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Posts tagged ‘Spanish cuisine’

Five Things I Learned While Eating My Way Through Spain

In 2016, I finally took my taste buds to the Eastern Hemisphere for the first time.  This chic travelled solo to Spain.  While in Spain, I visited 4 cities (Madrid, Barcellona, Valencia, Seville) and had a ball.  Spain is beautiful.  The people are amazing.  And the food is even more amazing.  While eating my way through Spain, this is what I learned:

  1. ‘Menú del día’ is a wonderful thing.  Menú del día means menu of the day.  Monday through Friday restaurants will serve a three course meal (includes bread & your choice of beverage for one price for lunch.  The choice of dishes are prepared with thought & precision.  And the  portion sizes are hearty since lunch is typically the largest meal eaten in Spain.  I found these meals my most enjoyable.  Below are pics from my menú del día at Toro Tapas in Madrid.

    Vegetable & Potato Salad topped with Tuna


    Grouper Fish in Green Sauce with Clams


    Apple Pie

  2. A spanish tortilla in Spain has a different meaning.  Spanish tortilla in Spain is different than the tortilla made for tacos.  If you see ‘Spanish Tortilla’ on the menu, this is a dish made with eggs, onions, and potatoes.  I ate spanish tortillas almost every morning for breakfast at my hotel.
  3. Food tastes fresher.  It is what is.  Potato chips from a corner store tasted as if they were made with ONLY potatoes fried in oil with minimal salt without any extra added preservatives.


    My Chip Fix

  4. Siesta is a ‘real’ thing.  Pay attention to the hours of operation for restaurants, shops, & other businesses you would like to visit.   Some places are closed for 2 to 3 hours before they reopen during siesta.  Side Note: You might want to carry a few snacks in your bag to tide you over until you can find somewhere to get a meal.
  5. Sometimes the best made plans occur when there is a change in plans. Piggybacking on lesson 4, I had 1 restaurant picked out.  I had studied the menu; but I failed to check the hours of operation.  Good thing that they were closed or else I would not have found a  vegetarian restaurant, El Estragón Vegetarano in Madrid.  And of course, I ordered the menú del día 😉

    Salad with Feta Cheese


    Broccoli Burger with Trimmings


    Vanilla Custard topped with Chocolate

This was only a snippet of what I ate while in Spain.  And yes, I ate tapas & drank wine while in Spain.  But I will save that for another post.

I am looking forward to returning to Spain.  But in the meantime there are a ton of other places I must cross off the Dish Destination list first 😉

A Taste of Spain: Emilio’s Tapas Restaurant

I have never travelled to Spain. But if I travelled to Spain, I bet the country tastes like Emilio’s Tapas Restaurant in Hillside, Illinois (approximately a forty minute drive northwest from the city of Chicago).

The server will not place chips and salsa on your table while you wait for your lunch or dinner. You will not find tacos, enchiladas, or fajitas on the menu. Emilio’s Tapas Restaurant offers authentic cuisine from Spain.

Emilio’s offers cold and hot tapas, soups, salads, as well as a number of entrées. If you are willing to wait thirty minutes for your meal, Emilio’s have 3 varieties of paellas for you to choose from.

I had the pleasure of feasting on Croquettas Pollo (chicken croquettes), Pollo al Curri (curry chicken salad), and Paealla de Mariscos (seafood paella) Each dish was full of flavor and packed with fresh ingredients. Trust me, the paella was worth the wait (and was superb the next day).

Each dish was brought out one at a time. This isolated the flavors of each dish and allowed me to savor the authenticity of each plate.

Emilio’s is a popular destination in Hillside. I suggest that you make reservations if you want to enjoy great food served with exceptional service.

My Experience @ Emilio's Tapas Restaurant

My Experience @ Emilio’s Tapas Restaurant