Tapas Tasting in Torrevieja

Many Spanish cities and towns have this great tradition of hosting a tapas tour day or tapas tour weekend. Recently, hubby Rick and I attended one of these in the nearby city of Torrevieja, by the Mediterranean Sea. Fifteen local restaurants participated in the event, according to the International Tapas Day brochure.

It’s a great deal because it’s only 3 euros for both a tapa and a drink, including either wine, beer, sangria, water or soda. You also get a choice of one of two tapas at each restaurant. We began our tapas tour at Burger Hombre del Mar. That’s the Man of the Sea Burger in English. We both had the Mexicana burger rather than the American one because we didn’t want a fried egg on it. I don’t think American burgers traditionally have fried eggs on top of them but no one asked my opinion when the tapas names were chosen. The little cheeseburger with bacon was quite delicious and came with a few French fries or chips, as they are known in British English here. I had wine with this and Rick had water.

Mexican hamburger and chips

At this first restaurant we went through the brochure to see what tapas were being featured at each of the 15 restaurants and then looked to see where each restaurant was located. We chose the restaurants by which tapas sounded the best but were all within a close walking distance. As part of deciding on which restaurants to eat at, I had to translate any Spanish food words I didn’t yet know so this was also a good learning experience for me. Once we had finished eating and paid, we moved on in keeping with the plan we had just made.

Second stop was nearby and was called Taperia Los Zamoranos. I had been to this place twice before for tapas tours and knew it to be good. After we sat down, we first ordered our drinks, sangria for me and red wine for Rick, and these came quickly. Unfortunately by 1 pm, the restaurant was overwhelmed with customers and even through the waiter took our tapas orders for lamb stew, he forgot to bring the food. After 30 minutes of waiting, I went into the restaurant to just pay for our drinks and told the owner the food had never come. He said that the tapas were already made so the order must have been lost. We quickly brought out the lamb stews and gave us two free drinks to try to make up for the lost order. The stew, called caldereta de cordero, was made of a tomato base, with garlic, onions and potatoes. Sadly, the lamb was still attached to bones in the soup and was mostly fat, not meat. Definitely not worth the wait.

On to stop three, a small restaurant called Aura. This place was in a quiet location on a side street, with little traffic nearby. I had Fanta limon here and Rick had wine. We both ordered pate de calabaza, queso feta, crujiente de cabra and pan de cristal. This was pumpkin pate, goat cheese, crispy goat and crystal bread. Not sure what they meant by crispy goat (didn’t see any in my pate) and the bread was ordinary. Some things are just not translatable from Spanish into English. The pumpkin pate was good but after we finished two bites of pate using the bread as a utensil, we had to ask for spoons to finish it. Not sure what other people did about this problem. As we were finishing our meal and getting out euros to pay, a beggar woman came by and asked for money. Her timing was good as we were just getting out coins to pay the bill so we gave her a euro and left a euro tip for the busy waitress.

Our final stop was to Cafeteria Mediodia 23. This was also in a good location, on a tree-lined quiet street one block away from the Torrevieja harbor. I ordered water here and Rick had a cana, which is a small beer. Rick had the albondigas en su salsa (meat balls in tomato sauce) and I had bocaditos de maiz rellenos de carne y patata. This was the best tapas of the day. It was two bite-sized morsels of meat and potato with a fried corn base outside. They had been freshly cooked and were warm and very tasty. The tapas also came with two sauces, one spicy and one mild.

Here is the final and best tapas of Tapas Day

One of the great things about participating in a tapas tour for the restaurants is it allows potential new customers to check out their place out without too big a financial commitment. For example, now that we know that Burger Hombre Del Mar serves good hamburgers, we will go back there for lunch sometime. I had walked past this restaurant many times before but never thought about eating there until now.

So everybody wins when restaurants do tapas days, except probably the stressed-out employees who have to take and (hopefully) deliver all the customers’ orders. We had a good time, anyway, trying so many different dishes and drinks at a very low cost to us (12 euros each). We love our life in Spain and go into shock when we fly back to the US and have to pay $12 for one glass of wine in Chicago or San Francisco. Dining out is so much more affordable here!

Happy husband loving his life in Spain

8 thoughts on “Tapas Tasting in Torrevieja

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s