Try Traditional Spanish Food

“A Brooklyn favorite” touts the Sancho’s website. Sancho’s first opened in 1985 and has been “serving the finest in traditional Spanish cuisine” since. This is where my husband and I had dinner on our recent date night.

Grandpa was willing and eager to watch our daughter once she went to bed, so my husband and I could enjoy an adult night out. We headed out in our neighborhood, Bay Ridge, on a Saturday night. As we haven’t been out as a couple, sans child, on a Saturday night in a year and a half, we kind of forgot how things worked. We were turned away from our first choice of restaurant because we didn’t have a reservation.

So, we made our way to our second choice, Sancho’s, for some traditional Spanish food. It just might be my first choice next time!

When first walking into the restaurant, there is a handsome, long bar and a bartender whom I thought might be Sancho, himself. Then, a man came to seat us and he looked even more like Sancho. At least I felt this place was authentic.

We were seated near the bar, which is described as a “classic lounge bar with a traditional Castilian elegance” by NYC.com restaurant reviews. The other dining room has a “Spanish-style setting.”  Both rooms were cozy and homey.

The crowd was mature, which was refreshing. It seemed like most of the patrons would understand young parents’ desire to get a night out alone, as they were probably watching grandchildren of their own. But the crowd was mixed and it seemed everyone was enjoying themselves.

The menu has traditional Spanish foods, like paellas, ajillo sauce and gazpacho. There is also an extensive selection of fish, veal, chicken and steaks.

Since a night out like this was reason for us to celebrate, we decided to live it up and order an appetizer and dessert. My eyes are always bigger than my stomach, so we split the broiled chorizos as an appetizer. It sounds simple, but it was well seasoned and delicious. I love salty foods, so anything with chorizo is alright by me.

My husband ordered the caldo gallego soup, which is a stew from the northern region of Spain, in Galicia, typically having different ingredients as it varied from one person’s crops to the next. It generally has greens, like rapini or red chard, beans, potatoes and salt pork. This version was hot and delicious – especially because it had pieces of chorizo in it.

I ordered the Paella Valencia as an entrée (which had chicken, sausages, clams, shrimp, mussels and scallops). It comes out in a large sizzling stoneware, looking very fresh. It was good, but I felt the rice was kind of dry and it lacked spices. My husband liked it more than I did.

My husband’s entrée was the Shrimp in ajillo sauce. After trying that, I definitely thought the paella was bland. This garlicky, seasoned sauce was phenomenal! I haven’t had many paellas, but I was a little disappointed that it wasn’t what I was craving. Online reviews had similar comments.

Despite my protests (I wanted this caramelized banana desert), my husband really wanted the flan. I was pretty full at this point, so I didn’t think I would enjoy a dessert all to myself. I agreed to the flan. Well, I wrong to think this was plain, old flan. This was super creamy with just the right touch of sweet caramel.

Sancho’s also has a nice wine selection with its spotlight on Spanish wines. They also make sangria, about which many reviews online were not favorable.

All in all, I would definitely go back for a special night out. The entrees range from $20-$35.00. The staff was kind, quick and knowledgeable about the menu. Despite being busy on a Saturday night, they sat us right away. Sancho’s is located at 7410 3rd Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11209.  www.sanchosrestaurant.net.

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Theresa Gentile MS, RD, CDN is a dietitian at Maimonides Medical Center, adjunct faculty at CUNY Brooklyn College and counsels adults and children using sound science and holistic approaches to eating. Check out her website at www.theresagentilenutrition.com.

The views and opinions expressed on this blog are purely the blog contributor’s. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer or provider. Writers may have conflicts of interest, and their opinions are their own.

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