Spanish Meals: Some ideas for Tapas…just some…

About ten years ago a new restaurant opened up with a modern and sleek décor and embarrassingly low prices.  The place also held another policy which would prove decisive.  I like writing sentences like the one before because it makes me feel like I work for a documentary agency.  In any event, they didn’t accept reservations for two reasons:  one was to ensure at least two sittings and the second was to get the people there bright and early.  Let me put it another way, one was to ensure the people got there bright and early in order to ensure two sittings.  And it worked.  They would open their doors at 8:30 every evening to a line that nearly went round the corner and by 8:45, there wouldn’t be a table left.  What was so unusual about that?  Well, the fact that every other dining room in Madrid at that time was empty.  It wasn’t dinner time yet.  At least for the rest of Madrid. 

         I mention this case in part to illustrate yet again that there are many people out there who come up up with ideas that far outdo anything my feeble noggin could.  But that’s not the only reason.  I wanted to show you just how late dinner is in this country.  You are smarter than I am so I’m sure you figured that out, but just it case.  You see, as much as that was a feat for the establishment at the time, it hasn’t taken hold on a broader scale. It was trendy, but not trend-setting, so finding a nice place to sit down and dine before nine is still a chore for the foreigners from foreign countries in search of an early meal.   Your other choice is to go tapa-ing…which is almost always available, and just may be the lifesaver you are looking for.  Here is a small list of what you could choose from.  It should satisfy your pangs of hunger and burst your veins:

  • Spanish omelet
  • Anchovies
  • Olives
  • Meatballs
  • Potato salad
  • Ham
  • Salami
  • Sliced Chorizo
  • Fried Chorizo
  • Fried black pudding
  • Friend white pudding
  • Fried anchovies
  • Anchovies in vinegar
  • Fried calamari
  • Sepia (large squid)
  • Chopitos (Fried baby squid)
  • Shrimp
  • Jumbo shrimp
  • Fried shrimp
  • Grilled Shrimp
  • Shrimp in garlic sauce
  • Potatoes in spicy sauce
  • Potatoes in garlic and mayonnaise sauce
  • Cheese
  • Octopus in vinegar
  • Octopus in olive oil and paprika
  • Roast ham
  • Cured beef
  • Chicken wings
  • Croquettes
  • Pork in tomato sauce
  • Beef in tomato sauce
  • Fried fish chunks
  • Tomato salad
  • Green salad
  • Potatoes in curry sauce
  • Chopped pigs ear
  • Tripe with chickpeas
  • Canapé sandwiches
  • Crab meat
  • Scrambled eggs with mushrooms
  • Scrambled eggs with asparagus
  • Scrambled eggs with fries and cured ham
  • Scrambled eggs with just about anything you want

       It can go on and on, trust me…at least in these matters.

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