Thursday, December 11, 2014

01 Serrano ham

Finally, it's opening day at the new 100 Montaditos franchise in Washington, D.C.! The one less than a 10-minute walk from home! Delayed by an errand, I walked in at 11:03 a.m. rather than the opening time of 11, which apparently made me the second party to be served.

As I intend to tackle the menu in order, more or less (stay tuned for the quantum mechanics of achieving variety as the ingredients begin to get clustered), my first order was "1, 2 and 3." It was amusing that the lady at the counter had to have me repeat that. (I'll be ordering three at a time, more or less, but blogging about one at a time. I was correct in my estimation, based in part on the calorie counts, that three sandwiches per meal is about right. That's especially true given that I now know that they throw in a pile of potato chips.)

No. 1 is No. 1 for a reason: Jamón is huge (juge?) in Spain. And jamón Serrano is a go-to -- not the very best, but very good. And 100 Montaditos' jamón Serrano is ... very good.

The ham is salty, as it should be. The unknown quantity, given that this was my first bite of a montadito, was the bread. The chain calls it "baked to order," a claim I found highly dubious, but now that I've tasted it, it makes perfect sense.

What you get when you get a montadito is a brown-'n'-serve roll. Clearly they're dealing with par-baked rolls and a toaster oven of some sort. It's good for what it is, but, well, it is what it is. I've been known to bake up a loaf of Pillsbury bread-in-a-tube for my supermarket-ham-and-muenster sandwiches, to I'm not going to get all snobby about this sort of bread. It's not a crusty, authentic roll with the breaking-glass quality I experienced in Barcelona, but it's also never going to be a stale crusty, authentic roll. The question mark will be how it holds up in a to-go order.

Serrano ham is the classic montadito, and I thought it was going to be my go-to montadito, but you know what? I'm not sure it will be. The blank slate that is this good-for-what-it-is bread might be better served by more complex ingredients. The other breads that show up later on the menu might be stars. We'll see.

Montaditos down: 1
Montaditos to go: 99
Next: 02 Chorizo

No comments:

Post a Comment