Tapas

There aren’t a lot of places that, when I leave them, I can say with any confidence that I shall not pass this way again. But with Ibiza, I am pretty sure. Despite the fact that we had an absolutely terrific lunch here, a place that goes by the nickname “the party island” and I are not slated to have a lot in common. One fellow passenger told us it was all spring break, all the time, as I am pretty sure that’s right.

On the other hand, we did have that lunch….

The recommendation from the local travel rep was for a seafood place on the waterfront that got panned on Tripadvisor, and while I don’t always put a lot of faith in what TA has to say (Mother Bear’s is the #1 restaurant in Bloomington?) the kind of complaints that the reviewers had were the kind of things I care about.

So I did a little digging and found a tapas and paella place, also on the waterfront, that was open on a Sunday and willing to sell us lunch at the early hour of 12:30 (we were in Spain, after all, where lunch happens more like 2:00.) Restaurant Formentera it was. We sat outside in the shade with a bird’s eye view of our ship and made a meal of some tapas.

I make a lot of these dishes at home and have never had them in their native environment so it was super fun. We began with bread and olives, which showed up with a dish of creamy, garlicky aioli. Fabulous. I really try to avoid buttering my bread, and in fact I try to avoid bread altogether because it fills me up too quick, but I was absolutely slathering this lovely mayonnaise on the crusty loaf. Yumm.

Then the patatas bravas showed up — chunks of potato, creamy soft in the middle, crispy fried outside, with a spicy tomato sauce. (They were also pretty amazing dipped in the aioli. Don’t ask me how I know.). And mushrooms, sizzling from the grill, with parsley and garlic. Mussels in tomato sauce. Grilled vegetables — eggplant, asparagus, zucchini, onion, endive and peppers — with a balsamic vinaigrette. And a potato tortilla. That last was the only disappointment.

A Spanish tortilla is not the Mexican variety we are used to at home, it’s more like an omelet. When I make it I slice the potatoes and onions and simmer them in good fruity olive oil until the potatoes go tender and golden, but still hold their shape. Then I drain them, reserving that fragrant oil to cook the tortilla with. Then you soak the potatoes and onions in beaten eggs , and cook the whole thing in a pan til slightly browned on each side. The tortilla we had at Formentera was just not oniony enough, and the potatoes had been cooked until they had fallen apart and lost their texture. It was still good, and the tomato sauce was terrific, but mine is better. 🙂

Today Jerry has gone into Cartagena and I am blogging by the pool, sipping on a strawberry banana smoothie. Last night for the first time I got a little queasy from the swells. I didn’t want to use the sea sickness patch at that point so I skipped dinner, took some Benadryl, and slept through it. Taking it easy today. Tomorrow, shopping with the chef in Valencia, Wednesday exploring Barcelona, and Thursday home!!! Miss my pups. This has all been beyond great, but I am ready to get back to my (real) life.

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