Laurie Eats Sometimes- Spain Edition

Every country has something they are proud of, you might even say a national treasure.

New Zealand has Peter Jackson and Lord of the Rings, Cambodia has Angelina Jolie and Spain has Jamón Ibérico! A cured ham from the Spanish countryside and the crown jewel of Spanish food!

It’s so special they cover it with a blanket and tuck it in at night….just kidding…sort of!

Ham is everywhere and in lots of food. And, it is delicious. But, for a vegetarian, we found Spain to be the trickiest of the countries that we visited during this trip.

However, one meatless dish that you can find everywhere is patatas or papas bravas. It’s native to Spain and you will see it on the menu of most bars and restaurants. It’s simple but varies a lot by sauce (tomato and aioli) potato shapes and spice level.

We ate this at at least half a dozen places but we especially liked the version of it at Ena in Seville.

Another place where we enjoyed the potatoes was Ocaña in Plaza Reial, Barcelona. I don’t have a picture of the potatoes but who needs that when I have this picture!

Drag queens, great live music and tapas! What a fun night!


ta·pas

ˈtapəs/noun

small Spanish savory dishes, typically served with drinks at a bar


Some other popular tapas that we saw on every menu were olives, ham or fish croquetas, anchovies, squid and tomato toast usually served with manchego cheese slices on the side.

The squid was either fried or in some cases, served as finger puppets!

In Granada, we ate at a casual little restaurant called Kiki-located in the Plaza de San Nicolas. Sea anemone was the special that night and it was absolutely delicious!

We really enjoyed a leisurely lunch at Gallito in Barcelona. It was on the beach, close to the W Hotel. Sea views, some cava, tapas and this yummy shrimp, squid and artichoke paella dish. What a fantastic way to spend the afternoon!

We had exceptional tapas at Vinitus Restaurant in the Eixample Quarter…in fact we ate there twice!

I mentioned anchovies earlier…the best ones were served like this at Petite Corner Bar in Seville. In fact, everything there was exceptional!

We had a delicious dinner at El Trillo in the Albaicín in Granada. Risotto, pig cheeks and tasty red wine. The ambiance was nice too-we ate in the garden but you could also get a table with a view of the Alhambra.

If you are in the mood for non-Spanish food, you should go for Moroccan or Arabic food in Seville or Granada. The hummus and moutabel at Alwadi in Seville were particularly good!

Photo credit: saffrontrail.com

When in Spain, you should definitely sample some delicious cava! Cava is a sparkling wine that undergoes the same production process as champagne. I guess that’s why it tastes so good!

Most cava is produced in Catalonia and it’s very affordable too…so drink up! Salud!

There are many other dishes that you should try while in Spain.

Gazpacho is from Andalucia- a cold soup on a hot day tasted good! I had a strawberry gazpacho in Granada and it was quite tasty!

Tortilla Espanola is another popular dish in Spain. It’s made with potatoes, onions, eggs and olive oil. It’s a Spanish omelet!

Photo credit:my gourmet connection

Bocadillos-little Spanish sandwiches with various fillings can be found everywhere.

You will also see Gambas, or shrimp in olive oil on most tapas menus.

Don’t forget to get some churros dipped in chocolate! Mmmm.

Next up…best and worst airlines, lounges and airplane food reviews

Sevilla, Seville…Call it what you will!

We arrived in Sevilla by high speed train from Barcelona on Father’s Day. It was about 5 1/2 hours. You can easily fly too, of course, but after all of our flights (18 by this point in our trip), the train was a welcome change!

This city in southern Spain is incredibly gorgeous and like much of our trip, it also happened to be incredibly hot during the week in June that we visited. (The week before had been raining and about 55 degrees Fahrenheit and that actually sounded great…but oh well!)

Seville is the capital of Andalusia. It’s famous for Flamenco and amazing architecture- like the world’s largest gothic cathedral, the Seville Cathedral, which was totally awesome!

Did you know that Seville is a popular movie filming location?

This is the Alcazar – where some of Game of Thrones was filmed. (Lawrence of Arabia was filmed here too in the 1960’s).

The upper floors of the Alcazar are actually currently in use by the royal family and it’s one of the oldest palaces still in use in the world!

It became a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1987 as as we discovered during our travels around the world, if it’s a UNESCO World Heritage site, it will have tour groups arriving around 9:30/10am. So go early.

Tip– buy your tickets ahead of time so you don’t need to wait in line, in the hot sun, for like an hour!

It’s really special here-don’t miss the Alcazar!

And Star Wars, Episode 2 (which I like to pretend is the trilogy that never existed!) was filmed at the incredible Plaza de España. The Plaza de España was built for the 1929 World’s Fair. It’s a really cool half- circle of buildings with a moat and bridges.

A great way to get a nice overview of the city is by horse drawn carriage. There are multiple places throughout the city where you can get one. They are all a fixed price and non-negotiable. Easy!

Even though we decided that we didn’t want to see a bullfighting event while in Seville, we really did want to tour the museum and the bullring. This is so unique to Spain that we felt it couldn’t be missed and we weren’t disappointed!

Another really cool “must do” thing in Seville is to go to a flamenco show. Flamenco is a Spanish dance that is passionate, intense and full of incredible dance steps and intricate hand movements AND amazing singing and guitar playing! One of us even cried-but I won’t name names!

If you don’t go see a professional flamenco show in Seville, you are really missing out! We weren’t allowed to take pictures in the venue but we loved the show so much! Wow!

By the time we got to Seville, Harry was majorly overdue for a haircut but he had been holding out because he really wanted to get his haircut by The Barber of Seville (you know, it’s an opera). And he got it cut here…and it looked good too!

Seville is probably one of the prettiest cities that we visited during our trip around the world. It seemed that there was a unique and beautiful building around every turn.

Seville was beautiful, clean, the people were friendly and the food was good. There was live music everywhere and dancing too. It’s a great city to walk around in or ride a bike. In fact, it’s pretty flat and there are bikes to rent everywhere… if only it hadn’t been so hot!

So, is it Sevilla or Seville? Either way, you should visit!