VD is for Everybody / VD es Para Todos

La versión español está después de la versión inglés.

LAST NIGHT’S VALENTINE’S dinner at Mesón Salvador was beyond compare. Chef David outdid himself and the entire staff once again seemed to have as good a time as their guests. The theme was the romance of Venice and the team dressed as gondoliers. They even grew mustaches for the occasion (which were already shaved off this morning). Waiter Jaime is fluent in Italian (as well as Spanish and English), so he added another level of authenticity… and charm.

LA CENA DE San Valentín de anoche en Mesón Salvador fue incomparable. El chef David se superó a sí mismo y, una vez más, todo el personal parecía tener tan buen momento como sus invitados. El tema fue el romance de Venecia y el equipo vestido como gondoleros. Incluso cultivaron bigotes para la ocasión (que ya se habían afeitado esta mañana). El camarero Jaime habla con fluidez el italiano (además del español y el inglés), por lo que agregó otro nivel de autenticidad … y encanto.

Photo courtesty of Mesón Salvador. / Foto cortesía de Mesón Salvador.
Salad of Passion:
BUFFALO MOZZARELLA, MANGO, STRAWBERRIES, ARUGULA, RED PESTO VINAIGRETTE.
Bombons of Lust:
FOIE CROQUETTES WITH PEAR AND MÁLAGA WINE SAUCE.
The Trip is a Pleasure:
ROSADA MACERATED IN SOY WITH QUINOA RISOTTO.
For An Unforgettable Night:
PIG CHEEKS IN PASTRY WITH CABRALES CHEESE.
The Sweetness of Love:
PANNA COTTA FILLED WITH CHOCOLATE, WITH WILD BERRIES.

El video es un anuncio de servicio público estadounidense de 1969. El nombre de la canción es “VD es para todos” que significa “Le Enfermedad Venérea es Para Todos” y “VD” es taquigrafía para el día de san valentín (Valentine’s Day).

AbradaCabra

La versión español está después de la primera foto.

Now, just because I’ve been recovering from [minor] eye surgery, I don’t want you to think I’ve been surviving only on chocolates (poor me).

I’ve also gotten out of the house for walks, sometimes just for the walk itself and sometimes for the restaurant the walk takes me to. Restaurante Primavera in our neighborhood (Los Boliches) has received a couple of visits. The staff and the food have definitely helped my recovery. Pictured below are my meals, in order, on the two different nights. NOTE: “Cabra” is “goat” in Spanish.

Goat Cheese Salad: A stack of apples, goat cheese, and greens, wrapped in smoked salmon and topped with hazelnuts. / Ensalada de Queso de Cabra: Una pila de manzanas, queso de cabra, y lechugas, envueltas en salmón ahumado, y cubiertas con avellanas.

Ahora, solo porque me he estado recuperando de una cirugía ocular [menor], no quiero que pienses que he estado sobreviviendo solo con chocolates (pobre mí).

También he salido de la casa a pasear, a veces solo por el paseo y, a veces, por el restaurante al que me lleva el paseo. El Restaurante Primavera en nuestro barrio (Los Boliches) ha recibido un par de visitas. El personal y la comida definitivamente han ayudado a mi recuperación. En las fotos de abajo están mis comidas, en orden, en las dos noches diferentes.

A cross-section. / Una sección transversal.
Housemade tiramisu / Tiramisu casero.
Seafood crepe. / Crepe de mariscos
Lemon pie with fresh lemon sorbet. / Tarta de limón con sorbete de limón fresco.
Fran and his parmesan, the cure for what ails you. / Fran y su parmesano, la cura para lo que te aqueja

Say My Name, Abrevaduci?

Andalusians often drop consonants, especially “d” and “s” (and n) when they appear mid-word or at the end of a word, which means Andalusians drop a lot of consonants. They also regularly drop vowels, which often doesn’t leave much “word.”

Buenos días (good day) sounds something like “buen dia.” Our neighborhood, Los Boliches, is more like Lo Bo-LEESCHeh (and to an untrained ear even sounds like Lo Bo-LEE). The city of Cádiz (which should sound kind of like CAH-deeth) sounds more like CAH-ee. Consonants are dropped. Letters are changed. Sometimes, entire words disappear. I’m oversimplifying, but you get the idea. 
Our ears have adjusted in these five years. San Geraldo, whose Spanish is already quite “interesting” has even begun to speak Andalusian. Buena NO-shay, he says, instead of Buenas Noches when he goes to bed at night.
One of our friends has his own creative way of speaking both Spanish and English (different from San Geraldo’s creative way).
This all leads me to the challenge of expressing a desire to go to Abrevaero, a great little tapas bar and restaurant just a few minutes from home (we’ve got just about everything within a few minutes of home).

