Ah, Sevilla ... Wandering the streets the scent of orange blossom fills the air. We spot hordes of people moving around the streets with these little striped cushions wandering where they are going, or where they have been. A little investigation reveals the annual Bull Fighting festivities have just begun. As I am sure the streets of Sevilla are generally buzzing year round, there is just something magical about being there at this time ....
It's mid morning and after starting the day with a coffee and pastry, we are certainly ready for our next snack. We turn a corner and see people spilling out into the street, a drink in one hand, a small plate in the other. We find an entrance, the place is packed ... just as we make our way up to the counter, a small space clears allowing us to perch there.
We point at a few things on the bar which are handed to us along with our beer. Green olives, the marinade showing it's Moorish influence as we've moved south, full of paprika, cumin and even a little preserved lemon. Fried squid sitting on a little shredded lettuce with some baby bread sticks and a tortilla sandwich - 2 wedges of potato tortilla are sandwiching a tuna and mayonnaise mix again with the little bread sticks on the side.
Bocadillo's, or little sandwiches, are making their way under the grill as fast as they can be toasted and then handed out to an eager customer. We signal our interest, and within moments have one of these little round sandwiches in front of us. We're not even to sure what was inside, but there was meat, smoked paprika and lots of butter.
After wandering through the city for a few hours we have again built up an appetite. Nothing tickles our fancy enough that we have stumbled across, so we make our way back across town to Las Columnas. (Despite Bodega Santa Cruz being painted on the walls, It's known by the locals as Las Coumnas. I figure 2 visits in one day we are entitled to call it by the latter). We are lucky enough to perch ourselves at the bar this time, our server recognizing us straight away. 2 damn lemon are placed in front of us along with some boquerones fritos. Fired baby anchovies, eaten whole, in a light crumb crust with the little bread sticks.
Potatoes aioli are simply boiled potatoes coated in a pungent garlic aioli. A little chopped fresh parsley adds some life.
Champignon con jamon arrive in a little terra cotta dish. The smell is intoxicating, the combination of the earthy mushrooms, the smokey jamon, good olive oil and a touch of garlic. Crusty baguette is perfect for mopping up all of the flavored olive oil.
The last, slightly sweet, dish of the day was fired aubergine with honey. Crispy discs of eggplant are coated in a light crumb and fried to a golden crisp. A light drizzle of honey and a sprinkling of salt is a harmonious balance of sweet and salty.
Now, back into the crowds to enjoy this beautiful city ....
Bodega Santa Cruz
(aka Las Columnas)
c/ Rodrigo Caro 1
Sevilla, Andalucia, Spain