We were spending a week in Granada, staying at the Hotel Corona. I’d read a lot about the cities tapas and thought a good introduction would be a tapas tour run by “Grand Tapas Tours”:http://granadatapastours.com/, which I’d booked in advance. Our classic tour included 4 bars, 4 drinks, 4 tapas for €35 each.
At 8.30pm we met the rest of our group outside the Town Hall in the Plaza del Carmen. Our leader was Roberto and our group comprised of two American girls, Amy and Christy and an Indian couple, Rajiv and Anil. Roberto sensibly suggested heading out to the furthest bar and finishing back at the Town Hall.
We set off passing the Iglesia Santa Domingo before stopping at our first bar, “La Borraja”:http://www.laborraja.com/ a modern looking place where we pushed two tables together and sat outside on what was a very pleasant evening. Roberto was a mine of information both about the culture and history of tapas, wine and Granada in general. He explained it is one of the only cities in Andalucía where you still get free tapas with every drink. If you like the tapas you can then order a racion but you cannot ask for the same tapas. You cannot choose your free tapas and if you have a second drink, you will get a different tapa. Roberto explained that the word tapas is derived from the Spanish verb tapar, “to cover” and the original tapas were the slices of bread or meat used to cover glasses between sips as a practical measure to prevent fruit flies from entering the drink.
We had a red wine drink, tinto verano, which was similar to sangria and very moreish (in fact it became my drink of the holiday and summer). Our first tapa of the night was an excellent round croquette which Roberto explained was made from a bean stew, which was drained and formed into the croquette.
Our second stop was at “La Vinoteca”:http://www.lavinotecagranada.es/ a more traditional choice where we went through a cavernous bar to find a couple of long wooden tables in one of the back rooms. Roberto had told us there were two types of red wine: rioja and ribero and suggested we pair up to sample both. Tapa here was two relatively thick slices of warm secreto Iberico. We’d talked about salmonrejo which we’d seen earlier in the day on a menu and Roberto organised a small tapa for us to taste. It was similar to gazpacho – a pale tomato coloured thick cold soup with a little chopped meat and hard boiled egg and crostini on the side. It was very refreshing.
We wandered on and past the catedral with Roberto pointing out different sights until we reached our third stop Taberna Masquevinos, hidden down a small alley (the name means hidden). It was a busier place and we had to stand around a circular table. We decided on white wine here, which was served with two tapa: a slice of French stick with queso and a honey drizzle and a really large individual dish of chicken pieces in a creamy mustard sauce with another crostini to dip into the sauce. By now we were getting quite full and we were amazed at the size of the tapa.
Our final destination was “Asador el Abuela”:https://www.facebook.com/pages/Asador-El-Abuelo/860578820667723 where the tapa was a plate of fried anchovies or stuffed peppers. By now it was 11pm and by the time we’d headed back to the Town Hall, paid Roberta and had photographs taken, it was 11.30pm: just the time some people were heading out for the evening!