Saturday, January 17, 2009

Dinner isn't served until 8pm

So if you go into the Spanish restaurants here in Salamanca at 7pm, they don't have the menu available. They will only be serving desserts and pastries. Tapas is available though, because it's premade and sitting on the counter. They just heat it up for you when you pick and order.

Not only that, some places are closed during siesta hours (around 2 to 5 pm), which if you're like me and prefer to eat when you're hungry and not at set times, can be a bit annoying.

While we're on the topic of food, I might as well add that I've found Spanish food underwhelming. I had assumed that it would be more exotic (I hate using that word but it sorta fits here). I expected spicier, more flavorful, more ingredients that I wouldn't see in other Western countries. So far I've just seen a lot of potatoes (even french fries which is weird), eggs, flour, thin meat steaks (pork, chicken, beef), ham, bacon, some cuttlefish, a bit of rice, and some calamari. Salads are lettuce with a piece of tomato. Even the tapas are a bit boring.

Oh, the paellas have been good though they are usually a bit expensive for the ingredients and are not always available because they take time to prepare and isn't considered good unless it's served semi-fresh. At a tapas bar called Bambu here we were recommended not to take the paella because it was too late in the night and it wouldn't be good. The paellas have a nice spicy (not hot spicy but just flavorful) twist that I have enjoyed.

Wine and beers are plentiful, which is ok but you can get that anywhere.

The wine is the same price as the water and cheaper than the beer you can order at a bar or restaurant, so I've been taking a lot of red wine when I eat out.


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