Monday, 31 October 2011

Seville's Top Three Tapas Bars - How to Munch through the Credit Crunch

To celebrate my 40th birthday, I have just been treated to an amazing week of feasting on tapas and Rioja in Seville in the South of Spain.  We took the children despite our 14 year old preachy guidebook telling us that 'although Spaniards are very welcoming to children, you may want to consider whether Seville would be a more relaxing and romantic experience if you left the children behind.'  Made me laugh, and I was tempted for a while, but we brought the sprogs along regardless.

Eating in Seville is 90% tapas bars.  There are a couple of linen tablecloth-ed restaurants, but they look so starchy (and expensive) in comparison to the vibrancy of the bars.  Dining out in Seville proved to be surprisingly cheap.  Coffees were about 1.4 Euros and a glass of decent red wine about 2.5 Euros.  I was expecting the anchovies, tortilla, red peppers, patatas bravas, slices of ham and deep-fried croquettes of 14 years ago, and indeed there were plenty of these to be had in places like the wonderful Dos de Mayo.  

This is the 'racion' (medium sized) portion of the alternative Spanish Omelette , this one contained red, green peppers and ham.

Marinaded chargrilled peppers

Marinaded slices of tender calves liver with spring onion

After a few days we discovered the joys of 'modern tapas' at Eslava and Lumbreras e.g. a barely set egg yolk quivering on top of a 'mushroom cake' or a meltingly tender solomillo fillet steak atop a smear of fresh mushroom cream - these were exquisite high-end restaurant standard dishes - and no photos as they were snaffled so quickly.  The fillet steak was the most expensive dish we had at 6 Euros, oh yes, and a huge dish of garlic butter clams for 8 Euros, but for the most part, they came in at 2-3 Euros a plateful.  As a family of four, we lived like kings and ate and drank to our hearts' content, and the bill was often a remarkable 25 - 35 Euros.

Here's a picture of the wonderful Dos de Mayo tapas bar, just behind the main Il Corte Ingles department store on the Plaza de Duque de Victoria.  It was a frenetic den of activity - I have no idea how the barmen kept track of everyone's pint-size tapas orders.  They did call me 'Casey' which we found amusing.

This was the children's favourite, churros with hot chocolate at a corner breakfast cafe.  Cheap, calorific, filling and delicious.  NB, there is a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice in the top right hand corner in a vain attempt to make the meal have a nutritional value.

Our favourite tapas bars in Seville were:

Eslava (lots more photos of their food on this website)
Lumbreras (they don't have their own website - so this is a link to Tripadvisor)


Wally B said...

What a lovely birthday treat. I hope the kidlets enjoyed it too

Liz said...

My Mum and I did the tapas bars of Seville about four years ago - we just loved it. You can eat a little, you can eat a lot,and we did! I remember Dos de Mayo well - so crowded but really friendly. We were there in Easter Week so we had the added bonus of all the orange trees being in flower and the streets were scented with orange blossom and then all the parish processions - a truly amazing place. Thanks Kate for bringing it all back...

Grazing Kate said...

Yes, the children did enjoy it - plenty of interesting sights, sounds and tastes for two young whippersnappers from this quiet Devon village.

Wow, Easter week must have been amazing. We visited the wonderful Macarena church where the main procession starts from. Even a non-believer like me loved it!

We were impressed by quite how many orange trees there were everywhere in the city centre - our street was lined with them. We got out the Swiss Army Knife and tried one that was just about orange-coloured. It was the sourest thing I've tasted - definitely not ripe yet.

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