Sunday, September 11, 2011

Casa Olivia de Lopez and Dining Out

Olivia de Lopez arrived safely in Sevilla and has been placed on the wall in our entry foyer.  A plaque will be produced (we hope by a local tile artisan in Triana)  to officially dedicate our home to Olivia de Lopez but it is already known (to us at least) as "Casa Olivia de Lopez."  If you don't know about Olivia, be sure to click on her name anywhere in this paragraph to connect with the earlier post that tells of Olivia's fascinating origins.

We complained for nearly two months that we were FORCED to eat out every meal because we were living in a hotel.  We've now been in our apartment two weeks.  We eat partial breakfasts at home and then go downstairs to El Sanedrin for coffee and tostadas.  We have not yet had even a portion of a lunch or dinner at home.  So, Jerry suggested that, starting Monday, we eat at home more than we eat out — especially since every dinner out is topped off with ice cream for the walk home.  I agreed but, in response, I suggested we put away all the crap that is covering the kitchen counters.  I will take that task back from Jerry (which I enjoy anyway... organizing!) but it means that, since I do none of the cooking, Jerry will spend the next year asking me where everything is... And I will not remember.  I have a tendency to put things away in safe places.  They remain safe even from me.

Today, true to tradition, we headed downstairs to El Sanedrín. But we only had café con leche, having had breakfast in the house.  One meal down.  Two to go.  After working around the apartment for several hours, we went back downstairs and across the street to Amarillo Albero, another very good tapas bar.  We had excellent paella and another exceptional "revuelto" (basically a "scramble").  This one had among other things, eggs, onions, and bacalao (cod).  Delicious.  I still haven't cleared off the kitchen counters.  In my defense, I emptied 15 book boxes and Jerry and I together hung lots more stuff on the walls.  More photos are soon to come.

Saturday night, at around 9:45, we headed over to La Alameda de Hercules for dinner, intending to have more of that amazing pizza.  But when we got there, we discovered the city was hosting a concert in the square.  The action was directly opposite La Laconda, our little Italian restaurant and pizza place.  I'm sorry to report that headbanger music is not conducive to a quiet dinner and conversation.  Jerry and I surprisingly still like talking to each other.  So we headed back to the south end of the square, where we could hear ourselves think and we enjoyed another delicious dinner at Cafe La Alameda.  I didn't have my camera with me, but my new phone (an HTC Wildfire – Android) does a surprisingly decent job (used for all three food photos in this post).

We had chicken skewers, salmon and white asparagus, and an excellent potato/cheese/Iberian ham dish.  We were looking forward to their ensaladilla rusa and our favorite tuna dish, but they were out of both.  The server, who recognizes us and greets us like neighbors, commented that the square and restaurant were mobbed this evening and they ran out of many items much earlier than usual.  She went on to say (all in Spanish) that the foreigners eat so early!  She said it very kindly, more perplexed than critical.

We were enormously flattered that she didn't lump us in with "the foreigners."  I guess this means we're really home.


  1. you've become a native:)

    I must say if all those wonderful places to eat were only steps from my door I would have a hard time as well not eating out daily, and I love to cook...

    cant wait to see more pics of the progress

    hugs friend

  2. David:
    In addition, we want to support the local businesses and let them know we're good neighbors. It's like living in a little village... surrounded, in walking distance, by 10 other little villages!

  3. You had Bacalao? We have it for Christmas every year. I was raised on it and every time I take a bite or see a mention of it, I think of my Dad and I begin to miss him terribly all over again. Isn't Bacaloa just wonderful!

  4. Nubian:
    It's amazing that bacalao was also popular in South Africa. I understand it comes from Portugal. I also remember it being very popular in Italy when I used go there in the '70s. And we were very surprised to learn it's hugely popular in Norway. I hope this brings back some good memories! It doesn't make it easier, but we're lucky to have wonderful people to remember... even if we have to miss them now.

  5. Spain and Argentina drive us nuts when we visit Mitch as my anglo saxon brain can't deal with dinner at 22.00+. I recall one dinner in Buenos Aries starting at just after midnight as that's when the table freed up and the place was heaving.
    I suppose when you embrace the lifestyle (as you are) you live it as the locals do.
    If I had such wonderful looking food so close by I doubt that I'd cook much either but my bank balance may not take the strain.
    The cod dish looks awesome!

  6. Craig:
    We surprised ourselves by easily adjusting to dinner hour here. (We used to eat anywhere from 6 to 8). Now it's usually between 9:30 and 11. The bank balance is the concern! Otherwise, I'd probably have peanut butter and rice crackers for lunch and dinner out most nights. We love the revueltos and the bacalao was exceptional today.

  7. Now that IS a sure sign that you guys are considered 'regulars'.....and now that you have made me hungry, I will get my rice cakes and peanut butter....thank you very much sir! lol

  8. are home ;-)
    That food is truly your waist lines now!

  9. Jim:
    Rice cakes and peanut butter, one of my favorite meals/snacks. I was elated to find peanut butter at Mercadona.

  10. sophie...^5:
    Jerry has actually lost weight since being here! All the walking... and melting in the heat.


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