A note about Retired in Spain before this post actually begins…
I began this blog as a promise to friends and family back home that I would report on our adventures. I had rules in mind when I started, but those rules have evolved as time passes. I want this blog to be not only a record of our time here in Spain, but a help to others who might want to move here. So – my mental rule about not dwelling on individual restaurants has morphed into…if it’s great, post it!
We first heard about To-Bar from our conversation exchange partner. She hounded us every week about it, saying we HAD to check it out. We finally did. It’s behind the green door on a street near the Mercado. Like many places here, it looks like nothing from the street. We made a reservation, then showed up, not really knowing what to expect. As is still typical for us, we were there at 1:00, and we were the only ones in the restaurant for a while.
When we arrived, all of the tables were set up with carafes of red wine and half loaves of bread. The waiter arrived. Upon our request for white wine, he returned with a bottle and left it on the table. He also brought a selection of sausages—morcillo (Spanish blood pudding), mortadella, and spicy Iberian sausage—and toppings for the bread—aioli and a tomato/red pepper paste. We had a choice of seafood paella or not-seafood paella. We chose the seafood.
Then the real food started coming.
- Thin fried rice paper topped with tuna, goat cheese, cucumber, tomato, olives, and pickled onion.
- Tempura fried vegetable. After several exchanges with the waitress and some help from google translator, we determined it was aubergine (eggplant). With a honey and red wine reduction.
- Steamed bao bread with fresh grated tomato, tuna, and wilted baby spinach.
- Shrimp. A lot of work to peel, but SWEET!
- Pulpo Galicia: octopus on a bed of polenta with oil and spices.
- THEN paella! With mussels, shrimp, and octopus.
By this time, the restaurant was packed – and LOUD. As I looked around the restaurant, I wondered how on earth these people could return to work after a lunch like this.
But we weren’t finished yet:
- Dessert: a light sponge cake topped with sweetened condensed milk and a very light and fluffy chocolate mousse.
- Alicante sweet wine
- And – finally – coffee
Then the bill: 15€ per person, plus a whopping 5€ for the wine.
We finally finished and left 2 hours later, with the other diners still going strong.