Postcards from Spain: Day Quatro

By / Magazine / September 26th, 2010 / Like

I’m in Seville to learn more about Andalusian gastronomy, vino, history, art, architecture and culture. No worries, I have three days to do it.

First, let me say that I have learned about siesta and have practiced and perfected the art. A rest after a lunch that includes wine is not just an indulgence – it is a necessity because the weather is hot, the sun is relentless and the shops are as closed as my eyes long to be. I haven’t actually slept soundly, but I have lazed with a book beside the cool tub (like a hot Jacuzzi, but with refreshing cool water) and dozed in a chair on a shady patio. I’m going to be in trouble when I go home as I’m getting used to this really quickly.

After a flamenco show last night, we wandered until we found a tapas list that intrigued, and took a table outside of El Rincon, a tiny place with lots of busy tables. One beer, one copa de vino and two tasty seafood tapas later, we paid the 7.90Euro bill (about $11) and walked to another place we’d passed the day before.

La Azotea was packed and all the tables were taken or reserved, so we ordered two glasses of premium Andalusian wine (large pours for 3.30 Euros each) and stood within sight of the bar.  Before long, a couple left and we slipped into their spots, feeling quite lucky to be squeezed in at the bar. I ordered the tapas-sized ox mini-hamburguesa, an item I’d seen delivered to another table. It smelled like it would be perfect with my red wine. We also ordered the foie gras, which is so inexpensive and plentiful here that it amazes me. We got two perfectly-grilled slabs (about as much as you’d pay $20 or more for) with caramelized mango for 4.75Euros, about $6.50. The mini-burger was raw in the centre, so I sent it back. When I got it again, it was still too under done to be free of e-coli for my taste, but my eating buddy didn’t care and demolished every last bit, proclaiming it to be superb. He is still alive, so I assume the kitchen knew what they were doing. I was left with the foie, but you won’t hear me complaining.

I like the life here, but the heart of the city beats to a different rhythm as lunch is late and supper is later. Lots of restaurants open at 9:00pm and a usual reservation is for dinner at 10:30. On Friday and Saturday nights, there is still lots going on very late at night, and it is not unusual to find families, including babies and grannies, enjoying the cooler air, the roving entertainers, and the tapas. The city awakens at night, which is another reason why siesta is so popular during the day.

Hasta la vista!

See photos on my website.


Brenda McMillan is thrilled by new sights, sounds, aromas and flavours, and old buildings, barrels and friends. She travels at the drop of a corkscrew and is always "just back" from somewhere.

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