Wednesday, March 20, 2013
Lazee morning (again). Today I set out to find the cafe that Janel told me about and I was successful. Bar Benteveo is cute and the owners are very sweet. I order the usual pan con tomate and cafe con leche. The bread here is so much better than what I had yesterday and the tomato “jam” is wonderful.
After breakfast I wander around a little bit to try and get myself acquainted with my surroundings. I know I will have to get to the airport tomorrow (without Janel) to meet Janet and I want to make sure I know the ropes. Getting to the Anton Martin Metro station appears to be pretty straightforward even for me.
Back home for a little catching up on email and blogging when soon enough Janel appears at my door. She is finished with school, has gone to the gym and is ready for lunch. She suggests a place that is new to her – La Otra Casa. It gets great reviews online and is a stone’s throw away from our respective apartments. Let’s go!
Turns out to be a stellar choice. La Otra Casa is not much to look at from the outside, but the inside is very charming and the server is very nice. The have a set menu del dia with several choices for each of 3 courses.
Janel begins with Ceviche while I go for the pulop con aceite de arugula (Octopus with arugula olive oil). The pulpo is outstanding. Sopa de Ajo (garlic soup)is next for me. We like that it is served in an individual tureen. is next for me. We both end up ordering the pork cutlet which is wonderfully seasoned and cooked perfectly tender. I think Janel has found a new favorite place.
It is really nice out today (no hint of rain) and we want to get coffee somewhere outside. Janel winds us through tiny streets and alleyways until we come upon a completely empty plaza set up with tables and chairs. She knew it would be right out in the sun and it is perfect. We order coffees and sit back to people watch.
As we start noticing people walking their dogs, Janel remarks how so many dogs/owners look alike. This becomes a game. We can’t believe how many pets look just like their owners. This proves to be an ongoing obsession with us as we note owners/pets in our walks. The temptation to take photos is overwhelming, but we restrain ourselves.
Walking back through the beautiful plazas is always a treat:
Once again, Janel is off to meet another private lesson so I get to sneak in a wee nap. It is a good thing, because the plans for tonight call for a dinner reservation at 9pm.
Due to a small transit strike, Janel is late getting back to her apartment and rushes to get dolled up for our reservation. We have no time to spare so ditch our shame and take a taxi to Cafe Oriente where Dario is waiting for us. The restaurant is gorgeous inside and we are led down into a cellar-like room. The entire walls and ceiling are lined with bricks and you can’t help but wonder what this building used to be.
Dario and Janel found some kind of internet “deal” for a special menu here and it looks spectacular. We spend a lot of time perusing the menu (our server asks if I want one in English which I quickly decline…). Dario and Janel choose a special wine – Prima – from the Toro region and we all make our selections for the 3 courses.
Everything we all ordered was wonderful and we shared each dish.
One of the standouts was the Janel’s urchin (yes, urchin again) that was stuffed with crab.
Dario ordered a Gallegian steak that violated Linda’s diet rule: Never eat anything larger than your head. He managed to make it all the way through. I had the Kokotxas (yes Kokotxas again). I finished with a chocolate souffle.We had great conversation, great food and once again almost closed up the place. A swift taxi ride later and I think I was home by almost 1:00.