Bread with meat and cheese (Tapas) and two glasses of Tinto de Verano
Ah, memories of our first real meal in Spain. This meal would shape the rest of our meals for the rest of the trip. Out at a little local joint in Fuenlebrada outside of Madrid, we learned the true definition of tapas (free sides that come with your drinks. Of course, nowadays many places will charge you for them), tinto de verano (wine with soda and lemon) and patatas braviolis (a combination of patatas bravas with a red sauce and patatas ali-oli with a creme sauce... a combination apparently only known to this one tiny joint in Fuenlabrada because despite our requests for it elsewhere no where even knew what we were talking about).
Another dish that's hard to avoid in the Spanish summer is gazpacho. It seems most people have had gazpacho in America, but not the real Spanish version. It's a soup made of blended vegetables, served cold. Super refreshing on a hot day in Spain.
Coming from Korea and seeing a sight like this one above was like a dream come true. Every meat and cheese available, by the slice upon request. I couldn't help it, I bought a sandwich here for one euro and enjoyed every minute of it.
I spotted this chocolataria and recognized it almost immediately as the place I had visited in 2003 on my last visit. We made a point to come back here after the performance of Carmen to get some Chocolate con Churros. In my opinion, there is no other way to eat churros than with "chocolate" which is actually a cup of liquid chocolate of the consistency that you might get by filling the cup 3/4 with Hershey's chocolate syrup 1/4 hot milk. I have no idea how they actually make the chocolate, but it's probably nothing like you've ever seen before and nothing resembling your typical Starbucks hot cocoa.
Can anyone tell me if this anomaly known as "Dunkin' Coffee" is owned by Dunkin' Donuts? It looks exactly the same... just ... not.
Hummus and Moroccan Tea
It's hard not to eat Arabic food while in Andalusia. It's everywhere in Granada and we also got some in Cordoba too. Here was my first introduction to Moroccan mint tea. I love it, but while the glasses are beautiful, they are not very helpful to the enjoyment of the tea as they are very hot and have no holders on the side like a western style tea cup.
Lamb and Veggies
We were introduced to the Spanish tortilla at our next couchsurfer's house outside of Sevilla. No, it is nothing like a Mexican tortilla that you make your burritos with. The best way to explain this is a potato omelet, but it's really more like a pan fried potato and egg cake.. or something. But whatever it is, it is delicious and one of Spain's most famous dishes.
Paella de Carne
Spain's other famous dish is the Paella, which is a pan fried rice with meat. Usually this comes with seafood, but we were lucky enough to find a meat variation because my friend doesn't eat seafood and as for me, it's really not my favorite (not to mention bad memories of a seafood paella back in 2003).
Three more tapas, in various forms. Some big like meals, some small like sides.
Chicken and the most delicious potatoes
Croquettes- free tapas in Granada
We ate our last meal out in Spain with a couchsurfer and her friend. They took us to a fancy vegetarian restaurant with a waitress in a bad mood but an amazing chef. Honestly, I can't remember what this was, but I forced myself to eat the whole thing because it was so delicious and we couldn't take it with us since we were leaving early the next morning.