One of the perks of my job is walking into a bar and having the owner thrust a glass of THIS at me, saying “tell me what you think”. Okay, it doesn’t happen very often (okay, hardly ever) but on this occasion it was a wonderful surprise. And the wine was exquisite. A 30-year-old VORS palo cortado from Bodegas Osborne. If you’re in Sevilla you can try a glass at Las Teresas. I recommend pairing it with their fabulous carrillada or grilled tuna morillo…
Sometimes only a pizza will do, right? And my favourite place for a pizza is in front of the original Casa Azahar in calle Mateos Gago, at L’Oca Giuliva. This was a diavola “devil” pizza, hinting that it would be hot and spicy, but of course I would have sprinkled more chillis on it. Wonderful pizza though, with (for my taste) the best crust in town. I’d be in big trouble if they ever started a home delivery service.
Remember back in August when I finally got to meet long-time Twitter pal Francisco and his friends Eduardo and Miguel at La Grulla? Well he sent me this mention in the ABC newspaper today and I couldn’t be more thrilled. Having my work recognised is always an honour, but it feels extra special when this recognition comes from my “fellow Spaniards”. So I especially liked the “Sevillana since 1993” bit. 🙂
For those who don’t speak Spanish here is a translation…
Although several neighbouring cities (which we are not going to name – these are not the times for more regional rivalries) have long been trying to snatch the title of “birthplace of the tapa” from Seville, the truth is that little or nothing is done by our city council to exploit said claim.
In fact, just one person, Shawn Hennessey – Sevillana since 1993 – has done more to make our tapas known (through her blog, organizing tapas tours for foodie tourists, and social media activity…) than the entire tourism delegation.
We continue to be a country of solitary Quijotes, and it always takes somebody from outside to remind us of it.
Aunque varias ciudades “vecinas” que no vamos a mentar – que no están los tiempos para más rivalidades autonómicas – llevan tiempo intentando arrebatar a Sevilla el origen de la tapa, la verdad es que poco o nada se hace desde nuestro ayuntamiento para explotar dicho reclaim.
De hecho más hace una sola persona, Shawn Hennessey – sevillana desde 1993 – por dar a conocer nuestro tapeo (a través de su blog, organizando rutas de tapas de guiris-foodies, moviendo contenidos en redes sociales…) que toda la delegación de turismo.
Siguimos siendo un país de quijotes – o quijotas – solitarios, y siempre tiene que venir alguen de fuera para recordárnoslo.
Yes, it’s true. The fabulous Julie & Steven (AKA Julia & Esteban) ARE BACK IN TOWN. This time to spend almost a week here in our gloriously HOT & SUNNY October weather. And of course, to go out with meeeeee! We got off to a good start last night with a bottle of Juvé & Camps cava at the Corte Inglés Gourmet Experience before I whisked them off to one of my new favourite bars Bodega Palo Santo. Looking forward to us being vecinos again for awhile. xx
… or at least one of them. This is Rafael’s jamón cutting station at Bar Las Teresas. I’ve been coming to this bar for over 24 years now and, while I have seen some changes over the years (not all of them good), it remains one of the places where I feel relaxed and at home. Like I’m with family.
In fact, this is something I hear a lot from women from other countries – how they feel so comfortable going out to bars on their own here, unlike back home. And it’s true. You don’t feel weird or worry about being hit on. More than likely you’ll end up chatting with the people sitting next to you at the bar, though if you want to just enjoy your tapas and wine on your own, that’s also quite acceptable.
Anyhow, I’ve spent many a happy hour sitting at this very spot, watching Ramón deftly wielding his cutting knife, chatting with the barmen, enjoying lovely tapas. I’m often asked which is my favourite tapas bar in Sevilla, which is an impossible question for me to answer, but this is definitely one of them.
Good times on a recent Gourmet Tapas Tour. There is a certain amount of unpredictability and a bit of an extra challenge with the gourmet tours. Actually “gourmet” isn’t really the right term, but I haven’t found a better one. Because it’s not about going to posh places with wanky gastrobar food – it’s about tasting the best of what Sevilla has to offer, from tiny hole-in-the-wall bars to more sophisticated spots (and all family run). Basically people pay as they go, so I don’t have to stay within a budget, and we can go to as many bars as they want. The record (so far) is 7 tapas bars in 5 hours. This one was 5 bars in 5 hours, including a penúltima, with a super fun group of 4 friends – a lovely way to spend a sunny afternoon. I love my job. 🙂
So the other day Peter @SVQconcierge and I stopped in for a tapa on the way back from Andalucía Sabor and we were very disappointed in the quality of the fish, especially for a place that specializes in salt cod. It was tough and chewy, not nice at all. I mentioned it to the waiter and he said he’d let them know in the kitchen. Meh. We paid and left.
Later I posted the photo on Instagram, mentioning how disappointing the tapas had been. Next day I got a call from the owner of the bar pleading with me to “modify” the post – he was clearly very upset that I hadn’t spoken to him first, and feared this negative post would affect his business. Well, first of all, the post was in English and the majority of my followers are not locals. Secondly, well, it was my opinion. I don’t often post a negative comment about places, but this experience had annoyed me.
After a second call from the bar owner I decided to just delete the post. It wasn’t worth “modifying” and I didn’t want to be pestered anymore, though afterwards I felt a bit annoyed with myself that I caved. Had it been a Sevilla Tapas review I wouldn’t have changed a word, but I’m still not sure I did the right thing.
Anyhow, after deleting the post the bar owner called me again, thanking me, and saying I would be invited to their next “new menu” tasting. Uh… no thanks.
The last time London friends Naomi & Andrew (@gingergourmand @andrewknill) were here – two years ago – it was to celebrate Andrew’s 40th birthday, which also coincided with a visit from Anna (@annalibera). This time they are here for a short kid-free break and some sunshine.
I have armed them with a list of new sherry bars and other places they haven’t been to yet, and also met them for a fabulous 3-hour lunch at La Azotea (Zaragoza). It was great catching up and giving them a quick(ish) bit of sherry education. Next London visit we definitely have to meet up.
More images from this year’s Andalucía Sabor (click to enlarge). You can also check out the #ASabor17 hashtag on Twitter to see what other people were posting during the event. I had a great time, though two days out of three were all I could manage this year.