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Queso, queso, queso!

SPAIN | Thursday, 31 January 2008 | Views [1950] | Comments [1]

I am in a state of euphoria right now. Why? Because of food, of course! Let me set the scene...

Bronwen walks to the Mambo Tango Hostel counter to speak to Marina, the receptionist, about food.

Bronwen: Hola, Marina. I was wondering if you could help me? I really want to try tapas. Where do you suggest I go?

Marina: Hola. For tapas, go next door.  The best tapas in all of Barcelona.

Bronwen raises her eyebrows in scepticism, as she has heard this line many a time from hostel workers.

Marina: Just make sure you get there for 8, as it will get very busy.

End Scene.

I reported back to my new dorm friends and we decided to try this place.  We went at 8, as suggested, and for a place that wasn't supposed to be busy yet, we could barely fit in the door. Everyone was shouting orders in Spanish and no one appeared to have the time to assist us as we fumbled through requests for 'queso' and 'oliva'.  We left, very freaked out and certain we wouldn't return. We went to some random Spanish bar for dinner and it was very average.  We were disappointed and worried that we wouldn't get a chance to experience awesome Spanish cuisine. After much discussion, we decided to give next door another chance the following night, but this time we would make sure we were there when it opened (at 7pm) to ensure we got one of the three tables in the place that was honestly the size of three elevators squashed together.

The next night...

It appeared as though other Spanish people had the same idea as us, as we were sharing the narrow footpath in front of the tapas bar with three drunk, 60 year old Spanish men.  We all seemed to be desperate for tapas, as on the stroke of 7pm we laughingly encouraged one of the drunk old men to bang on the heavy wood door. Good idea.  The door swung open and we surged in, I elbowed aside a heavily made-up woman in a fur coat to get to the table I knew was at the back.  I couldn't resist throwing a smirk of triumph her way when I got to the table first. We spoke to the lady at the bar and after telling her what we liked (for me, this mainly involved me yelling out 'cheese' - 'queso, queso!') she started bringing us these amazing dishes, each one better than the next.

I ate random seafood morsels, toasts with so many different toppings that my mouth is kind of watering as I remember it... sour cream, smoked salmon and honey... caramelised onion, soft cheese, tomoto relish and balsamic... paté, relish and balsamic.  Then the cheese platter came and I nearly wept!  I thought the cheese platter at a Hinton family dinner was amazing, but this one in the tapas bar set new standards for me.  My two new friends and I kept giggling with the excitement of being in a real tapas bar in Spain.  It was truly fantastic.

Tags: Food & eating



Oh yes, the old Hinton family dinners - one of the favourite pastimes.

  Jesse Feb 24, 2008 10:08 PM

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