Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Mercado de San Anton

Tapas, tapas, tapas.
Spain's amazing little treats. Every Spaniard has their own favorite places, their own standard of excellence, and own price range. Everyone tells you that there is only one way to go, but in reality, there are as many ways to do tapas as their are restaurants who serve them.
Last night, Ben and I went to Mercado de San Anton, (Market of San Anton), which I would describe as a tapa mall. The ground floor sold quality ingredients that could be used for making tapas, the next floor had several small restaurants that served tapas based on region (Baltic, Italian, Japanese, Greek, Spanish...), we enjoyed octopus on toast at the stand labeled Bacalao. I have never eaten octopus before, so I have no frame of reference, but Ben said it was the best octopus he had ever had. It was really delicious.

The top floor of the complex was a terrace and restaurant. We got beers and empenadas, and sat down at a table at a table. We quickly figured out why the seats were empty on the busy terrace, a mist blowing fan created a tiny storm for anyone brave enough to take those seats. I must have looked really funny, because the guy sitting across the table took a picture of me before offering Ben and I a seat on the couch next to him and his girlfriend.

Ben and I ended up chatting with that couple all the way until the restaurant closed at one in the morning. They invited us to go salsa dancing with them at a club that does free lessons. Ben and I have really enjoyed that here in Spain, you can have a wonderful conversation with strangers for a night, or start a new friendship easily after one night out together. It's a very social country which is perfect for me, it is impossible to feel lonely here.

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