WEDNESDAY AFTERNOON, I stopped at two more places on the Ruta de la Tapa Erótica (the Route of the Erotic Tapa). Click here if you missed the first ones. I’ve now got four stamps in my “Passport” and need six more by 19 November if I hope to win a €2,000 vacation, or anything else. Our neighbors, Jean and Ray, joined me this time around and our second stop was a restaurant serving a dessert “tapa.” I should have ordered coffee. It didn’t go well with beer.
WHEN KATHLEEN AND PEDRO SUGGESTED we meet the first time, last week, for erotic tapas, I threw one of my on-hand gifts for Luke into my bag. I have a stockpile. I don’t give him something every time I see him; I want the gifts to be appreciated but not expected. It’s kind of working. Kind of.
MIÉRCOLES POR LA tarde, me detuve en dos lugares más en la Ruta de la Tapa Erótica. Haz clic aquí si se perdió los primeros. Ahora tengo cuatro sellos en mi “Pasaporte” y necesito seis más antes del 19 de noviembre si espero ganar unas vacaciones de € 2,000, o cualquier otra cosa. Nuestros vecinos, Jean y Ray, se unieron a mí esta vez y nuestra segunda parada fue en un restaurante que servía una “tapa” de postre. Debería haber pedido café. No fue bien con la cerveza.
CUANDO KATHLEEN Y PEDRO SUGIRIERON que nos veamos por primera vez, la semana pasada, para tapas eróticas, tiré uno de mis regalos para Luke en mi bolso. Tengo un arsenal. No le doy algo cada vez que lo veo; Quiero que los regalos sean apreciados pero no esperados. Está funcionando. Más o menos.
It seems a day out on the town, any town, is not complete without us stumbling upon a really great restaurant. After Mariposario de Benalmádena (Benalmádena’s Butterfly Park, see two previous posts), we continued another 5 minutes into Benalmádena Pueblo (the old village). Having only been there once before (click here for my first visit), I was familiar with only one little cafe, so we parked the car and began to head downhill through town.
It was a quiet and gloriously sunny winter day already past 2:00, which meant even the stores that might be open this time of year were closed for siesta. We thought, before settling down to lunch, we’d check out Plaza de España, a charming historic plaza. There were a couple of nice-looking restaurants. We chose the second one we came to, Restaurante Plaza.
It was warm enough in the sun to enjoy a meal out on the terrace, but the cloud of cigarette smoke hovering all around decided us to head inside. We headed up some stairs to a room with terraced windows that looked out onto another street. Service was a pleasure and the menu was varied and unusual. We each chose our own three tapas and we were definitely not disappointed.
HAMBERGUESA DE CHIVO (GOAT HAMBURGER)
MUSHROOMS AND STUFF… (I CAN’T REMEMBER WHAT IT WAS CALLED, BUT IT WAS REALLY GOOD).
CRUJIENTE DE SALMON, QUESO DE CABRA, Y BOK CHOI.
(CRISPY SALMON WITH GOAT CHEESE.) SALMON WASN’T CRISPY, JUST PASTRY IT WAS WRAPPED IN.
Numbers in another language can sometimes cause confusion. San Geraldo ordered his tapas by number. Cuatro (Four), Once (Eleven), and Diez y Cinco (supposed to be, but not, Fifteen). Since he was pointing to the items as he ordered, the waiter nodded and took down the information. When Judy ordered, she followed San Geraldo’s lead and requested Diez y Cinco. The waiter was a bit further away. He hesitated and looked at me. I said she didn’t want both Diez y Cinco (Ten and Five), she wanted Quince (Fifteen). The waiter laughed. San Geraldo laughed. And Judy said, “Well, that’s what I get for following Jerry’s lead!”
RESTAURANTE PLAZA, PLAZA DE ESPAÑA,
HEADING BACK TO THE CAR. THE SCENIC ROUTE, A DIEZ-Y-CINCO–MINUTE WALK.
Our favorite restaurant in Málaga is now our favorite three restaurants in Málaga (and they have a fourth on the way). We discovered El Meson de Cervantes nearly six years ago during our first visit to Spain (eight months before moving here). Then, Matt and Lindy told us about their other restaurant, El Tapeo de Cervantes. And, now there’s a third restaurant, Vinería Cervantes. So, that’s where we went Monday night after we saw the light(s).
I’ve provided English descriptions beneath each photo. Their Spanish menu wouldn’t load for me to copy the info and their translations don’t always tell the whole story, but you’ll definitely get the idea.
It seems impossible we managed to eat all this. (But, click the pics and I think you’ll understand.)
SEA BREAM WRAPPED IN COURGETTE,
CARROT PUREE, AND A JUNIPER SAUCE.
RED PEPPERS STUFFED WITH COD
AND SERVED WITH A TOMATO SAUCE.
BATTERED PRAWNS WITH TREACLE
AND A CORIANDER MAYONNAISE.
GRILLED OCTOPUS (IN AN INK SAUCE!!!) WITH SMOKED MASHED POTATOES. (NONE FOR ME. THE SUCTION CUPS GET STUCK TO THE ROOF OF MY MOUTH.)
BOAR STEW WITH SWEET MÁLAGA WINE,
TOPPED BY A SPANISH TORTILLA.
FRIED EGGPLANT WITH TREACLE.
IBERIAN PORK WITH BAKED PUMPKIN.
PUMPKIN RISOTTO AND WILD MUSHROOMS.
WARM APPLE TART WITH VANILLA ICE CREAM. (I DID NOT SHARE…)
Our first day in Ronda, I asked someone at our hotel (Enfrente Arte) for some lunch recommendations. After she mapped out several places, I asked where the locals go. “Ah,” she said, and then marked two areas of town, west and east. We were planning to walk east through the oldest part of town, so we set a place called Casa Maria as our goal. It was outside the old city walls, which meant it was outside the usual touristed areas. We never would have ended up there on our own.
PLAZA RUEDO ALAMEDA.
Casa Maria is a simple-looking place along a street bordering the expansive Plaza Ruedo Alameda. There were tables out on the plaza and just a few tall tables inside the narrow bar/restaurant specializing in tapas. We were welcomed warmly and, after we ordered our drinks, the owner asked if we would like to try “un poco de todo,” a little of everything. We agreed and began our trip to Spanish tapas heaven.
We went through bread, vegetables, and cheese courses and, although a meat course was about to be prepared, we stopped after the seafood because we simply had no more room.
I’ve done the best I can to describe the different dishes (which, remember, is the same as cooking in my world). Click the images to make your mouth water. Then get to Ronda, if only to check out Casa Maria.
TOMATO, GARLIC, SALT… AND STUFF.
ARTICHOKE, HAM… AND STUFF. (I DON’T THINK I’VE EVER HAD ARTICHOKE THIS DELICIOUS.)
ASPARAGUS, SALT, OLIVE OIL… AMAZING.
FRIED GOAT CHEESE, STRAWBERRY MARMALADE.
WE THOUGHT WE WERE DONE…
BACALAO (COD) PEPPERS, TOMATO, ONIONS… (I LOVE BACALAO. THIS WAS THE BEST I’VE EVER HAD.)
SCALLOPS IN A SORT OF BECHUMEL… I THINK.
THE CHARMING AND TALENTED FAMILY… WITH THEIR OWN LABEL.
JUDY OUT FRONT AFTER LUNCH… WITH OUR GIFT BOTTLE OF WINE!
[Casa] Maria, say it soft and it’s almost like praying.