Ahh, the teensy New York starter eatery- with their Superman phone booth sizes, whimsically pastel palettes, and addictive to-go namesake snack ideas, they are the lifeblood of low-capital restaurant entrepreneurship. Anybody who has a decent head for figures, good help, and moderate capital can start one- provided they’ve got a killer recipe, of course. Enter: Le Churro!
Taking a symbol of immigrant ingenuity like New York’s subway churro and turning it into an Upper East Side hipster snack joint might sound like a bad business decision, until you get to Le Churro‘s snazzy Lexington Ave nook. My buddy has been badgering me to try this place for ages, and when I chanced to pass by, those little golden twists of crunchy-soft goodness were irresistible. Does this place have a killer recipe? You bet your cinnamon-dusted dough chunks they do!
Let’s run through the hipster foodie hitlist, shall we? Inexpensive yet charming churro-related trivia wall printing: check! Strategically placed support troops in the form of Balthazar pastries: check! Nutella dipped/stuffed everything, coffee options up the wazoo, BIG CHECK!
A churro is very simple: water and flour, fried in very hot oil and flavored; as they say, sometimes the simplest things are hardest to make delicious. Too often the subway churro is greasy and rubbery after sitting in some Mexican grandma’s old laundry hamper for hours on end. Le Churro solves the problem in a very chef-conscious way, harking back to their Spanish roots: frying them fresh, to order. They’re available stuffed with things like strawberry cream cheese or nutella, resulting in a crunchy exterior and a soft, cake-like interior. In my humble opinion, go straight for the mini churros, pick your favorite sauce, and just do not look back: they grab hold of cinnamon sugar like a pregnant lady does pb+pickles.
According to the owner, who happened to be present, the Lexington Ave location is just the beginning, and its easy to see why. Most New York runaway eatery stories start the same way: tiny, strategic location, big delicious product, more reasonable outer borough franchising later. It’s a proven recipe, and I’ll be looking forward to their opening somewhere near my house in the near future. Mmmm, deep-fried dough and hazelnut sauce….