A tapas tour is by far the most fun way to sample the culinary delights of Torrevieja. Each year the Hospitality Association Of Torrevieja organise two Tapas Tours around the city. These are usually in April and November. This last weekend, two friends and I decided to go along and get a taste of what the city’s Tapas Bars had to offer. The first tapas tour this year was held from 21st to 24th April and 28th April to 1st May.
There were 46 venues across the city showcasing their various tapas and refreshments available. On any one afternoon or evening each establishment would offer a choice of at least two tapas. Your tapa of choice also includes either a beer, glass of wine or soft drink for the reasonable price of 2.50€ per person.
Torrevieja Tapas Tour Guidelines
So, we armed ourselves with a guide pamphlet listing the participating venues and map and a voting card each. We set off at 8pm on a Friday evening to see how many tapas bars we could cover. The guide pamphlet provided was comprehensive with each bar or restaurant listed. They gave the number, address and the available choices for tapas. The tapas were classified as either traditional (a speciality of the region) or author (a tapa created specifically for the event). The venues were easy to locate with the accompanying map. We decided to start near the marina and beach front where many of the participating venues were closely grouped.
Tapas Tour # 10
Our first stop was #10 Burger Hombre Del Mar. A little restaurant on the beach front with a spacious covered outside seating area. The first tapa choice was a pork loin tostada which was well cooked, tasty and served with a dressing. The alternative was a mini hamburger with bacon, cheese and tomato. Both were fresh, well presented and about the right size for a snack. The food was washed down with our choice of a 20cl bottle of Mahou Classic lager. Other drink choices were a small glass of Spanish red wine, a soft drink or a mineral water. The drinks available at each venue were similar. Most showcased a particular Spanish house wine or local beer. Our second choice of venue was conveniently right next door.
Tapas Tour # 32
#32 was Namm & Gastronomic. A very similar set up to the first but brighter and more colourful. This had the addition of a large screen television showing sport, and candles on the dining tables. Most venues proudly displayed a sample of each tapa available at the entrance. This gave customers a realistic idea of what they were ordering. Here it was a small flattened and very tender grilled beef steak, rolled and skewered with a tasty accompanying creamy sauce. The other choice was a mini sole fillet encased in a polenta shell with a mild mustard sauce. Both were delicious and well presented.
Tapas Tour # 4
Next stop was #4 Copas & Tapas. A corner venue one block from the sea front which appeared to specialise in kebabs. This time we had a choice of 3 tapas so decided to try a different one each. There were anchovies served on a toasted baguette slice with tomato, olive oil and chilli. A black rice sausage type creation, similar in appearance to black pudding, also served on toast was another. The third was a generously portioned kebab box with slices of lamb and chicken doner meat and chips. A small glass of local San Miguel lager was served with each tapa. At this stage we were wondering how many venues we could visit before reaching bursting point!
Tapas Tour # 36
Our next choice of venue was #36 Casa Juani. This is a quaint back street tapas bar with seating both inside and out on the pavement. We chose ‘al fresco’ and were served by a charming and knowledgeable English speaking waiter. He even politely corrected us on our Spanish pronunciation of the dishes on offer. We all chose the Pollo A La Cerveza which was a tasty casserole of chicken cooked in beer. This was both tender and delicious accompanied by fresh bread and a bottle of Mahou lager. The alternative was a tempting looking tuna dish.
Tapas Tour # 14
#14 Restaurante Bar Tapas Catalina ll was our next visit. Inside was a long bar counter with stool seats but our choice was a sheltered seating area outside. The two tapas on offer were a small bowl of homemade meatballs in a tomato and chilli sauce. The other, a slice of grilled pork loin on a skewer with a rosemary and soy sauce. On this occasion we were each served with a small bottle of premium Mahou red label lager beer. With bellies reaching capacity, we bravely soldiered on with a stroll to our next chosen venue a few blocks away.
Tapas Tour # 29
Intriguenly, #29 Taj Mahal was an Indian restaurant eager to showcase its cuisine in the form of tapas! On offer was a Seekh Kebab served with a mint raita or a chicken korma curry and rice. Both were mild in flavour and thankfully, at this stage, fairly small portions. This was washed down with 3 more Mahou Classic lagers.
Tapas Tour # 27
We managed one more venue on the Friday evening ‘tapas tour’ before calling it a night. #27 Mat’s Burger is a small restaurant with an outside sheltered seating area. It was close to capacity with hungry diners at 11pm, a very good sign. Specialising in gourmet burgers, we had no fewer than four different mini burgers to choose from. We sampled the Argentinian Chumichurri beef burger and the chicken fillet tex-mex burger. Both were delicious, despite our full tummies, and obviously freshly cooked.
Tapas Tour Voting
While sipping our cold Mahou beers we each filled in our voting cards with our selected favourite tapa and posted them in one of the boxes provided at each participating venue. Sponsored prizes may be won in a draw after the event by those selecting the most popular tapa and establishment. Having thoroughly enjoyed our tapas tour and content with full tummies, we headed home happy, and surprisingly sober. All that delicious food must have soaked up the alcohol!