Thursday, February 17, 2011

Time to get Sevilla-ized: Tapas and Papas

Day 5

Madrid’s Manhattan-esque mirage vanished, as we bumped down Sevilla's cobblestoned sidewalks to our apartment. The manager, John-Pierre, was a calm, gentle soul, so I tried to subdue my Sam Kinison-like explosions as Bubba and I were given the studio with a private rooftop terrace – “Ohhh, Ohhhhhhh!!!”

Cooking the Books: Casa Paco reminded me of a favorite paperback. It was an easy read with their simple interior and sidewalk seating, worn with love, but still flirting with first-time charm. Plus, Paco was one of the few places that offered English menus, and once I picked it up, I couldn’t put it down…the same went for my fork.

Goat cheese au gratin browned with honey. Oh, and did I mention bathed in melted butter? If I was on death row, this would be included on my last meal wish list.

Pork cheeks were like short ribs, fork tender with veggies and a reduced, red wine gravy. Hello there, sweet cheeks...and good-bite.

Swordfish swam in a white wine/ orange sauce that also starred cinammon and raisins. Somehow this odd combination brought the perfect balance.

Sirloin in mustard sauce, though tasty, wasn't my favorite. But that didn't deter this mama from enjoying her papas, thin coins of lightly fried potatoes, served with almost every meal here.

This might have had the comfort of a well-worn, repeatedly-read paperback, but Casa Paco wasn’t old news by any means. Their in-touch technique with taste trends rooted in old country know-how made them a need-to-know name.

I’m talking New York Times front page, arts and entertainment section, an ad in classifieds and the answer to number 18 down - Two words/ eight letters: the prince of papas, gods of goat cheese and home to the Grand Dame of waitressing (Thank you, Maria).

Casa Paco - the best seller of Sevilla.

*photos courtesy of Mom (Marcie) Alkema

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