Muchas Tapas!

tapas, Granada, Spain, Spanish flag,
Order a drink in Spain and you get free food. Wow, what’s that all about? Now that’s all well and good but surely this can’t do much for business? You will either be too full to order any more food or you won’t order quite so much, for example we didn’t always bother ordering a starter knowing we’d get a tapas or an aperitif so we’d go straight to the main course instead. And at the restaurants we ate at during the week we also received a free limoncello after the meal too. Crazy really. But I’m not complaining one little bit. It’s great fun because you don’t know what you will be getting and sometimes you still don’t know until you’ve bitten into it. It can work in the restaurant’s favour of course. If you particularly enjoy their tapas you wonder what the rest of the menu will be like, so may decide to return for a proper meal. Here are some of the tapas we enjoyed during our week in Spain:La Hacilla, Guejar Sierra, Spain, tapasThis selection of tapas was from La Hacilla which was within walking distance from our lovely B&B, Arroyo de la Greda in Güéjar Sierra. From top L-R: A very tasty fish dish. Crab sticks, capers and sweetcorn all in a creamy mayonnaise-type sauce. Now, we’re not great lovers of seafood but we ate it all and thoroughly enjoyed it which surprised us both/Chicken goujons in breadcrumbs served on a bed of lettuce/Battered crispy shrimp cakes served on a bed of lettuce. We liked La Hacilla in Güéjar Sierra so much we dined there on three occasions and every meal was great.
Sulayr, Guejar Sierra, tapas, Spain
Restaurant Sulayr, Guejar Sierra.

Sulayr – also in Güéjar Sierra – is a lovely little friendly restaurant with a great atmosphere, a place which we dined at twice during our stay. Our tapas was of tiny cubed peppers, courgettes, avocado and chickpeas with an olive oil dressing. This was prepared fresh, we know this because Geoff could see through to the kitchen. They have live music sometimes playing there but we arrived a little too late and missed it. We also enjoyed a meal of burrito, nachos and crepes.

tapas, La Sitarilla, Granada, Spain, meatballs, chicken skewers, Gran cafe at Bib Rambla plaza, La Fabula, El Nico

Left: Granada’s a lovely city, with great restaurants such as La Fabula where we enjoyed the most excellent meal. We went on a free walking tour with post-uni graduates, Feel the City Tours, all of whom were very friendly and could speak English. We split up into groups depending on language and we had a very nice chap Nono, who gave us a few names of some tapas bars which he enjoys going to. One was packed, standing room only so we headed off to another he mentioned, La Sitarilla on Calle San Miguel Alta. There we were given meatballs (which was quite a common tapas) with chips, gravy and bread. Very nice and full of locals which is a good sign of course. Right: Gran Cafe at Bib Rambla. In the plaza known for it’s churros this place looked nice. Unfortunately churros are only served until midday, not just in this cafe but most. We had a nice glass of wine here and the chicken skewer and crisp tapas were very nice. The paella I ordered was very disappointing though. I ordered a chicken one but ended up with only one piece of chicken (with bone), seafood and lamb. It wasn’t very tasty and I had to leave most of it. In fact, the paella tapas we had at El Nico in Old Portsmouth was much, much better which is why I wanted to have a paella in Spain in the first place.

cycling, La Peza, Cycling cafe, Spain, tapas
The cycle-friendly bar

Whizzing down the hill on our bikes we came across a great bar along the roadside just before the centre of La Peza (on the GR-3201 coming from Quéntar). The lovely young waiter wanted us to use the cycle hangers. We were the only people there so we had just lent them against the wall. He was obviously very proud of these hangers as he lifted both of our bikes up and onto them and down again afterwards. Here we enjoyed a tapas of green olives, lightly toasted bread with tomato and slices of fresh ham, a little like Parma ham. Quite possibly it was from the highest village in Spain, Trevélez where they are famous for their air-cured hams. Funny because we didn’t see one pig all week. The young chap ran out to us as we were leaving to give us some pamphlets on La Peza which contained information on the numerous fountains dotted around the sleepy little village. Geoff decided to fill his water bottle up from one which caused a bit of a rumpus with the local old men. It seems it wasn’t for drinking – whether it was Holy water or just plain dirty water we’re not sure – so they showed him one he could use. After much confusion with lots of people joining in the ‘fun’ of trying to explain how the fountain worked we quickly and embarrassingly went on our way not wanting to return. Ever.

