Being northern and British, I wanted my ‘tea’ before 10pm and we were struggling to find somewhere to eat: it was either tapas bars, still in the sun and therefore too hot even at 8pm or a restaurant that wasn’t yet open (the majority don’t open until 8.30pm at the earliest).
We eventually found “La Carmela”:http://www.tabernalacarmela.com/ on a pedestrianised street with outdoor seating. It was still relatively quiet and we chose a nice table at the back. We ordered chorizo in cider to share as a starter which we realised was a mistake when a small dish arrived with twelve little sausages. Being brought up to clear my plate, our second mistake was eating them all as they were delicious. A jamon y queso pizza with ensalada mixta was a reasonable size although the salad was a little boring. My partner’s baby lamb chops were pronounced good and tender and with vegetables that looked completely overcooked but which were said to be ok.
By now we were starting to feel a little stuffed so we ordered another bottle of wine as by now the ‘entertainment’ around us was hotting up. We noticed three separate stag parties congregated at a bar across the road. One group wore pirates hats, another lime green t shirts and the third had a stag dressed as a woman resplendent in huge blonde curly wig and dress. Two of the stages were cling filmed to a parking meter and a tree with lots of people stopping to photograph their humiliation. Eventually after they’d been released but were still in the bar, a large van of policemen arrived as I suspect the meter had been damaged. Eventually they left without arresting anyone.
As the night wore on the restaurant got busier and we saw them setting up a table for a pre-booked group on the other side of the alley – originally for 14 but soon extended to 18 with waiters carrying ready laid tables (including glasses) out into the alley. All in all, we must have seen another 10 tables comes out – nothing was too much trouble and as soon as a table was vacated it was quickly re-laid and filled. They even accommodated a family of 10 with a boy in a wheelchair with a quick shuffling around.
When we paid, the waiter said it was better than the theatre or cinema and we had to agree. The bill came to €76.45 with a second bottle of wine but we left stuffed to the gills, hot but thoroughly entertained.