Lesson one...any proper bar gives a free tapa to anyone ordering a drink. But if you order food with your drink, you won't get the freebie. If you care (and you should) always order the drinks first and expect a tapa. If you don't get one ask "Tapa?"
In Madrid it was potato chips, chicharrones, or pretzels.
Then it was olives from Seville to Ronda. At one point, I couldn't stand the thought of eating another olive.There had to be something more! That's when we discovered Mamarracha in Seville...a conceptual tapas bar with real city character. It's laid back with a distinctive interior design, located a stone's throw away from the Cathedral. We ordered a beer and a sangria. Oh no! We got olives. So I ordered two items from the menu.
Chinese "pepitos" pork belly, hoysin sauce, and green onions. 2 units and to keep my husband happy, he's a meat and potatoes kind of guy, I ordered Paparracha french fries, melted cheese, green onions and bacon Yummilicious!
More olives in Ronda, so once again we decided to order and pay for our tapas. Decisions decisions. Gazpacho in a glass or salmorejo...a cold soup of olive oil, tomato, and bread? I chose the salmorejo and you should too. This time it was served with a diced hard boiled egg on top. Sabroso!
After a very stressful car rental return at Granada's rail station and checking in at our lovely little hotel, we landed at La Buena Vida...for a cold beverage. Here is where we learned of Granada's generosity! It was early as far as evenings and tapas go in Spain. We were the only two in the bar. We each ordered our beverage and then were asked what we'd like for our tapa from an extensive menu over the door. We were almost embarrassed. Maybe even a little uncomfortable, "like really"? The young man behind the bar suggested a plate of cheese and grapes. This wasn't a small plate either. It certainly hit the spot. Three college age kids arrived. In conversation we learned they had just graduated from Chico State. Friends had recommended La Buena Vida. Cheap, good, and plentiful tapas for the price of a beer, glass of wine, or soda. Indeed! So Nestor ordered another beer and this time chose a burger slider (2) with fries for his tapa.
Granada quickly became our favorite place for our evening tapa stroll! Or as they call it in Spain, "tapeo". A local tradition of going from one bar to the next, munching, drinking, and socializing.
And so there are no misunderstandings, we were paying for every third or fourth tapa we enjoyed.
And while we're on the subject of wonderful food and beverage, let's not forget sangria, figs, melon, tortilla de espanola, croquetas, paella, and empanadas. Spain truly is a haven for foodies.
Next time we travel to this part of the world, it'll be a Douro River cruise in Portugal, then Northern Spain...the Camino de Santiago and San Sebastián. Where I understand the tapa experience is quite different from the one we just experienced on this journey.
Candy Monarrez l Operations Manager l Safari Enthusiast l Group Travel Host
Candy's Carefree Travel
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