Friday Finds

We uncovered plenty of great finds in Seville this week. Not all were food related, of course. Seville is a city rich in history with a unique culture. I have no doubt that we could have spent a full month there soaking in many more sights and traditions, but we managed to cover a lot of ground in a week. These were our top restaurant picks.

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La Brunilda – A trip to Sevilla wouldn’t be complete without partaking of tapas. La Brunilda was one of several tapas recommendations we received from friends when they found out we were headed to the area. To be perfectly candid, we chose it from the list because it was closest to where we were staying and my feet were dying from all of our running around on the worn brick and cobblestone streets. Of course, it didn’t hurt that there were also many great diner reviews with enticing photos.

We had a moment of panic when we arrived because the line was long (not surprising, based on reports) and it was only about 45 minutes before the kitchen was to close. Debates about whether to stay or explore other options ensued, but we decided to take our chances and stick it out. I’m so glad we did! We scored a table just under the wire, ordered a bunch of options, and found every single pick to be incredible – creamy burrata, crispy croquettes, spicy patatas. Though, the true standouts were seared scallops and sausages on cauliflower puree, and the tapa del dia, roasted salmon on sauteed artichoke hearts with a sundried tomato tapenade.

If you’re headed to Seville, add La Brunilda to your list – even if it’s not close to your hotel!

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Coq & Roll Market – Such a refreshing find that we ate here twice! This cute little market just a 5 minute walk from the Cathedral does a strong take-away business, but also has a communal table where up to 10 folks can sit and enjoy fresh juices, cheese & meat selections, and homemade soups, sandwiches, and quiches. Nothing on the menu is too heavy or overly filling, which was a welcome departure from so many fried selections elsewhere.

The shop also stocks a carefully curated selection of kitchen and pantry items. We might’ve picked up a few gourmet treats for friends and family. Double score!

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Al-Medina – When I first began Yelping restaurants in Seville, Al-Medina popped up as one of the top-rated options in the city. Fortuitously, it happened to be located just a couple of blocks from where we were staying. Since we weren’t able to work in a side trip to Tangier, a tagine in Seville would have to suffice!

We arrived on a slow night to find the restaurant empty, always a red flag. Though, as the food began to arrive, we realized it was a fluke – each course topped the one prior. Our server was the lowest point, but I’ll give her a pass for delivering an excellent meal. She advised us on quantities, expressing shock and correcting us to a small pot when I ordered a medium pot of tea. My disdain for how little she understood my love of honey-sweetened mint tea became a running joke throughout the meal.

If you’ve never had a pastella di pollo, it’s an unusal but delightful combo of savory filling (in our case, spiced chicken) in a crispy crust coated with powdered sugar and cinnamon. You must try it, it’s delicious!  Our server steered us to the lamb and plum tagine, which was an incredible pick. As a fan of the sweet and savory combo, this pairing of tender meat with sticky plums on a bed of fluffy couscous was a hit. If only our server had offered us a pass at the tray of sweets to top it off. Five star meal with one star service. Still recommend.

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Amor a la Mexicana – As is often the case, RF had a craving for tacos during our stay. Once again, Yelp to the rescue! (I will note that TripAdvisor appears to be a much more common rating tool in Europe, but that Yelp has not yet steered us wrong.)

You might not expect to get incredible Mexican food in Seville, but Amor a la Mexicana was fantastic. My only complaint seems to be a general one about Mexican restaurants in Spain, and that is that they don’t provide enough chips with an order of guacamole. Or, perhaps I’m not sufficiently loading my chips! Oh well…more to add to our main dishes.

Zero complaints about RF’s tacos! Moist pork, spicy but not too spicy black beans, perfectly pickled onions, and solid dollops of guacamole on a good sized tortilla. I can’t believe I managed to score a bite before he devoured them all, especially since I was busy with a giant bowl of super tasty chilaquiles. We had no room for dessert, but I spotted some very tempting options on other tables. One word…yum.

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Bonus pick: Bodeguita El 24 – On our last morning in Seville, we crossed the Canal de Alfonso XIII to explore ceramics shops in Triana. After wandering the alleyways in search of something special to bring home, we stopped at this hole-in-the-wall bar for a glass of wine and a torta. Tortas de Ines Rosalie, or olive oil cakes, are an Andalusian specialty. Bodeguita El 24 is a tiny bar with a small counter inside and a couple of sidewalk tables, but they offer a nice selection of snacks on these tasty little breads. I chose the queso de cabra (goat cheese) and sobrasata (chorizo spread), which is quickly becoming one of my favorite combos! To cap off the moment, The Simpsons (dubbed in Spanish, of course) was playing on the bar TV. Deliciously surreal.

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