The final montadito on our quest is a tad overkill-y. I probably won't be revisiting the sweet montaditos -- you know, my girlish figure and all -- but if I did, I'd probably go for something with Oreos. Maybe No. 97.
Montaditos down: 100 Montaditos to go: 0! Next: There might be a playoff tournament, or at least some rankings. Maybe not right away. Stay tuned.
I got No. 99 when I ordered No. 97, which would have sent me into a tizzy of journalistic integrity if not for my Quantum Ordering System. (To review: You're seeing the reviews in something close to the order in which I tried the sandwiches, but not exactly.)
So, yeah, it's brushed Oreos and whipped cream on chocolate bread. Yes, there's whipped cream on the side, too.
I'm not a big cookies-and-cream guy, but I liked it. I'm sure you would, too.
Montaditos down: 99
Montaditos to go: 1
Next: 100 Whipped cream with almonds, chocolate and hazelnut spread
Montadito No. 98 has been elusive. I keep ordering it and I keep getting (spoiler alert!) No. 99. And then I wonder, what's the difference? Whipped cream and Oreos sure sounds like cookies and cream. But no: I'm told this is basically a Hershey's Cookies and Cream bar melted on the chocolate bread.
Finally, after yet another No. 99 (the mistaken ones are free, and just as tasty!), I get a Hershey bar melted on chocolate bread. Only it's not a Cookies and Cream bar -- it's regular old milk chocolate with nuts or toffee or something. Not bad, but I kind of miss the "cream" part.
Montaditos down: 98 Montaditos to go: 2 Next: 99 Whipped cream with Oreo cookies
Well, here we are. Dessert. Montaditos on chocolate bread.
My first bite of No. 96 confirms that these are going to be just as good and decadent as you'd expect. And peeking ahead at the four other sweet choices, I see that this is the most restrained. Oh, and there's whipped cream on the side ...
... to cut through all that rich chocolate goodness, and I guess provide a hedge against malnutrition.
Truth be told, if I wanted to indulge in this fashion, I'd probably walk a couple of blocks south to Ice Cream Jubilee. But I'm not complaining about having an excuse to sample these.
Montaditos down: 96 Montaditos to go: 4 Next: 97 Hazelnut spread with Oreo cookies
Wait a minute. Brava sauce? Brava sauce? You mean to tell me, 100 Montaditos, that this was a potential montadito condiment and you didn't bother to use more than once, and then 92 percent of the way through the menu?
And even then, that spicy sauce is kind of wasted on a sandwich that contains an already-sauced component in the pulled pork. Still, this is a good sandwich. The sauce doesn't become apparent until the end, but when it does, it's clear that keeping it from us all this time was a big mistake.
Montaditos down: 92 Montaditos to go: 8 Next: 93 PHILLY STEAK CLUB: philly steak, fresh tomato, lettuce and chipotlealioli
I've had my issues with the Serrano ham before, and you know my history with pesto, but this is a darn good sandwich. It's a darn good Italian sandwich, as the name suggests, with its mozzarella cheese and ciabatta (might as well call the Serrano ham prosciutto di Parma and roll with it), but darn good nonetheless.
This may well be your best bet in the ham department.
Montaditos down: 91 Montaditos to go: 9 Next: 92 SERRANITO: serrano ham, BBQ Pulled pork, manchego cheese and brava sauce
The garlic pork loin, I'm afraid, is always going to be a tough sell for me. This sandwich also suffered from the construction problem I've mentioned before -- its best moments were at the back, where I found the probably-too-small piece of Serrano ham.
Montaditos down: 90 Montaditos to go: 10 Next: 91 CAPRESSE: serrano ham, mozzarella, fresh tomato and pesto
Bacon is always a good smoke-amplifying addition to the garlic pork loin, so it helped this montadito but, alas, did not rescue it.
The garlic pork loin, which has varied in texture and flavor, seems to have settled into the version I originally encountered, which was not my favorite. It's simultaneously too bland and too garlicky. I wish this montadito had had honey mustard in place of the mayonnaise. That could have rescued it.
(I was amused by the menu description of "cheese." You know, cheese. Turns out it was manchego.)
