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lose some win some beautiful food and wonderful service at La Atrayana

I think most of you know about my labour of love Sevilla Tapas, that I started back in 2007, which then evolved into me doing food and wine tours after recovering from cancer. Which was going great until, well you know, 2020. But the main point of the website is to feature and help promote tapas bars and restaurants in Sevilla, and also to serve as a guide for food-loving people visiting the city.

During lockdown I did my best to support tapas bars here by keeping them in the public eye on my Twitter and Instagram accounts. As I have something like 30,000 food pics in my phone archives this wasn’t a problem. So I’d be sure to post something daily. Then once places started reopening I got back to doing what I do, which is visiting bars and updating their pages on my site. Very sadly some had closed for good during 2020, but others were born. And so keeping within my “safety parameters” of only going out twice a week and either sitting outside or near an open door/window, I got back to work.

People often comment that I have “the best job in the world” when they see my social media posts, though I don’t know where they get the idea that I am getting paid for this. I certainly don’t take money from the bars, and I don’t have any advertising on my website. But it does serve as my online portfolio, as it were, so people know I’m not just a tapas tour bandwagon jumper, that in fact I am an expert on this subject and that I personally know all the bars I feature.

Which isn’t to say I LOVE all the bars. There is a 5 orange rating system. As you would expect, the majority fall into the 3 orange category (good), which means exactly that. They are good bars and I personally enjoy going to many of them. But I reserve 4 and 5 oranges for ones that are a bit more special. Which brings me to some recent experiences, because it’s not always fun doing this.

A few weeks ago I wanted to try out a place I noticed on Instagram that had a cute logo and some nice pics. It wasn’t new, although their account was, so I was intrigued. What a disaster. Basically cheap and not cheerful and we left feeling full but unsatisfied. Also this was where Peter lost his varifocal glasses, so it ended up being a very expensive unhappy lunch. Then last week my friend Tania and I checked out a newish trendy spot. I had tried going there a few months ago but we hadn’t booked and the waitress very rudely told us we’d have to sit outside (in February) or nothing… well, we chose nothing and went next door to Mariscos Emilio which is always fabulous. I vowed not to go back but you know, maybe the waitress was having a bad day, and everyone was raving about this place, so I gave it another shot. And… nope. Food was expensive with more effort was spent on presentation than flavour, a very hit and miss experience (and at those prices, it’s not okay to miss). And the service? OMG so rude, once again. Turned out an ex-neighbour was sitting with two friends at the table behind us and she totally agreed with Tania and me. Food, meh. Service, very unfriendly. The first place I’m not even going to mention on Sevilla Tapas because it’s not worth it, but I will do a review on the second one. In fairness I will give them 3 oranges because it wasn’t awful, but I’m sure they consider themselves a 5 orange experience.

And then today happened. I had read about a new place at the very end of Triana, bordering on Los Remedios, and I wanted to try it out. Of course walking over two bridges at midday when it’s 40º (or more!) wasn’t that clever, and it was about an hour’s walk each way. But you know what? Totally worth it. Everything we tried was exceptionally delicious and the service couldn’t have been nicer. I can’t wait to go back. So like I say, you lose some but then you win some. Today made it all worthwhile and cancelled out the two bad experiences.

I do want to keep doing this because it does support the bars and it also gives you something to dream about while planning your next trip to Sevilla. But you know, those tapas don’t pay for themselves, and my tours probably won’t be happening again in any meaningful way until next spring. So a gentle reminder about my PATREON account, which I set up to help with keeping my website updated. I mean even 5 euros a month (or a one-time donation) helps, so please don’t feel it has to be some kind of major investment. Anything you’d like to give to help out is always very much appreciated. Meanwhile, I will keep going out as much as possible, for better or for worse, to keep everyone updated.