Sunday, November 21, 2010

Searching for the perfect Tapas; part 4

Seville, Spain
November 9, 2010

I awake the next morning at 10:30 again. Jet lag seems to have taken more out of me than I thought. Ashley and I had considered taking a day bus trip to see some of the hill towns around Seville but getting started this late in the day nixes that idea. Instead, we decide to take a short bus trip to visit the Roman ruins at Italica about 6 miles northwest of Seville. The ruins are magnificent with a fairly large amphitheater and beautiful mosaic tile floors in the foundations of the Roman homes. By the time we have finished touring the ruins, we are hungry, but decide to return to Seville for a late lunch.
We choose a fish restaurant-Marisqueria Arenal Sevilla-that operates in the middle of the Arenal Market. Almost all of the stalls in the market are closed, but the restaurant is still open and we split a good meal with a salad and the fried fish platter. The salad has a slab of tuna on it and the fish platter has small sardines, a small red fish, calamari and pieces of white fish.
After our late lunch we decide to walk toward the cathedral and window shop. I decide I have to have a pair of boots of Spanish leather (thank you, Bob Dylan), but after going in about a hundred shoe stores, I come to accept that Spanish boots don't come in my European size 46. As we are walking through the shopping district, we find a bakery with lots of great looking pastries and some glaceed fruits that are beautiful. However, it starts me thinking about the trend of over-handling foods to make them look decorative. I can think of many times that I have looked at beautiful presentations but discover that the food looks better than it tastes! I pass on going in and ordering anything. Several hours and many stores later we decide to find some more Tapas. We find a clean bar-coffee shop which has tapas, more decorative pastries, and is busy. They offer menus in English as well as Spanish, but our first choice is not memorable. We call the waiter over to suggest something else and he brings over the manager who recommends the mini-lasagna and some fried rice balls with squid ink and calamari. Both are beautifully presented and very tasty. I feel that we have had the best Tapas in all of the places we have tried in Seville. We head back to the hotel to prepare for the train ride back to Madrid the next morning.

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