SOHO — SoHo's got a new sweet spot — and it's serving a traditional Basque pastry just in time for Easter.
Hogar Dulce Hogar, Basque for "home sweet home," recently opened at 341 West Broadway offering classic fare from the Basque region in northern Spain, including the torrija, a sweet, eggy pastry that dates back to the Spanish Civil War, according to Hogar manager Gonzalo Cabrera.
Cabrera hopes New Yorkers will fall in love with the unique breakfast specialty, reminiscent of French toast, which is popular in Spain around Easter and was originally invented to reuse stale bread during the lean years following the war.
"It's something so Spanish, with such history, made with such love by all the grannies of Spain," Cabrera said.
The Hogar torrija is a "reinvention of that concept," made from brioche baked in-house, he said. The brioche is dipped in milk, spread with cinnamon and lemon, dipped again in an egg mixture, then lightly fried and covered in sugar and cinnamon.
Hogar Dulce Hogar also offers a coffee bar for to-go treats like the $5 Bombon coffee, a decadent drink of layers of condensed milk, espresso and whipped cream, topped with sugar and chocolate chips.
For those without a sweet tooth, the restaurant serves traditional Spanish snacks for savory breakfast options, like the Tumaca toast, made with two slices of multigrain baguette and a housemade tomato-based spread of tomatoes, garlic, olive oil and a dash of salt ($8 with a coffee or tea). The Del Sur toast comes with the Tumaca spread and a heaping portion of Spanish Iberian ham ($11 including a coffee or tea). The toasts are served with bottles of Hogar's housemade rosemary, pepper or garlic olive oil.
Hogar Dulce Hogar also serves a lunch menu of burgers and salads, with signature dishes like the apple bacon burger, made with grilled apple, bacon and a special housemade sweet sauce, and the Dulce salad, made with apple, lettuce, Spanish manchego cheese and a marmalade vinaigrette. All salads are $12, and all burgers are $14 and come with homemade fries.
A chalkboard-walled nook packed with books and toys gives kids a place to entertain themselves while parents enjoy a meal, and a vertical living wall of plants serves as a symbol of the type of place Cabrera wants Hogar Duce Hogar to be.
"We just want things to be alive all the time," he said. "I want this to be like a meeting point, and a place to exchange opinions. A lively place where things happen."
For now, Hogar Dulce Hogar's hours are 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., though Cabrera is taking a very Spanish approach to the closing time, saying he'll stay open as long as there are people in the restaurant. He plans to be open until 11 p.m. on weekends during the summer.