I am going to highlight just four meals, two of which were in the same restaurant, and one which sated our salad-and-vegetable starved appetites.
Yelp plus recommendations in Rick Steve’s guide have continued to serve us well. Our first night I scoured Yelp to find something a little different from tapas, tapas…poor us…and we headed to La Azotea. Right in the heart of la zona touristica a block from the cathedral, this narrow and modern place serves higher end (50-60€, including a bottle of wine) food with imaginative combinations as well as the typical, but here especially high quality, plates of Iberian ham, pork cheeks, pan con tomate. I wanted to go right away in case it was as good as the reviews promised.
It is. The first night, with a bottle of rosado, we ordered “media” (small, ha ha) portions of salmon tartare, a potato salad with capers and smoked salmon, and oxtail meatballs. These three “media” portions were a huge amount of delicious food…we were even struggling a bit to finish the oxtail meatballs which were served in a very rich sauce. We were glad we waved away olives and bread.
Two nights later we rewarded ourselves after a grueling day of sightseeing and ten miles of walking with a return to La Azotea to order “media” portions of the potato salad, again, pan con tomate, and the burrata salad, a plate composed of two mounds of burrata and a scoop of lemon sorbet on a small head of red butter lettuce with little gelatin squares tasting of fresh basil. To top it off we had the steak tartare, little cubes of meat mixed with a tangy light mustard sauce. Ate every last bit with a bottle of Rioja (yummy and 15€).
The night before we needed vegetables so headed to El Rincon de Beirut. The enormous menu daunted us until we saw a “combo” that the waiter explained was basically all the appetizers. It came, we ate, our bodies said thank you.
Our final gustatory highlight came in Triana, the city across the river. We strolled across at lunchtime and settled on a Rick Steve’s suggestion of Taberna Miami, an old bullfighting themed place that promised to be “reliable for seafood” and sits in the middle of the pedestrian zoned street in the middle of centro historico. We were so hungry and just started ordering, again attempting to not overdo it by getting the tapas size of everything.
Little whole fried shrimp, crunchy shells and all; a huge platter of fried squid rings that we had eaten half of in a few minutes; grilled tiger langustinos that tasted like lobster and were challenging to peel; a platter of sliced chorizo; and fried bacalau so tender and flavorful we judged it the best we have had, and we have had a lot. With David’s bear, total 40€.
p.s. Returning from our day trip to Córdoba we stopped at a random place in the new city because they had a sign out front advertising paella. Sounded soooo good, so we had the mixta. YUM! With beer, two glasses of wine, and a salad, 20€.