NOT my fault! Paul came to town so there HAD to be one more Birthday Lunch.
La Chunga didn’t disappoint, Great afternoon.
What the heck. It’s still January! So Mar and I went out to celebrate my on-going birthday, this time at El Cuelgue, a new spot that just opened up a couple of months ago. We were the first to arrive and the last to leave (even chef Santi left before we did!) and had a fun and delicious time.
And the birthday deliciousness continues! Met up yesterday with the lovely Reyes Morales for yet another birthday lunch (well, why not, eh?) Reyes had never been to Lalola and I was long overdue another visit so it was a perfect choice. My friend Javier Abascal is chef and owner of Lalola and is known as El Rey de la Casquería (the King of Offal – sounds better in Spanish) with a seasonal menu that features almost every part of our beloved Ibérico pig. We opted for the Ibérico Tasting Menu and it did not disappoint. But mostly it was just so great to have a solid three hours just catching up and chatting with Reyes… about absolutely everything. Sure, we see each other all the time at her bar, but I always love it when we can get some “girl time” together.
The food was fabulous, service was great, and Javi kept popping over to make sure we were happy. Check it out.
I am 66 today! I didn’t make any plans for this year’s birthday and so really wasn’t sure what to do. But I mean, you all know how much I love birthdays. It didn’t seem right just to treat today like just any other day. Then a friend called to say they’d be at Casa Morales at 2pm if I wanted to meet them for a birthday drink, but when I got there Morales was JAMMED. Totally packed with people spilling out the door. Not surprising as yesterday was a public holiday (last day of Christmas celebrations) and today is the first day of the January Sales, so of course the whole city was out and about. Meanwhile I’ve been as careful as possible with the new Omicron variant spreading like wildfire and so many sick people everywhere. I’ve even stopped taking tapas tour bookings until late January, so there was no way I was going in there!
But now what to do? Go home? I took a walk around the centre and all the bars were crammed. My idea was just to stop for a quick sherry and jamón tapita somewhere… but then I thought it would be nice to take myself out for lunch. So I walked a bit further out, to San Lorenzo, just outside the touristy area, because I suddenly had a craving for my favourite salad in the city. When I got to La Azotea their bar area was also full but I thought I might wait around a bit (there aren’t a lot of tables and it’s well ventilated with big open windows). But it wasn’t looking too hopeful as most people seemed to be still ordering food.
Then the hostess asked if I’d like a table at the restaurant across the street and I thought, what the hell. She found me a lovely table for one right in front of the main door, so again, good ventilation. In fact it turned out much better because in the bar there are only high tables and tall stools, and I never last long on those. But in the restaurant I got a comfy low table and ended up staying a couple of hours just to eat two dishes. I was in no rush, and nobody rushed me. It was fabulous.
I started with a crispy corn taco filled with spicy red tuna and guacamole, which I enjoyed with a glass of cava. Then my salad. Not being in a rush I totally took my time, ordered a glass of albariño, and savoured every single bite. Tempura prawns on mixed greens with a creamy kimchi dressing. I could have done without the cherry toms but have to admit they look good in the photos. They wanted to treat me to a birthday dessert but I was totally stuffed, and anyhow, don’t eat desserts. But it was all so good, the service was so friendly (they all know me there) and it really felt special, just like a birthday should.
On the way home I stopped in at El Corte Inglés to pick up a couple of things at the supermarket, but first I had a look to see what was on sale in the Fat Ladies Dept upstairs. Found two really cute embroidered cotton tops at half price, so I even ended up with a birthday present. All in all a lovely Birthday Afternoon.
Omg how did my darling girl get to be 9 years old? Yet she is still as kittenish as ever. Today I caught her catching some rays in one of her new favourite spots next to the patio windows. Happy Birthday sweet girl. I love you so much.
And of course Morcilla shares a birthday with my beloved Azar – they were born exactly 18 years apart.