Basque Tapas in Algeciras = Pizza Hut in Port Alberni

On Saturday we went out for tapas with our friends Ricardo,

and Ana.

Yes, Ana who has a brother named Andres, who has two kids named Ana and Andres.  Normally we go to Andres’ bar but today it was closed.  They are all at Rocío to sac the virgin.  Seriously.

So we tried a new bar.  On the plus side it is in a big plaza with lots of shade and space for Yago to roam free.

On the negative side it is a franchise, which is annoying in the land of the family owned bar.

The tapas are served Basque style.  You don’t order anything.  The waiters just keep circling by with trays of goodies and you grab what appeals to you. (He is kind of appealing)

They serve traditional tapas, meaning lots of bread and tooth picks.  Tapas evolved out of a fly problem.  Tapa literally means lid.    The tapa was crust of bread served on top of the beer glass to keep the bugs out.

So we saw lots of fried fish on tooth picks,

And combinations of cured meats, eggs and sauces etc.  That’s quince jelly with uncured cheese on the left.

There was even salmorejo, another cold soup and usually my favorite.  This didn’t cut it.  Low points for presentation.

Perhaps you are wondering,  “How do you settle the bill?”  At the end of your meal they count up all the toothpicks and wee ceramic bowls .  Chewing on the toothpicks is bad form.

Even the desert comes on a toothpick.

That’s Lola.

And María.  They taught me to speak Spanish and lent me all their Sesame Street books so I could practice.

Basque style tapas sound fun, don’t they?   It is tricky business if you are having an uncertain day.  I kept second guessing my choices.  You never know what the next tray will bring.  When I left there were only 4 measly toothpicks on my plate.  (Darn, I guess I’ll have to get a gelato.)

Eating Basque food in a franchise in Andalusia is like going to Pizza Hut in Port Alberni for authentic Italian food.  Disappointing.  Especially when we have a good friend who is a Basque chef, although he currently works in an arms factory.  No he is not a terrorist.

But you can never go wrong with cold beer on a hot day.  The beverages were a success.

I guess next weekend I’ll just have to eat more tapas and drink more beer, so I can write a post about good, authentic Andalusian tapas.  The sacrifices I make for my art.


  1. Ahhh, I love Lola and Maria… they are so squeezable! Love the idea of a Basque Tapas… you couldn’t do that here because people would hide the toothpics. And how would someone who is gluten-free survive there?

  2. Gluten free is an issue. Vegetarians struggle too. The only vegetable in sight was the cherry tomato garnish. You’d be stuck just drinking beer and gawking at the cute waiters.

  3. OMG, comparing it to Pizza Hut in Port Alberni was PERFECT! Now I know EXACTLY what you are talking about.
    Though it does sound like an amusing way to spend the afternoon.
    I’m imagining my plate heaped with toothpicks, sort of like when I go to buffets (well I just take 1 of everything, I can’t help myself).
    I love your trivia bit about the bread on the beer to keep the fly out. Brilliant. And the waiter wasn’t too shabby either.
    Hahaha, the more I read, the more I like Spain.

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