, , , ,

pilar-antonio-1For years I’ve been bumping into Pilar and Juan Antonio at various food & wine events around Sevilla, and we always say we will meet up sometime in Cádiz. Pilar has a food blog called Túbal Aquaviva and is originally from Sevilla, but has been living in Cádiz since 1992, after she and Juan Antonio got married. Above is the only photo you’ll see of all of us… it turns out that Pilar is just as camera shy as I am.

Anyhow, when Peter and I first arrived in Cádiz for the final Birthday Getaway, after dropping off the luggage at our hotel, we made a beeline to the central market (really, my favourite food market in Spain) and Pilar met us there for Beer O’clock. I originally thought we were just going to have a nice beer and a chat, but Pilar had bigger and better plans for us. We were about to be taken on a Tapeo Extremo, with some cool cultural bits thrown in along the way. First stop was to visit the old salazones (fish salting plant), the remains of which are to be found in an obscure side street. Later we were shown where to find the also not-very-well-known Oratorio de las Cuevas, which have original Goya frescos in the upper chapel. And by then it was time for some refreshment, so we made our way over to Salicornia to properly start our tapeo.
Here are Peter and Juan Antonio at Salicornia – the latter arrived shortly after us bearing some fillets of fresh salmon he’d picked up at the market for lunch at home, having not been fully informed about our Tapeo. So after we’d tried some delicious dishes off the menu (butterfish ceviche, boletus and truffle rice, presa Ibérica carpaccio) chef Juan Höhr Herrera made us some amazing fresh tuna tartare with Asian spices and wasabe from Antonio’s “catch of the day”.

Another place on Pilar’s list for us to visit was La Curiosidad de Mauro, recently moved from the original location in Puerto Real. But before that we had to stop in at what turned out to be one of my favourite “discoveries” of the entire trip, a tiny hole-in-the-wall fish place called the Mini Bar. Here we met Paco, who’s been serving up super fresh no-nonsense fish dishes for 45 years. Seriously, you can’t spend money there. But as we had other other fish to fry (so to speak) we just shared a ración of fritos variados and were on our way. Mauro’s was also very good, but after the last two spots, which seemed much more relaxed and natural, we felt a bit like we were obliged to like the food… I dunno, it was a bit too “gastro-bar” for me.
pil-antWe finished up (as one always must when in Cádiz) at the fabulously OTT Café Royalty, for their famous picatostes, which go perfectly with either coffee, cava or cocktails. Just to be sure, we had all three. The picatostes are a bit like a very thick French toast, dusted with icing sugar. Delish.

At this point we were joined by Ania @ania_marchlik but that’s another story…  😉

It was a great day, and it was so lovely that Pilar and Antonio took such good care of us. Gracias amigos! xx