tapas, La Muralla, Sierra Nevada, Sol Y Nieve, burger, sausage, Granada

On our way up the Pico de Veleta (the highest paved road in Europe to a total of 2550m) we were famished and also in need of something sweet. Not knowing if there was anywhere else along the way to eat we decided to take a detour and rode the 2k downhill to the ski resort of Sol Y Nieve. We found several restaurants but decided upon La Muralla. Two iced cokes later we ordered a meal each. Along with the cokes came the tapas of course. Two mini burgers on a slice of toasted bread and two sausages on another. We sat outside with cycle shorts and short-sleeved jerseys on which was odd because the ski lifts and runs were still open (this was the last few days of April) and the people at the table next to us were in salopettes and padded jackets. The staff were friendly and the restaurant looked very nice which had the eating area upstairs. After some pasta and potato croquettes (another popular dish in Spain), we then had to climb back out of the ski resort to continuing our climb up the mountain. D’oh!

tapas, Bar Poli, Guejar Sierra, Spain, Spanish omelette, Spinning, Plaza Mayor, Encapaco bar

Full up after having a wonderful meal at lunchtime at La Cantina de Diego in Monachill, we only wanted a light bite to eat in the evening back in Güéjar Sierra. First we went to Bar Poli which serves tapas. Very friendly and seemed family-run as I think Grandma made our tapas. This was cous-cous with a bit of a kick to it. No photo as it was too dark. It was May Day which was a public holiday and even at 11pm the plaza was busy with small children still awake and old people sitting around chatting, the atmosphere was great. Encapaco Bar which was just along from Bar Poli and opposite the plaza gave us a very nice Spanish omelette each. This was served on a piece of toast and a tomato slice and topped with a squiggle of salad cream. The Spinning class you can see was on when we first arrived. They don’t normally have it outside but they were promoting the class. By the looks of it anyone could join in and in any clothes too. Again, a great atmosphere with children on scooters and balance bikes and the elderly sitting and watching leaning on their walking sticks whilst enjoying a cold Alhambra beer.

tapas, Granada, Spain, La Croilla

Gosh, we ate a lot of tapas! Or did we just drink a lot? Last but not least, our very last tapas and meal in Spain before leaving for home. La Criolla, a nice little gastrobar in Granada which we had spotted the day before. At first we sat outside but it was far too hot as we had no shade so we went inside. The kind waiter moved our table outside into the shade. Here we were given some very nice meatballs with a slightly mustardy/creamy sauce. We ordered two more tapas which we didn’t have a clue what they were going to be but we were in luck, they were lovely.

So, perhaps it is a good idea to give away free food with drinks. In many cases it works. I do hope it catches on over here. In fact, a better idea would be tapas of the sweet kind, mini cakes and desserts!

Hmm, perhaps that would be slightly unhealthy…

Living life, loving tapas!

A x


6 Comment

  1. […] Sunday menu was roast chicken, pork, beef etc., plus a vegetarian dish. During the week they serve tapas I believe – which we must go and try sometime as we enjoyed all the wonderful tapas we had […]

  2. […] Jones in Petersfield, Hampshire is a tapas, restaurant and patisserie all rolled into one. Situated in Lavant Street the front of the […]

  3. […] in Clarendon Road, Southsea, Portsmouth is a tapas & cocktail restaurant and another of those places which has been on my ‘must […]

  4. […] popular nowadays in pubs and restaurants. We only really started to eat it whilst on our holiday to Spain back in May. Now I buy it regularly and put it in our pasta […]

  5. […] from Trevelez which is the highest village in mainland Spain, not far from where we stayed in the Sierra Nevada back in May. There were hams hanging everywhere you looked up there). This was served upon toasted […]

  6. […] definitely like to return. We’ve been to a few tapas restaurants ever since we visited Spain for the first time only two years ago, El Nico’s in Old Portsmouth, Sant-Yago  and Koh Thai […]

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