Howdy all and how are your taste buds today? Because today I am taking you to Spain’s southern city of Seville to sample some of the cuisine in the region of Andalucía. Last week, on ‘Review Wednesday’ as I like to call it. Well, no I don’t but it sounded good in my head for a moment there, I talked about Barcelona and the food there. I guess it’s fair to say that whilst I was able to eat well enough, nothing really impressed me either.
Seville on the other hand I felt like I really ate well there, and indeed in Portugal on the whole although I did a lot of self-catering in Lisbon. I had tapas (which I had first tried in Barcelona) in both Seville and Porto, and in both instances it was definitely better than the one I tried in Barcelona. So today’s post is obviously about my food experiences in Seville last year. I should say, for the only time in Spain, and only once, I did have Burger King for lunch on the last day and it really hit the spot. I had McDonald’s once in Spain too, in Barcelona and it was RANK. I know one meal is a very poor sample size, but I’d advise giving the La Rambla McDonald’s a very wide berth!
This place was one on a list my wife gave me and asked me to choose one, and this was the one I ended up choosing. It was a little tricky to find, but find it we did and this was our first night in Seville, and we’d already packed in a five and a half hour train ride and a visit to the Bullring. I think again this was a case of one of the rare establishments in Spain where it actually is open around 630 – 7pm whereas many don’t open until 8pm. We never really tried to adapt to this sort of timing. I’m more flexible but my wife does like to eat early.
The restaurant actually I think was pretty good. We were the only people there at 630pm, which shouldn’t be a surprised, but also in late November/early December it’s not tourist season so you wouldn’t expect it to be as busy as say September. Not sure how the tourist season works in the south of Spain, but I imagine that mid-Summer is not that busy as it is roasting around 45 degrees. Perhaps a few mad Englishmen?
So the proprietor, owner and chef (for at least the first part of the evening) was very friendly an we chatted with him quite a bit. Which is always great, isn’t it? Makes you feel a bit special, like you not just the ‘average’ customer, like you have a connection. The feature of Bistro Christina is the meat, and we tried a bit.
Firstly we had artichokes for entrée which were pretty good, beef croquettes and pork for mains. The portions were small, and I regretted not ordering the BBQ because it was only another 1.50 Euro and surely a lot bigger. We also had a glass or two of wine, and it came to under 30 Euro all up. That’s for two people, so despite small portions you would have to say that was really good value for money. And the meat was really tasty too. So if you are a carnivore, I reckon you’d like Bistro Christina. Just be aware you may need to order more than you first thought!
Restaurant Entre Careceles Tapas Bar
I had to grab a quick lunch on the second day of our time in Seville, and so I stopped into this tapas bar, which actually was just opposite our hotel – Hotel Casa de Los De Mercaderes – and the lady at reception recommended it. It was perfect really, I was waiting for my wife to return, I’d done the laundry in the morning (fascinating stuff, right?) and needed a quick meal. Again, the portions are small but that’s the point, I had two options and I remarked on just how nice the pork was. The meat was dark, and thin. I noted in the diary that I really liked the pork in Spain, so if you do like your pork, be sure to try some if you get the chance to travel Spain! Total cost for two serves of tapas and a can of drink was 9.50 Euro
Luca’s City Bar
So we also tried this bar, which had very good ratings on the ol’ interweb. It was, like Restaurant Entre Carceles above, right near where we stayed, near (just off) the Plaze del Salvador. It’s a great little area with a supermarket and shops, including one for ice cream and another just for chocolate. I really wanted to try one of the restaurants in the area because they had some really nice décor which I liked.
And so did Luca’s City Bar. This place was buzzing, and seemed to be pretty popular with the foreigners. As they aimed it at tourists, the menu was quite wide and there were lots of options from Spanish to British and beyond. And so I decided after much toing and froing, that I would go with a steak and chips. How could you go wrong?
It was okay. I had a glass (maybe 2?) of wine with it. It was cooked a little more than I expect with ‘medium rare’, and it was quite grisly, but it made a change from the food I’d been eating and I think was the first steak I’d had all trip. The place had indoor and outdoor seating, and families came with their kids, lots of English accents were heard. The place was decorated with old black and white photos, wine was on display, the woodwork was nice and then there were these old style light bulbs where you could really see the golden filaments alight which I loved.
For entrée I had baby squid and my wife had grilled artichoke, and for mains my wife had the Braised Iberian Pork Cheek Stew, and that was the best of all four courses (she had a tapas serve only). So actually in the end we were pretty happy with our dinner here.
And how much for all that plus a couple of glasses of wine? 22.50 Euro. So, that’s certainly not bad at all!
All in all, speaking of ‘all’, eating out in Seville I found better and cheaper than Barcelona. Having said that, I was pretty happy with prices in both. To find places which can tick boxes in terms of both budget and taste is not always easy, and I think we did that in Spain, especially in Seville. Of course, three restaurants is not a lot to get a sense of what’s out there in a city, but by choosing carefully we did all right.
I always have to pick much more carefully when it’s not just me I’m picking for. I’m not a foodie and that’s not likely to change. I’m getting used to taking pictures of food, but I still feel a bit bad about doing it! Thanks for reading and May the Journey Never End!