Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Bitter Honey and Non-Bitter Snacks

Tapas : the little dishes of SpainYou know how when you live in a place, you never do the touristy stuff that everyone who visits gets to do? Well, this past weekend I broke with tradition and had my introduction to a tapas bar. Once a month, El Meson (213 Washington Avenue, conveniently right up the street from the Main branch of the Library!) hosts flamenco dancing with Miel Amarga (means Bitter Honey) in their tapas bar, Chispa. The dancing was exquisite, the music and singing were gorgeous, the frequently changed costumes were beautiful, and the fun had by the performers was definitely contagious. And finally, the tapas were sublime. We ordered seven tapas, split between four people, and it was as good as a dinner, but more varied and exciting. There were even more than enough choices for a vegetarian like me, who usually gets stuck w/ a salad or a bean burrito. Long live the Tortilla Española!

Two bits of advice: reservations are required and they fill up quick, so plan in advance – also, sit in the front row of tables if you want to see the dancers’ feet – the fancy footwork in flamenco is terrific, but the bar gets so crowded that it’s hard to see from further back.

In this day and economy, of course, one might want to save one’s pennies, in which case one can check out a book of tapas – Tapas : the little dishes of Spain, by Penelope Casas & The best 100 tapas, by Esperanza Luca de Tena, and do a little DIY flamenco party at home. But if a special occasion comes around, let someone else do the cooking and dancing, and give Chispa a chance!

by AA @ Main

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