Spanish food was good, with a few highlights, but not spectacular (who can ever match Italy?). But we were able to choke down quite a bit of delicious food over two weeks.
This was lunch on our first day, at the hotel in Madrid once we had dumped our bags. Soft, creamy, warm and comforting, eggs and potatoes and occasionally onions. But there are many versions of this, including a cold or room-temp tortilla that’s heavier and good for eating out of hand.
We had these along with our breakfast the first day and felt we had crossed it off our list. Something like a caky doughnut, sweet and crispy on the outside, soft on the inside. If we’d had the strength, we would have stopped here for the classic churro and chocolate, which looked delicious but would have put us into a diabetic coma. And here’s a big coil of churro outside the cafe we visited on our food tour in Seville. Yes, it looks a bit odd, but after all it had been sitting outside for a couple of hours!
I’m not usually a beer drinker, but the Alhambra beer we had in the Sierra Nevada mountains was delicious (maybe it was the setting).The beer is quite local, meaning we did not see this brand outside of Granada. In Seville, it was Cruzcampo all the way. And una caña (a small glass of beer) with a lunch of tapas hit the spot around the corner from our apartment.
Tapas were everywhere, and we enjoyed a couple places along the way. In Madrid, we liked La Abuela, where we sat in the open window and had fried shrimp, good bread and un chato de vino, or small glass of house white wine, while we watched people in the plaza outside.
I ordered Boquerones thinking they were mussels, but ended up with these delicious anchovies in vinegar instead.
In Seville, our wonderful cathedral guide recommended this place, where we bellied up to the crowded bar and ordered a caña and a little pork sandwich (pincha or pintxo or tapa) which we ate standing up and watching the people, a good mix of locals and tourists. And the place was hopping at three in the afternoon!
Our silliest tapa experience was in Granada, where we tried this place right around the corner from our hotel. We ordered hummus but instead were served a small dish of something else. When we pointed this out in a polite way, we were informed, politely, that this was the tapa, a free snack that comes with drinks! Our hummus came along in due course. I think this was the only place where the traditional tapa with drinks was free.
Of course, Iberian ham was everywhere. Here is a ham leg placed in its handcuffs so the paper-thin slices can easily be cut off. We saw these in many places, not always so delicately draped as this one was. Notice the little hoof…