Savory & Sweet Seville

While still on the subject of Spain, I’ll continue the culinary trip through parts of old town Seville. Our digs were at the H10 Corregidor, a charming boutique hotel located in Seville’s historic center and shopping district, in the midst of the city’s main tourist attractions. Being in the older section of the city, many areas are pedestrian only, no vehicles allowed, making schlepping our luggage around a real pain. Sometimes the cabbies couldn’t even figure out a way to get us to our destinations!

It has nothing to do with dining, but this video displays a moment from a Flamenco Dancing performance (and was one of those times a cabbie could not find his way to the pedestrian only location).

 

With each night’s stay at H10, they offer a fully-loaded breakfast buffet with the option of enjoying it in the hotel’s typical Andalusian courtyard. In fact, our room, three floors up, looked directly down onto the courtyard, and where we dined as weather permitted. The offerings were wide and varied, something for everyone’s tastes and diet.

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One thing I found hard to “digest” was an interesting tidbit from our tour guide, Jaime, a lifelong Seville resident and previous architect. While strolling around the city, past numerous tapas bars and eateries, he pointed out that the more litter on the ground around the tables, the better the restaurant. He explained it is customary to throw your napkins and cigarette butts on the floor as you dine.

Sure enough, the most populated by locals were places with debris on the grounds! We did note, however, that the cigarette butts were only by exterior tables, not indoors. Owners cleaned up the mess every night after closing, and things were spic-and-span the following morning. I’m not sure how that would fly here in the States…

For lunch one day we tried to get into Bar Alfalfa at the suggestion of our hotel concierge, but it was jammed packed and spilling onto the street, and as you may have guessed, with trash strewn about! Then we noticed Petra across the way and decided to try it. Good choice (and clean as a whistle). Petra, shown below, is a recent opening in Plaza Alfalfa specializing in meats grilled on a hot stone at your table. The space is small and stylish, all warm stone and wood tones. We procured the last table.

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We decided to go the route of sharing a variety of tapas, and we weren’t disappointed. Although our table, being so small and up against a wall, made it a real balancing act to accommodate all of the dishes. In no particular order we got:

IMG_0557Pork Cheeks with Creamy Pumpkin Soup and its Seeds

IMG_0554Fusilli Pasta with Sauce of Iberian Streaky Bacon and Payoyo Cheese

IMG_0553Creamy Rice with Crispy Duck and Fried Crunchy Onion

And perhaps the most fun of the selections was the Grilled Hot Stone complete with sliced presa Ibérica, potatoes, peppers and tossed with a finishing salt. This allowed you to eat at your own pace because the stone stayed piping hot for a long time, and you could cook to whatever degree of doneness suited your fancy.

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Here is a video as Russ grills the meal:

 

Our last evening in Seville found us dining al fresco at Paco-Pepe Bar situated between the Plaza del Salvador and the Plaza de San Francisco, five minutes from the famous Cathedral and close to City Hall.

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The decor is unusual in that their photography is a unique composition of faces, wild animals, monuments and historical moments. The tables and chairs are of their own design and painted with different country motifs. The walls are formed by large open windows and integrate a small living room with the street. But the star of Paco-Pepe Bar is, without a doubt, the terrace—where we sat and could enjoy people watching.

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We weren’t overly hungry and decided to split a few smaller plates. One, the Garlic King Prawns was swimming in a wonderful garlicky extra virgin olive oil just begging to be mopped up. We had at first declined an offer of bread (in many parts of Spain, as here, you are charged extra per person for bread), but then decided to go ahead and get some.

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Our other choice was the Chicken Brochette Moroccan Style which came plated with french fried potatoes (many, many dishes come with some sort of potato in Spain). The poultry was cooked perfectly, still tender and juicy with a slight char.

Time to head our next destination, Rota, a beachside town directly on the Atlantic. But first, a stop at Bodegas Tradición, a centuries-old sherry winery in Jerez founded in 1650, and still owned by the same family! Stay tuned…

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