Saint Days here, I’ve been told, are bigger events than birthdays. You might get a small gift on your birthday and be showered with gifts and attention on your saint day. Even most non-practicing Catholics don’t let their saint days pass without a celebration. Yesterday was the Dia de San Terésa (Saint Theresa’s Day), Teré’s patron saint and another excuse for us to go out and celebrate. We met in the Plaza de Cuba just across San Telmo Bridge in Triana. We thought we were meeting both Teré and Miguel in the plaza, but Teré arrived solo and said Miguel had been playing fútbol and would meet us at the restaurant.
|TERÉ COMING IN FROM THE LEFT: “IT’S OPEN!”|
There are two running issues when we plan dinner out with Teré and Miguel. The first is a result of our usually choosing Monday night to go out. When we arrive at whatever restaurant they’ve chosen we find it’s closed Mondays. We then walk and walk until we find someplace (their second and third choices are usually closed, as well). The other issue: Teré always gets lost. So, when she told us we would meet Miguel at the restaurant, San Geraldo and I figured we were in trouble. We began to walk and Teré said in Spanish, “I think it’s this way.” Uh oh! San Geraldo asked, “Should she call Miguel? Is it even open?” I knew Miguel had made a reservation, so chances were good it was open. As for calling Miguel, I didn’t think that was a bad idea. We walked one block. Teré hesitated again and phoned Miguel. But, while they spoke, she took two steps forward and saw the restaurant around the next corner. She had done it. She quickly ran toward the restaurant saying to Jerry excitedly, “¡Y está abierto!” (And it’s open!)
|ENTRANCE TO THE TOILETS. WHAT A WAY TO GO.|
The name of the restaurant is Taberna Macuro and it was wonderful — the welcome, the service, the food, and the atmosphere. The owner is also an artist and his work adorned the entire space.
Miguel arrived just a moment after we did. We had our amazing meal with these two friends who remind us how lucky we are. And we learned at the end of the meal that Miguel wasn’t late because of fútbol. He was late because he had stopped at a place called “La Mejor Tarta de Chocolate en el Mundo,” (The Best Chocolate Cake in the World) to pick up a special dessert that the restaurant, even though they served their own desserts, very generously allowed Miguel to bring in. We four have been trying to get a chocolate cake at this place near the bullring for months. The first time we went was a Monday. Closed. The next time, a holiday. Closed. The next time, we got there too early and no cakes were ready yet. We didn’t realize it wasn’t a café. It’s primarily an antique shop and a take-out (chocolate cakes only) bakery. We could have waited an hour. They were even willing to make us some coffee (from their office pot) and invited us to sit and eat our cake (eventually) in a corner of the room. We didn’t wait and we haven’t been back. But, finally, the tarta was OD-chocolate good. We all agreed it wasn’t really the best chocolate cake in the world, but we ate more than half and I finally had to move it out of the reach of San Geraldo and Teré or there would have been none left. (And Miguel and I would have been listening all night to those two complaining about how much they ate.) Miguel gave the left-over tarta to the restaurant staff as a thank-you for letting us bring it in.
|LA MEJOR TARTA CHOCOLATE EN EL MUNDO. AND THE BEST FRIENDS, TOO!
SAN GERALDO WAS TELLING A VERY EMBARRASSING (AND TASTELESS) STORY. TERÉ WAS SOON IN TEARS.
After the cake and the high of the evening, I was grateful San Geraldo and I had a leisurely 20-minute walk home through this amazing city. We spent that walk talking happily about the evening, about Teré and Miguel, and about our past, present, and future in Spain.
|THE WALK HOME FROM TRIANA. CROSSING SAN TELMO BRIDGE.|