Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Moments in Spain: Now THIS Is Seafood!

One thing I love about travel in general and the Basque region in particular is the absolutely spectacular food. During our short stay in San Sebastian, Erich and I walked the streets in search of dinner for at least an hour, trying to find just the right place: full enough of people to be good, but empty enough not to be too intimidating. (Remember, few people speak English in Spain!) With one of the highest concentrations of restaurants per square mile in the world, we were sure to find something.

Food is a ritual in Spain. No one even considers going out to eat before about 8pm, and even then, it's only for drinks and pinxos (tapas in other regions), eaten standing up while socializing. Many people just make a meal of traveling around to different bars for a very small drink and a pinxo or two in each place until they've eaten enough, then the crowds migrate to bars set up for drinks only. But this particular night we were in search of a restaurant with a reasonable menu of the day, and we eventually decided on one that had a seafood special.

We did not save any money; in fact, we had to call this our 6-month anniversary dinner to justify paying an arm and a leg for dinner (with the very bad exchange rate mostly to blame). But, let me tell you: these Basques know their seafood. It was amazing, incredible, and similar such adjectives. They brought out plate after plate of recently moving, excellently prepared shellfish. I learned how to eat it: just pull it apart and find meat. And I learned that sometimes it's okay if your food is looking back at you, because those shrimps and prawns were dang good.

And for after dinner:

Mmmmm, German beer in Spain.....

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