The drive to Seville was long and a little boring. I should have entered some more out-of-the way spots into my google maps navigation so that we might see something more interesting than the highway. But I have to say, I found the gas station shops to be absolutely amazing. The displays of jamon, jugs of olive oil and assortments of canned fish were unbelievable. It was all I could do to stop myself from buying all kinds of things you'd never see in a gas station in North America. We arrived in Seville intact and ready to explore. We stayed in a suite very near Puerta de Jerez, which was a great location - close enough to walk almost everywhere.
The first night in Seville we decided to go for some pretty standard tapas at Bodega Santa Cruz. It was a very fun scene with lots of people standing around - your tapas are written in chalk on the bar and totalled up at the end of the night. We had most of the usual things - croquetas, boquerones, patas baravas, etc, etc. Everything was decent enough and it was dirt cheap.
Since we were staying in an apartment, the next morning we first walked to a supermarket just across the river to stock up on the essentials - cheese, bread, coffee, fruit, wine. Love the option to eat breakfast at home before heading out for the day. I even learned how to make coffee in one of those moka pots - am very proud of this new skill. And, as it turned out, it was extremely important because every place we stayed after this had only that type of coffeemaker in the room. After the supermarket we visited the Mercado de Triana - bought some more cheese to bring home and other assorted things to eat. As much as I love markets, I have to say that I wasn't overly impressed with the produce available at the ones we visited. Maybe there are better markets in more residential areas of the city, but I found the fruits and vegetables a little disappointing. In September even the markets in Canada are bursting at the seams with gorgeous produce - we didn't find that on this trip. Walked around the Triana neighbourhood - lots of ceramics shops selling everything from total kitsch to really gorgeous hand-painted bowls.
Our dinner that night was at Eslava, a place that gets lots of love online. It was another forced march from our suite - but this time we were well-rested enough and not half crazed with starvation. We arrived to find the restaurant/bar spilling out onto the street with lots of people waiting to get in. So we waited and eventually we were shuffled inside and got 2-1/2 seats at the bar (one of us had to share). Everything we ate was delicious and beautifully presented. I can't remember all the dishes but we did have some kind of a vegetable strudel thing, pork ribs with honey and, after admiring it from afar, some kind of cheese ice cream for dessert which was so much better than it sounds. I know we ate other things but I can't remember what - only that everything was good. Not expensive. Prepare for a wait if you go there and be ready to sort of push your way to the bar.
The next day we split up - I was on a quest for shoes and my friends were not. UNFORTUNATELY they ended up having what they said was an amazing lunch at Mechela Restaurante. I can't describe the meal to you because I WAS NOT THERE but they were quite incessantly effusive about this lunch so I guess it's a restaurant that one should go to. I, on the other hand, did not find the shoes I was looking for. So for me, it was a lose-lose. Especially since we had a really poor tapas dinner at La Taburna, where everything was soggy and/or lukewarm. Sigh. One cannot win them all.
On to Cordoba!