)
My goal was to spend no more than $40 on a supplementary birthday present, but when all was said and done I'd blown close to $100. It happens. I bought, lomo, cabrales, Manchego, squid ink, saffron, membrillo, both hot and sweet paprika, Valencian rice, sherry vinegar, chorizo, morcilla and a bocadillo.
Most importantly (for Shovel Time's purposes), the bocadillo. It's strange because during my 9-6 Monday through Friday life I would never spend $7.50 for a sandwich because I'm cheap. But on the weekend that's more than fair for high quality ingredients. The bread comes from Sullivan Street Bakery, and the fillings are simple, no more than three ingredients per sandwich. I was mesmerized by all of the choices, but ended up choosing the el quijote: lomo embuchado i.e. dry cured pork loin, Manchego and membrillo spread. The counter guy commented "women always order that one." Well, I love pork and sweets together (don't get me started on Hawaiian pizza), I guess I'm a stereotype.
Despaña * 408 Broome St., New York, NY