Abrevaero, although the actual name of the restaurant, isn’t even a word. It’s the way a local would pronounce the Spanish word “abrevadero,” which translates to “drinking trough” (a place to water the horses and get refreshed).

San Geraldo has called it Abrevaduci, Arevada, and I can’t remember what else. Our local friend (who shall remain nameless) calls it something like Arivadabra, or maybe it’s Abradaba… or Abree-air-a I’m not quite sure. At least it doesn’t stop us from enjoying the food, service, and atmosphere.

(Click the images, taken during two different visits, and maybe you’ll remember the name.)

ALCOCHOFA (ARTICHOKE) WITH TUNA, CRAB MEAT, KIWI, ETC.)
TRADITIONAL SPANISH TORTILLA.
THEIR VERSION IS MOIST, EGGY, AND DELICIOUS.
TORTILLA RELLENA (A STUFFED SPANISH TORTILLA).
CHORIZO.
SETAS Y JAMON (MUSHROOMS AND HAM).
TERNERA (BEEF).
ABREVAERO’S INTERPRETATION OF TIRAMISU.

Maybe we should just call it “Abracadabra.” It’s magic.

The Perfect Martina in Mijas Pueblo

Before taxiing up to Mijas Pueblo Monday morning, I did some research on restaurants and found one that sounded good for lunch. Described by visitors as “off the beaten path” and “a quiet escape,” Restaurante La Martina sounded like a good option.

It was better than good. It’s on one of the main pedestrian streets in the center of town but the neighborhood very quickly became residential. In addition, La Martina is up some steps on a terrace that overlooks the street. The terrace was inviting but the sun was hot so I peeked inside. The long narrow interior opened onto another terrace out back. That terrace was even more inviting. We sat, the waiter rolled out an awning to provide some shade, and the day got even better. (Click the images to see how much better things got.)

THE FRONT TERRACE ON CALLE MÁLAGA.
THE BACK TERRACE.
FRIED CAMEMBERT TOPPED WITH RASPBERRY JAM.
COMPLEMENTS OF THE HOUSE.
HOMEMADE CHICKEN PATE.
MY REVUELTO (SPANISH SCRAMBLE) WITH SHRIMP AND MUSHROOMS.
JUDY’S REVUELTO WITH ASPARAGUS AND IBERIAN HAM.
LOOKING BACK DOWN CALLE MÁLAGA AFTER LUNCH.

Toledo: Of Course, We Had To Eat!

So, did you think I wasn’t going to tell you about the food?!?

We had a few disappointing restaurant experiences in Toledo. Our first night, we went to a restaurant recommended by our hotel. It was classy and expensive. The food was exceptional. Our waitress was pleasant enough. Everyone else was indifferent — to everyone — to the point of being rude. It was called Alfileritos 24 and we would never go back.

There were a couple of other disappointments before San Geraldo and I finally went to a place called Cafe Del Fin (click here for their website). It had looked interesting as we passed by one day. It was closed that night when we went back in a downpour. So, our last night we tried again and we were in luck.

The food was excellent. The prices were surprisingly reasonable (Toledo’s prices are much higher than Fuengirola’s). And the service from the two servers/bartenders was beyond compare. Warm, friendly, charming, professional. A cool crowd, too. Too bad Judyshannonstreetwhat was under the weather and didn’t get to experience this meal.

(Click the images to enlarge the deliciousness.)

CHICKEN FAJITAS WITH PEPPERS AND SAUCE.
SAN GERALDO HAS HUGE HANDS.
THIS GIN & TONIC WAS THE SIZE OF A GOLDFISH BOWL.
FORTUNATELY, IT TASTED MUCH BETTER. SO I HAD ONE, TOO.
CHICKEN SKEWERS.
HAMBERGUESITAS: BEEF (GREEN BUN) AND CHICKEN.
A TOSTA: MIXED MUSHROOMS, GOAT CHEESE, AND HONEY.
MID-MEAL, OUR LADY OF FÁTIMA PROCESSED DOWN THE STREET
AND PASSED RIGHT IN FRONT OF THE RESTAURANT.
NO ONE IN THE RESTAURANT KNEW WHY…
SAN GERALDO’S “DEATH BY CHOCOLATE.”
HE COULDN’T FINISH IT!
MY “CHOCOLATE BROWNIE WITH VANILLA ICE CREAM
AND HARD CHOCOLATE TOPPING.”
OUR COFFEES WERE SERVED WITH LOVE.
MY ‘LOVE’ LASTED TO THE VERY END.
A PARTING SHOT.