Sunday, November 29, 2015

A TAPAS TEST RUN


Our Thanksgiving crowd dwindled throughout the holiday weekend, with one couple not coming at all due to illness, our four kids just being there for the day, and another pair having to leave the day after. By Friday afternoon it was down to just my little bro and his family, who are major foodies. When I mentioned that we were going to stop for an entire week in Barcelona on our way home from Sudan, he may have turned a wee-bit green with envy. When I said I planned to try a different tapas bar every day that we are there, he asked "Have you been to Barlata in Austin?" How sad is it that my baby bro, who lives near Ft. Worth, has been to more great restaurants in Austin than we have?


I decided we needed to remedy that situation post-haste -- do a little tapas test run with someone who knows the ropes, so we'll have a better idea of what and how to order when we get to Barcelona, where there may, or may not, be any English on the menus!


Tapas is not a style of cooking, it's a way of eating -- many small plates meant to be shared by all at the table, along with a glass of wine or a cocktail, as a precursor to dinner, which isn't served until around 10:00 PM. I'd eat this way all the time, if I could, as I've always preferred having a few bites of several different things, instead of a whole bunch of just one thing, such as the ginormous slab of chicken fried steak that is so popular here in Texas.

We opted for Sunday Brunch, which was perfect. We were able to walk right in with no reservation, and the number of items on the menu is limited, so the choices are not so overwhelming!

Gambas Ajillo - shrimp with garlic and adobo. Be sure and ask for some bread to sop up those juices!
Jamon Iberico -- ham made from acorn-fed black pig, melts in your mouth like butter!
Bravas -- fried potatoes with spicy tomatoes and alioli.  Crunchy on the outside, silky inside. We needed two orders of these!
Vanilla Porter Braised Pork Belly - more juices that will require bread for sopping.
There were also plates of Serrano ham on tomato-rubbed toast, a roasted beet salad with goat cheese, a plate of Manchego cheese, and some yummy grilled lamb brochettes with a bit of cucumber salad. The only thing I wasn't super crazy about was this Morcilla sausage with baby white beans. Now I know why.


Turns out it's blood sausage, which has never been right at the top of our list of favorite sausages. Next time I think I'll opt for the grilled chorizo with chimmichurri sauce. 

Now I'm headed back to their website to create my own little food dictionary to carry with me on the trip.


Many-many thanks to brother Will-Bill and family, for yet another fabulous foodie experience!
 

2 comments:

Corrine at sparkledaysstudio.com said...

Nice to have everyone close. Tapas looks amazing. We have a great spot up here too. Love those little dishes. xox

Hill Country Hippie said...

Yes, we feel very fortunate that everyone except John's brother's family is right here in Texas, and unbelievably blessed that all our kiddos ended up in Austin!