There is a new hotel in the center of Palma which looks the most imposing across the street with its Modernist curves and all-white look. It is appropriately named Palma Blanc.
It’s on one of my commutes to the office and I pass by frequently — always on the other side of the street. I still plan to go in there and take a look inside, but I’m one of the biggest procrastinators in the world and I keep putting it off.
The dithering finally stopped last Saturday as I left the sidewalk and headed for the main door instead of taking a side street to the Newsletter desks.
Breakfast was in full swing with an efficient young woman at the dining room door, ticking off the names of guests on her schedule – and frequently remembering their room numbers. I just wanted to look at the menu and she immediately left and brought one back. The prices were higher than what I usually pay, but I quickly calculated that I could eat there and stay within my budget. But when I wanted to make a reservation for lunch, it turned out that the a la carte menu was only served for dinner. They have a menú del día, but only from Monday to Friday, and that was Saturday.
I toyed with the idea of having dinner, but the idea of coming home and showering later in the evening, getting dressed and heading out again in this heat put me off. I would have done it for a date with Sophia Loren (she still looks lovely and full of life at 88) but I decided I would not dine at Palma Blanc.
The young woman said they have a snack menu between 3:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.. I was not interested
a lot because I think the snacks are tiny crustless ham sandwiches and bags of crisps, but I looked at the menu anyway.
It was composed of 10 dishes including one that immediately caught my eye: a hot dog with a bun made from ensaimada dough. It took my fancy (but not as much as a dinner with Sophia Loren) and I could kill time in Palma until 3:30 p.m. Then the young woman said that by derogation, I could come before 3:30 p.m. and have the snack menu for lunch. That decided him and I was there at 1:30 p.m. to eat on the interior patio with its lush greenery in the center.
It was a good idea to use ensaimada batter for the hot dog bun because it was always very light. It wasn’t real ensaimada dough, because it was made with much less lard than in an ensaimada. The bun was extremely soft and airy yet dry (not greasy) and with a nice touch of natural softness.
The ‘dog’ part was not the classic frankfurter but a big, thick bratwurst which came on a bed of delicious sautéed onions which remained transparent instead of caramelized – which sometimes adds too much sweetness.
It was a beautifully balanced hot dog in textures and flavors and the ensaimada bun helped achieve
it’s a rating of 10. Although I love finger foods of all kinds, this hot dog is not for eating with your hands. Use a knife and fork, cut the wurst into thin slices and pick up some onions and the bread at each fork. Each was the most memorable.
The architects and interior designers have done some of the most impressive work at Palma Blanc. It’s easy enough to give a new hotel great interiors, but getting a distinctive and unique exterior doesn’t happen very often. The last time we saw him here was at the opening of the Hotel de Mar in Illetes in 1964. When I walk past it on my way to the office, I don’t really burst into applause, but I look at Palma Blanc with great admiration. I enjoyed eating on the interior patio with its lush greenery and had a blast watching a sparrow and blackbird land for a quick spin. I ate well but it could easily have been better. The humus was flavorful and the texture was good, but adding a small amount of tahini paste would have raised it to a 10. The bratwurst hot dog with its ensaimada batter bun was a very pleasant surprise. The bun was light and airy and made for the most stylish hot dog I’ve ever had. I didn’t hesitate to give it a 10. The organic ham and eggs with fries got another 10, but only for the eggs. And not because they were organic but because they were perfectly fried. Too bad the fries were undercooked. But it was the potatoes’ fault, not the cooks’. I think an accountant must have ordered them.
Hotel Palma Blanc, Calle Ramón y Cajal 12, Palma. Tel: 971-007009. Open every day with a menú del día at €20 from Monday to Friday from 1 p.m. to 3.30 p.m. The snack menu is served from 3:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. and an à la carte dinner is offered from 7:30 p.m. It is best to book if you want to eat on the patio. The large dining room is beautifully air conditioned.
The law project
Hummus with raw vegetables, €9
Bread ensaimada hot dog, 10 €
Eggs with ham, 10 €
A can, €4
Total cost with VAT: €33