Oaxaca mural

Oaxaca mural

Friday, September 11, 2015

Fiesta!! ...and Tapas!!

Just by coincidence my stay in Valladolid, Spain, coincides with their annual Festival of the Virgin of San Lorenzo... and when I wandered out last night to get some supper, I found myself in the middle of a fiesta.

The "Plaza Mayor" (Main Plaza) was filled with people.  They were watching local groups perform traditional folk dances


  The city hall was decorated and illuminated for the festivities.

Branching out from the plaza, the bars and restaurants had set up stands on the streets.

I went into one of the tapas bars.  Because so many of the people were out on the street, the interior was not overly crowded.  I was even able to sit at the bar.  I think I was the only non-Spaniard in the place.  The waiter looked like a rather dour Spanish gentleman, until you spoke with him, and a smile spread across his face.

They didn't have sangríá, so I ordered a similar beverage called "tinto de verano" (red summer wine).  Actually, I think that is a better choice. since some places make their sangría too sweet.

I then decided to try out some tapas.  As I have said before, I don't care for shellfish, so that immediately eliminates quite a few choices.  Also, forget about tripe or other organs.  Still there were quite a few appetizing choices on the menu.

I began with "salmorejo"... a thicker version of "gazpacho".  Yummy!  So far, so good.

I then ordered "patatas bravas"... potatoes with a spicy sauce.  This place also added mayonnaise.   A bit heavy on the mayonnaise, but it was tasty.

I saved the best for last... a plate of thinly shaved Iberian ham.  This was the real thing... made from free-range pigs that have a diet of acorns.  Once you've tasted "jamón ibérico de bellota", that pale stuff we call ham at home will never compare.

So at long last I found a good, non-touristy tapas bar serving my favorite Spanish foods!

It turned out to be a great evening.



  1. I'm salivating at the thought of your culinary adventures in Spain! The food looks delicious in your photos.

    (Also, I finally made salmorejo last week. I'm sure mine didn't turn out as good as the real thing, but Chuck and I enjoyed it. Thank you for the recipe!)

    1. Glad you liked the salmorejo. Last night's supper of tapas was one of the best meals on this trip. Some of the meals have not been so good... just bad luck in picking restaurants, I guess. Tomorrow I go back to Madrid... where I know some good places to eat.