Seville: A Slow Day Before the elBulli Dinner

Well.

I am just so affected by what Brian said in the earlier post about bullfighting. I remember our tour guide at the Bullfighting Museum saying that it is a very passionate topic even in Spain itself. I really think Spaniards are cool people despite the bull and all. So I am not going to respond anymore to the rights or wrong of bullfighting. I have stated enough times my position.

Anyway … I had given way too much weight to this topic on chowtimes. I need to explain this. It is NOT that I wanted to glorify bullfighting. On the contrary I do not. Silly as it may seem, the truth is I wanted to show off the photos I took. You see, there are not many opportunities that I get to use my 70-200mm and I thought some of the shots came out well. That’s why there are so many posts and pictures.

Up until last night, I had wanted to publish one more on bullfighting. It is the one on about the matador who was gored on the neck. From the impact and the precious lost seconds before help came, the matador was completely motionless while bull went at him again and again. I hope the matador survived but it did not look good at all. Anyway, I had decided against putting up another post and instead had embedded the pictures at the bottom of the post here. The password is iagree if you want to see them. Be warned OK?

Changing gears …

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Today is our last full day in Seville. There is not a lot of places we wanted to visit. Seville is not really big, certainly not like Barcelona in any sense. There are other places like Isla Magica and all that we could visit in Seville. However, Suanne is not keen on theme parks and neither was I while in Spain. So we took it easy.

This is also the day we will be having dinner in an elBulli restaurant. It is not elBulli but it is the closest to the real deal. More about that later.

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Brunch was at a restaurant called Al Alcantina which was recommended by the hotel conceirge. This is located around the central square in Seville historic city center.

We had a table outside the restaurant. Our waitress was really friendly and helpful. No bread here … they served us those thingy above. It was rock hard and definitely on the dry side. We took a couple and then left it alone.

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The waitress recommended the Ensaladilla La Alcantina which she said was the prize winner of the Best Classic Tapas in the 2003 Seville Fair of Tapas. Sure, we said … it was worth a try.

€8.70 is how much it costs. It was creamy, served cold and refreshing — absolutely marvelous. We had never had these before. I think it is made with mayo with potatoes and some vegetables.

The puzzling thing is how could this have been classified as tapas?  So I did some research and indeed it is considered as SPANISH tapas despite the Russian word in the name.

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We had Paella the previous day but got this again. The waitress was persuasive saying that their Paella is different. OK, we said.

The name of the dish is Arroz en paella marinea del dia. €8.70.

We like this paella better. It was drier than those we had earlier which had sauces at the bottom of the plate which makes it so mushy. It was also flavorful. Suanne said the rice was cooked al dente. I thought the word al dente refers only to pasta.

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Bill came to €21.60. It is considered OK given that things are more expensive in Spain. If  I convert this to Canadian, this is over $30. Now that is expensive, right?

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We tried to use the Sevilla Card which is supposed to give us a 10% discount. It took a while before our waitress sorted this out with the card issuer. It appears that our card has the “cultura” on it and that does not come with restaurant discounts.

Don’t get the Seville card.  It was not worth it.

After the lunch, we went to this church. It was nothing to shout about really after having seen the Cathedral of Seville. We did not spend a lot of time here.

Let’s talk about el Bulli.

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I think I shared about this in chowtimes before. The book above is … absolutely great especially for those of you who counts having dined at elBulli as one of your life pursuits. Like me. One of the reason we selected Spain for our vacation this year was to hope for the remote chance of landing a table, without a reservation, in the elBulli restaurant near Barcelona. That was Plan A. You know that we failed in Plan A.

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Plan B was Seville.

About 1000 km away from elBulli in Barcelona is a sister restaurant called La Alqueria. The La Alqueria serve the same creations as elBulli except that they do not serve the current year’s menu.

Hacienda-Benazuza-77x600For those of you who enjoys peeking into other people’s email, you might want to look at the email exchange I had with La Alqueria in the effort to secure a booking. Click on the image on the left to read if you are interested. We managed to get one sitting. It is guaranteed for those who stays at the €400 a night elBulli Hotel. We could not afford that kind of money. So the reservation was pretty much left up to what is available.

Good thing we got a table.

We’ll blog about our meal in the elBulli-related restaurant tomorrow.

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  1. That will do!
    Still elBulli, but delayed!
    I have no complaints!

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