Ultimate Tapas Run: El Faro in the MePa

Ultimate Tapas Run: El Faro in the MePa

El Faro has been around a very long time. Since 1927, according to the sign out front. Yeah. We’re talking old school.  There’s a worn wooden bar, a drop ceiling and a terrazzo cement floor that’s so worn down that the step down into the back dining room is soft and rounded. The dining room is decorated with red leather banquettes and murals of senoras in shawls and ruffled red skirts.

Our dishes, and more photos of the old wooden bar, after the jump.

It’s like the Meatpacking District grew up around El Faro. Here it is with its old sign out front:

And then just down the block is Pastis, one of the pioneering restaurants of the neighborhood:

Inside El Faro, there’s a wispy wrought iron gate by the bar:

Here’s the worn step between the bar and dining room:

Some art work in the bar:

We tried tortilla espanola:

Eggy, with a nice crisp edge.

And shrimp in white sauce.

Tasty, but very very heavy. The white sauce is a bechamel of sorts, with plenty of cream.

While we were at the bar, we kept hearing people asking about the salad dressing. One guy came in and asked for it to-go. Apparently it used to be sold in 7-Up bottles, but the restaurant now uses Pelligrino bottles. “Ooh, fancy!” said the guy who was buying one.

I had to try it.

It’s orange, made with ketchup, mayo, oils and paprika. It’s like a spicy French dressing. Not bad at all!

I would recommend a trip to El Faro if you’re in the neighborhood and you’re looking for an old-school Spanish place. But it’s not hip, small plates tapas, if that’s what you’re looking for. Maybe do as I did, and combine it with a stop at some other places, like Alta and Tia Pol.

The 411 on El Faro.

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