Friday, November 18, 2005
Just Desserts 15: Horno San Onofre (Madrid, Spain)
Clockwise from top left: Horno San Onofre; Pretzel and Chocolate Creme Cone; One of Madrid's countless plazas; "Coco".
JUST DESSERTS: Horno San Onofre
LOCATION: North of Plaza de Sol, Madrid, Spain
DATE: August 22, 2005
DESSERTS: “Coco” with mixed fruit and nuts; Tuna Empanada; Bite-size Spinach Quiche; Nut Glazed Pastry Pretzel; Chocolate Coated Cone Filled with Chocolate Cream; Bite-size Hazelnut Cream Pastry
PRICE: 7.00 Euros
What’s for dinner? The eternal question.
Don’t eat that, you’ll spoil your appetite. The eternal warning.
But if the first had an answer that nullified the need for even uttering the second – well wouldn’t that be a situation Liebniz might have described as the best of all possible worlds?
So dessert for dinner was the solution. Fatigued after taking in many of Madrid’s essential sites – from El Retiro to La Plaza Mayor – hunger weighed as heavy as a Valezquez painting over Danny and me both. It being seven, most of Madrid’s restaurants had another hour or more until dinner time, closed for one of the seemingly endless Spanish siestas. Instead of waiting, we opted to skip the savory and head right for the sweats.
Horno San Onofre had the upscale atmosphere of a West Village grocery, but without all the other foods mixed in. Though my intention had been to focus only on desserts, the temptation of Horno’s mini-quiches and meat stuffed pies proved too overwhelming. The quiche was simply riveting: cheese, cream, egg and spinach combining for a mouthful of buttery bliss. The tuna stuffed pie was like a pastry sandwich, and packed the robust flavors of tuna and onion with the delicacy of a flaky pastry casing.
But, these were the warm up acts. The featured performers came onto stage with the assured air of mastery and put on a show full of pyrotechnics. The “Coco” was like a mixed nut and fruit peanut brittle without the hardening and overly sugary glaze. The trail mix topping rested upon a soft and buttery crust, not unlike that of a pie. The sugar and nut glazed pastry pretzel was as light as William Gaddis’ prose is heavy and each puffy bite proved the combination of German engineering (the shape) and French style (the croissant like pastry) should occur elsewhere than Alsace-Lorraine. The bite-sized chocolate coated cone with chocolate crème filling illustrated why sometimes ice cream is simply unnecessary. And as for the hazelnut cream pastry, there’s little else this nut could be used for more advantageously.
In all, Danny and I had succeeded in not only spoiling our appetites but also in removing the need for dinner altogether. With France up ahead, another night of just desserts beckoned, though Horno would be a remembrance not soon to pass from memory.
Posted by Vincent Rossmeier at Friday, November 18, 2005