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Restaurants & Bars

Andalusia and a bit of Madrid. Long and convoluted trip report.

dostrovs | Sep 19, 202106:43 AM     8

This is the summary of a very productive trip to Andalusia along with a short stay in Madrid in September 2021. I am very grateful to the resources from this website. Special thanks to Maribel for her input. Many factors contributed to the final selection of the restaurants and as always there were “hits and misses”.

1. Sorry for not mentioning if the restaurants speak English, since my Spanish is sufficient for a food related communications… I think the English was spoken in the most of the visited places.
2. As well I will not comment on the wine, which is ubiquitous, cheap and delicious. I advise to try variety of it, developing your own taste for Spanish wine.
3. Amount of the food we were trying seems to be excessive by the sheer number, but remember that the greatest thing about the Spanish restaurants is that you can get plates in 1/2 size portions or tapas. We used this opportunity to our advantage of trying as many plates as we could. By the way we did not have to finish ones we did not like. There is no a clean plate police there…

Seville

Upon arriving early in the morning to Madrid we had to wait 3 hours for the train to Seville. The trains going south are packed on Saturday and we had no chance to get a train sooner. We managed to stow our luggage in a private facility for a 3 hours. The official place in Puerta Atocha was closed because of the Covid.

We had a very brisk walk to the Mercado San Miguel, which as always was a disappointment. At 10 am there were no people and we easily got a table. All the things we ate were mediocre at best. Please do not buy Jamon de Bellota 100% there. It is not a real deal. We ended up in this market to pass a time in the morning, when everything else was closed.

Eventually we got on RENFE and 2 hours 40 minutes later arrived to Sevilla.
We took a brief walk around the central part with a brief snack in Freiduria El Salvador. It was OK eggplant (very untraditionally sliced) and so-so shrimp salad. Unfortunately they did not have their famous chicharron. I suspect it is a seasonal product.

We had a dinner in Eslava, which has combined the restaurant and bar menus and served them at the all tables. We found the place to be very nice, but not spectacular. Excellent service. We liked their famous Yema, but it was a bit too sweet for me. The honey ribs were as well excessively sweet for my taste, although very tender. Cuttlefish cigar I liked better. Excellent Coquinas (always love hem!) and Navajos al la plancha with an olive oil! They did not have the orteguillias. Would definitely go back to Esclava to try more things.

The next day we had to prepare our food consumption capacity for the Food Tour with Azahar herself! It was the first time she took a people for a tour after a long pandemia related break. We are eternally grateful to her for taking a chance on us! We spent a very productive afternoon, walking around the city trying a lot of delicious staff, she introduced us to! We gave her a challenge of taking us around on Sunday, when the most of her favorite places are closed. (In general it is advisable to avoid food tours in Seville on Sunday and Monday)
We started with Bar Las Teresas. Very often people new to Spain have a challenge of sampling the “real deal” Jamón, especially if they stick to the touristy routs. This is the place! Jamon was spot on! Remarkable simple and delicious Judias con Jamon. Azahar gave us a primer on vinos generosos.

The second location was mariscos oriented Cervezeria Salmedina. Sardines, brandade de morue and my favorite - montadito con chipirones. Loved it!

We finished in Casa Roman for Sevillian pork related classics.
At that point we had to stop eating in hope to be able to have a dinner. Thank you Azahar! We would love to try more places with you in future!

On the Azahar’s advice we took a 25 minutes walk to Triana to have a light dinner in La Atrayana. We have found ourselves in the residential neighborhood with plenty of little drinking places. La Atrayana was luckily open on Sunday. It is located on the first floor of a residential building. We would never figure it out for a place to eat, if not for Azahar’s input. Braised leeks, tortas de camaron, especially delicious arroz con boletus (porcini). We very much enjoyed the experience but had no more space for food after a food tour…

We day after we visited the spectacular Alcazar and Catedral. Right next to the latter located Hijos de Morales (AKA Casa Morales), which happens to be one of the Azahar’s favorite places. It was open on Monday for lunch and we stopped in for a snack. Morcilla de arroz, morcilla de higado, alcachofas con gulas (baby eels). Liked it all.

Would try more, but we had a lunch reserved in Azotea (the Cristo de Gran Poder location). Mixed feeling. It was priced more than the quality they have provided. I suspect the popularity is getting to them (to be honest, Azahar warned us…). The dish, I found to be interesting, was the shrimp crusted hake. My wife did not like it at all though… I always aim for arroz meloso, which they had… the carabinieri one… very salty… not much flavor. Obviously you can not make this dish in 20 minutes, which took them to deliver it to our table. Would not say the place is bad, but did not deliver to the expectations…

While wondering around Arenal area we have stumbled on a corrida memorabilia filled Baratillo. We had a drink with a sampling of two mediocre tapas (Rabo de Toro and Tortilla). Nothing special besides interesting environment.

La Brunilda is highly praised by the many food related publications. I was a bit surprised that my request for a reservation on Monday evening was accepted. The food was OK, but too fusiony for my taste. Beet salmorejo was not inspiring. Chipirones con migas would be more appropriately to name Chipiron con migas. Because it was only one chipiron on the large bed of migas. Not very interesting croquetas de bacalao. Would not go back.

The next installation will be dedicated to the experience with the food of the region of Cadiz.

Freiduría El Salvador
Espacio Eslava
Las Teresas
Cervecería Salmedina
Casa Román
La Atrayana
Casa Morales
La Azotea
La Brunilda Tapas
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