Viva Zapata!

Last night I went to a place I really, really, liked. It’s not going to translate to the written word completely, but allow me to introduce you to one of the pinnacles of human society, the tapas bar.

In most parts of the world, one goes to a restaurant and orders a meal, or one goes to a bar and (perhaps) has snacks. The Spanish, however, don’t want to rush, they don’t want to be presented with a big pile of food, wolf it down, and then leave. Oh, no. Down here, not being in a hurry has been raised to an art form. If you’re going to spend a pleasant few hours in a place, perhaps chat with friends, perhaps read a book, you will drink slowly but steadily, and you will eat the same way.

Many bars here will have on display a limited variety of tasty little dishes that you can order for a reasonable price. It’s not always obvious what those dishes are, but there is generally food that fits any level of adventurousness. You can order several things at once, or you can periodically have another dish.

Zapata is somewhat unusual; many of the delicacies on display were uncooked, and prepared on order. Also unusual was that their menu actually reflected what they had, and they had some good, stuff, let me tell you. The Monteditas (little sandwiches) were a good value and really, really, tasty, especially the Zapata (pork, cheese, and stuff) and the salmon with roquefort.

We stayed quite a while, enjoying the atmosphere, some good wine, and nibbling on a wide variety of tapas. It doesn’t get much better than that. So if you find yourself wandering the streets of Cadíz and come across the place, do yourself a favor and pop in.

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