Monday, November 16, 2009

Don Churro Cafe

13905-B Metrotech Drive
Chantilly, VA 20151
(703) 378-1211

Visited: November 8, 2009

I must first start off this entry by confessing that I did not have any of the entrees at Don Churro cafe. Then what the freak am I doing writing this review? Well my eager little friends, I did sample the dessert that makes up this joint's name; churros.

So what qualifies me to write a review soley based on my sampling of Don Churro Cafe's churros? Well if my fat stomach isn't my best qualification, then allow me to take you down memory lane and tell you about Fat Daddy's lifelong experience and appreciation for churros. Churros are very near and dear to my heart as I grew up eating them at what's new the Churreria Madrid in Adams Morgan. I can remember those cold days when my Mom would surprise me with a trip to the Churreria where she's order a large cup of hot chocolate and a plate of freshly fried Churros. I can still remember the smell and taste of those churros and the sight of granulated sugar falling all over the table and my pants. For many years, this was my only exposure to churros until I took my first trip to Spain.

By the time I visited Spain for the first time, I was a young stupid (and still fat) adult exploring the many shops and restaurants of Madrid. On my first night in this Spanish capital, I found a small little Churreria that served freshly fried churros and molten melted dipping chocolate. The taste of these churros far exceeded the Adams Morgan churreria and instantly made me appreciate the importance of having a treat in the originating country. That experience and others forced me to change my plans of staying in Spain for only a few days to exploring the country for over two week.

I tasted churros in Barcelona, San Sebastian and found my favorite churreria in Seville that was run by a fiesty little old lady...whom I made sure to visit on future visits to Seville.

All my lifelong experiences with churros have ingrained a sort of criteria for what makes a churro a churro. I know I can't do it justice by making a list, but here's my best approximation of what makes a great churro:

- Temperature: The churro must be piping hot, just out of the fryer.
- Dough: D'oh! The dough must be light and not too dense.
- Flavor: Not too much sugar sprinkled on, but enough to compliment the subtle flavor of the fried dough.
- Chocolate: Molten dark chocolate dipping sauce made of fine chocolate. If that's not available, a good cup of REAL hot chocolate (not that powdered chocolate mix nonsense).

Now using the above criteria, how did Don Churro fare? Not too good. The dough was very heavy and unusually dense, the flavor of the dough was not too churro-like and tasted like a heavy fried pancake while the temperature was almost room temperature. The dipping sauce given to my wife was some "squeeze out of a tube" chocolate coiled up in a small plastic dish while my hot chocolate was okay and definitely not from a mix.

I was very very disappointed in the flavor of the churro and found the only saving grace of this experience was the hot chocolate and the excellent service (the host and waitress were very very nice and courteous). The friendly service along with the full restaurant (and tasty looking dishes) may entice me to return. I'd love to try out their version of my favorite Bolivian dish called Silpancho as well as some other tasty Latin American entrees...but I'll definitely refrain from getting the churros.

Don Churro Cafe on Urbanspoon

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