Montaditos down: 89 Montaditos to go: 11 Next: 90 TRALARÍ: serrano ham, garlic pork loin and green pepper
I'm not sure whether this was a stealth menu change or a mistake, but I got piparra (mild peppers from Spain) instead of green pepper. Which is fine with me. Piparra -- essentially pepperoncini -- is one of my favorite ingredients, and it made for a good sandwich. Not great, but good. Montaditos down: 88 Montaditos to go: 12 Next: 89 PIRIPI: garlic pork loin, bacon, cheese, fresh tomato and mayo
Now, the What You Crave cheeseburger would come with American cheese, not brie, but no matter. The brie works here -- as it does pretty much everywhere else, in one of the biggest surprises of my 100 Montaditos adventure.
You could also call this a Krystal cheeseburger, and indeed you could argue that the mustard-without-ketchup points not to White Castle but to its Southern counterpart.
In case you're still wondering, all this White Castle talk is to praise the Tirititran, not to bury it. I love White Castle. I love Krystal. I could see this sandwich making my playoffs.
Not sure about that name, though. It sounds like something Beavis would shriek. "Tirititran! Tirititran!" And, really, if this is going to be a named sandwich, what's wrong with Harold or Kumar or Haroldkumar?
Montaditos down: 87 Montaditos to go: 13 Next: 88 TORERO: lomo (dry cured pork loin), manchego cheese and green pepper
I keep saying the garlic pork loin is different every time, and this example was, uh, no different. Or, rather, it was a throwback to my first taste of the ingredient -- thinly sliced and very garlicky but otherwise kind of bland.
Brie did not prove to be a good match, either, so even my new best friend brie couldn't rescue this sandwich. This may be the least successful of the "gourmet" montaditos.
Montaditos down: 86 Montaditos to go: 14 Next: 87 TIRITITRAN: philly steak, brie cheese, crispy onion and mustard
That was subtle and lovely. I could see having it for tea (the meal, not the beverage -- or well, both, but if I meant the beverage I'd have said with tea), and indeed goat cheese and arugula isn't far removed from cream cheese and watercress.
And this time I actually tasted the olive oil. Also lovely. Montaditos down: 85 Montaditos to go: 15 Next: 86 PEPITO: brie cheese, garlic pork loin, piquillo pepper and arugula
You won't catch me refusing this montadito. Let's see: Take No. 7, starring two of 100 Montaditos' very best main ingredients, add two top-notch condiments, and put it all on a bigger canvas.
When I tried No. 7 (and No. 57), I did have a nagging thought that maybe the combination was overkill, that maybe one should get a chorizo sandwich if one wants a chorizo sandwich and a tortilla sandwich if one wants a tortilla sandwich. But no: This is a great combination.
Montaditos down: 84 Montaditos to go: 16 Next: 85 LERELE: goat cheese, arugula, piquillo pepper with olive oil
This Spanish sandwich on Italian bread in America just screams "Scandinavia." (Romerito? More like Sven!) This is what I picture eating for lunch in Stockholm or Copenhagen. It's cool, it's dainty. There are no strong flavors or saturated colors.
I like the pairing of shrimp with bacon (though this sandwich could have used a little more bacon). That's what I'm expecting in the "gourmet" section: Ingredient combinations and even ingredients that haven't shown up earlier. This is a successful sandwich all around. Montaditos down: 82 Montaditos to go: 18 Next: 83 VIKINGO: smoked salmon,hard boiled egg,pepinillo (pickles from Spain) and mayo
My sandwich has a first name: It's H-I-S-P-A-N-O. My sandwich has a second name: It's -- oh, wait, it doesn't have a second name. So maybe I would have been better off with a Jim Croce allusion. It got a name. It got a name.
Yes, we have come to the "gourmet" section of the menu, featuring named sandwiches and chapata bread. I didn't get this right away, but soon enough after first seeing "chapata" on the menu I figured it was Spanish for ciabatta, and I figured a quick Google search would bear this out. Not so fast, it turns out -- the Webiverse is surprisingly quiet on the subject. There are hints here and there, but nobody seems to have tackled the topic at length, and I'm left unsure whether it's the same bread or whether chapata is a Spanish twist on the recipe.
Anyway, it's good bread, not necessarily better or worse than the non-"gourmet" bread at 100 Montaditos, but different. A nice change of pace. And it's a good foil for the simple and tasty Hispano sandwich. Montaditos down: 81 Montaditos to go: 19 Next: 82 ROMERITO: shrimp, bacon, hard-boiled egg, arugula and honey mustard