Monday, November 15, 2010
Searching for the perfect Tapas
November 7, 2010
I’m walking with my daughter Ashley down a narrow street in Seville around 2:00 in the afternoon. We have just arrived in Spain for a week long trip. Having flown overnight into Madrid and then catching the AVI bullet train down to Seville, I am ready to get out and explore and exercise my legs even though I feel pretty jet-lagged. Our hotel San Gil is beautiful and taking the guidebook with me, I am confident I will find a good place for a quick bite to eat.
Seville is the largest European city I have been in. The streets around our hotel are narrow—only about the width of a car with two narrow sidewalks on either side. The buildings arise on each side in a solid 3-story wall, which remind me of the canyons Luke Skywalker flew down on the Death Star in the first Star Wars movie. Within a block I start to feel lost, not able to see more than a block ahead or behind me because of the turns in the road. There are people walking on the street, but no shops are open because it is siesta time. We go a couple of blocks and turn a corner and there is an intersection ahead with a wide part in the sidewalk that has a few tables outside. We walk up to a bar that is behind the tables and peer in. Even though there are people at the tables, they mostly seem to be drinking. I don’t really see a menu and the bartender is ignoring us, so we decide to move on. Another couple of blocks we find another intersection with another bar and more tables. This time the bartender seems friendly and I order a beer for me and a glass of wine for Ashley. I ask if they have Tapas and they reply that no, they only have Bocadillos. This is a French baguette sliced in half with meat and cheese. Because we are getting hungry, I order one with Chorizo and cheese. I go out to the table to wait and after several minutes decide to go back in to check on the order and get another beer. I am wondering if they have forgotten about us, but the sandwich is about ready and I take it outside. Now, I am feeling guilty because I know Ashley is vegetarian, but she peels off the meat and eats the bread and cheese. The sandwich is OK, not nearly as good as the baguette sandwiches in France which are loaded with vegetables, and come with all sorts of meat or non-meat choices. So at the end of my first Spanish meal, I feel slightly let down. We move on.