The Dinner Diaries: Savory Sevilla

What is so perfect about this simple dish? Is it the tender beef, the way it melts in your mouth?

Is if the scent of jamon iberico that lingers in the old corner restaurant, adding flavor to every bite of food?

Perhaps it is the crisp light beer that quenches the thirst of plaza dwellers and flamenco dancers of warm Sevilla nights after they indulge in a light meal of tapas from the tiny corner restaurant.


 

I love food. Chicken, mussels, peppers, cheese, bratwurst, wine…. You name it I’ll try it. In my opinion, if there’s anything that you should spend money on in life, it’s food. So, in this post, and probably a couple more in this series, I will highlight some of my favorite meals abroad. Fair warning: you may be hungry after reading this post.

But before I begin let me tell you a little secret. Before I studied abroad in Spain, I was a vegetarian… for over ten years! Accordingly, I will make sure that some of these posts include vegetarian meals. So for those of you out there with dietary restrictions, don’t worry, meatless meals abroad can be delicious and life changing too!

Now back to la tapa de mis sueños…


Sevilla: Carne rojo y cerveza

Cafe Bar Las Teresas, Barrio Santa Cruz, Sevilla

Nestled in the corner of a side street in Barrio Santa Cruz in the sunny city of Sevilla, this historic family restaurant has visitors streaming in and out of its doors all day. From families with children to old friends reliving their glory days, every customer comes to snack on delicious tapas,  relax, forget about their troubles, and enjoy the life they have been given.

The nature of the open bar, the squished-together tables, and walls plastered with newspaper clippings and photos is a true testament to the culture of Andalucia, or Southern Spain.

You see, food in Spain is not only meant to be eaten- it is meant to be experienced. Your meal is not complete without the laughter of those old couples chattering on the patio, or the stomping and clapping of the young couples dancing to spontaneous flamenco music in the streets. You cannot truly embrace the tapas lifestyle without the warm company of old friends, or new friends freshly picked up from the bar.

And so any delicious buffet of tapas must be accompanied with the atmosphere of true Sevillan culture. So my friend and I walked up to the bar and sat down, unbeknownst that we would soon devour one of the best meals of our lives.

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On the wall in front of us were placards with knives, retired from their service, treated as instruments of the gods to be immortalized on their walls

But this simple dish- a peasant’s’ dish. Served with a basket of bread to sop up the juices of the country dish and una caña to relieve the beads of sweat on the back of your neck, the tapa was perfectly proportioned to enjoy in a pair or for a selfish individual indulging their senses.

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What is so perfect about this simple dish? Is it the tender meat, the way it melts in your mouth?

Is it the red sauce, that tastes of the the countryside, warm and relaxed, as if you were eating the meal after a long day in the fields. As if the lomo was freshly prepared just for your homecoming.

Is if the scent of jamon iberico that lingers in the old corner restaurant, adding flavor to every bite of food?

Perhaps it is the crisp light beer that quenches the thirst of plaza dwellers and flamenco dancers of warm Sevilla nights after they indulge in a light meal of tapas from the tiny corner restaurant.

This perfect little dish in this perfect little restaurant was the perfect way to begin and end our Spanish adventure in Andalucía. In the land of tapas and cervesas, of sunsets and street life, and of the heart and soul of España. 

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