Lunch at Restaurante MenaMake that 7 days.  Since I started writing this yesterday, there has been even more incredible food, and we were invited to yet another huge lunch today.  I never, ever, EVER thought I’d say this, but PLEASE, No More Food!  (Well, OK, at least for 1 day.)

Since we landed in Spain on Tuesday evening, we’ve done nothing but eat. Easter Week here is not really so much a traditional feasting time, it’s just that everybody was on vacation (except us, believe it or not), so our friends all wanted to eat and drink. Every day. Sometimes 2 or 3 times a day. OMG.

To keep you from gaining weight, just by reading this, I’ll do you a favor and hit the highlights. Then we’ll both go and walk it off…

Day 1, Tuesday — The best Tortilla Española EVER with Chelo (stay tuned for a video lesson!) — and of course a glass of Tempranillo

Day 2, Wednesday — Sardines a la Plancha, and salad for lunch, then dinner at a local bar during the big soccer match between Barcelona and Madrid. Lots of tapas (Albondigas, Sepia a la Plancha, chorizo, olives), salad, and a nice red blend.

Day 3, Thursday — Lunch with La Yaya (Grandma). Arroz al Horno (baked rice), Shrimp Stuffed Piquillo Peppers, Tuna Stuffed Deviled Eggs, Ham and Cheese Quiche — with a dry Moscatel, only because the cork broke in the Alicante blend we had brought. (damit)

Day 4, Friday — A long walk thru Denia, first stopping at the Medieval Fair to sample grilled pork ribs, then on to an amazing tapas bar, where we had the best Albondigas (meat balls) spiced with cinnamon and local small shrimp cooked in good olive oil and lots of garlic (Gambas al Ajillo). Good crusty bread to soak up all those good sauces. And an amazing Ribera del Duero red wine.

Day 5, Saturday — Paella Valenciana at L’Era — The real deal, traditional Valencian Paella cooked over wood. Sepia a la Plancha, Albondigas, Higado (liver – that one’s yuck for me), salad, and Vino de la Tierra (local wine). Video coming. THEN, despite our protestations, friends insisted on going out to dinner. New Italian place in town that had terrific pizzas and pasta. Just roll me home.

Day 6, Sunday — Lunch at the bull ring in Ondara. This is a very old, small bull ring in a nearby pueblo. The food was terrific. Puchero, Arroz Abanda (my favorite rice dish), Sepia a la Plancha, and a new treat — Figatell, small patties of ground meat mixed with spices. True confessions – I just learned this ground meat mixture is pork and liver. I had no idea, so I guess now I can’t say I never eat liver. YUM!

CigalasDay 7, Monday — Lunch at El Mena — a great family restaurant beside the Mediterranean.  A literal parade of incredible seafood.  And I was so busy talking and laughing that I forgot to write down the name of the wonderful white wine that we drank — all I can remember is that it was Verdejo.  I’ll try to find out the name.  We also had champagne to celebrate the Saint’s day of our friends’ 4 yr old.  What an experience!

Ready for that walk now? Just one hitch — it’s raining…