Tag Archives: paella


30 Apr

Okay, so the entire east coast of Spain is totally different from the middle and southern half of the country. I mentioned that in my Barcelona post and it’s definitely true after visiting Valencia and Alicante during Semana Santa (aka Easter Break). Valencia was Laura and I’s first stop…CORRECTION: technically it was our second stop. We accidentally bought tickets to “Valencia Don Juan”, a pueblo in Leon…to the north of Madrid…land-locked. (Who knew there were two Valencias and that Alsa buses don’t go to the Valencia on the Mediterranean coast? Not us!) We noticed this after the confusion of finding our bus, getting on and passing El Escorial, which is north of Madrid, as well. Luckily our bus driver was extremely nice and called his pal to pick us up in the middle of nowhere and take us back to Madrid.

"Where are we?!"

 Anyway, Valencia is probably one of the coolest cities I’ve been to. I mean, which other city has turned a drained river bed into a park? Or built a giant ship-wrecked pirate as a playground? Or where museums look like the set of Star Wars? Or where paella for 10 or more people is served in pans as big as a table for four? All of this was in Valencia plus a beautiful beach, big boardwalks and the typical old city center and cathedral. The air was definitely fresher in Valencia and it made me miss the water a lot!

I REALLY wanted to play on this!A bridge and aquarium are straight ahead and the science museum is on the left...all museums look like this, right?This isn't even the biggest pan of paella we saw!


All museums look like this, right?


This isn't even the biggest pan of paella we saw!

 Our favorite thing about Valencia, though, were the random Spanish friends we made. (More often than not these were friendly old men. Haha)! We chatted with one nice old man while waiting for an hour on the bus and flirted a little another with our waiter that agreed to serve us the paella we wanted despite our many dietary restrictions (I’m vegetarian, Laura is allergic to shell-fish). Our new BEST friend was our bus driver. He only was our driver once, but we must have made an impression because when he saw us walking the next day he stopped his bus, honked and waved. (P.S. He looked like Jake Gyllenhaal!) I love vacationing in cities with nice, laid back people!



Comida Buena

26 Sep

I love to eat. While I have been eating less over here so far, mostly due to smaller portion sizes and being cheap, I made up for it this weekend. The people here seem to like papas fritas (potato chips) and patatas (french fries) A LOT. There are entire tapas bars and little shops dedicated to these two foods. Some friends and I ate at a tapas bar called Patatas yesterday and it was delicious! I’ve always loved french fries, and Patatas has the best. They’re made fresh and served with salsa or other dipping sauces rather than plain ketchup.

Patatas with salsa mexicana, yum!

Of course, what everyone really, REALLY loves to eat in Spain is paella. I reintroduced seafood into my diet before coming to Madrid just to be able to eat paella. Tonight, some other friends and I split vegetable paella…and it was SO GOOD. The flavors were perfect, and it was cooked perfectly. So really, it wasn’t just good, it was perfect. We opted for the veggie version tonight since all three of us are vegetarians who are willing to eat seafood only because we are abroad. (I’ve also met one more vegetarian and five other Aquariuses, btw.) I can’t wait to eat this dish again and to try it with seafood!

Perfection on a plate.