Bodega Santa Cruz – Seville

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The previous night after dinner at the terrible La Tradicional, we saw that Bodega Santa Cruz had a lot of people having drinks and tapas. We decided to go back the next afternoon for a quick lunch. It wasn’t as packed during this time, and we were able to find a seat, contrary to how many say you must stand. What I really enjoyed about Seville was the fact that they spoke Spanish, whereas in Barcelona, they speak Catalan and I often cannot understand the menu. In Seville, I was really able to put my Spanish to use and it seemed to work! Glad that I could at least sort of order food and have basic communication with the locals.

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They have a chalkboard full of tapas, and most of them are only 2 euros, which is a pretty good deal. Almost all of the tapas also came with these little bread sticks. First, we had the Spanish Omelette, which is a very typical Spanish dish. I actually ate this in a sandwich at school a lot. It’s basically a thick egg omelette which is made of potatoes and then deep fried. I wish it was served hot, but I know that this is typically served cold.

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Next, we had the Russian Salad, which was basically potatoes and corn. It had tons of mayonnaise which made it tasty. This was a very basic Russian salad.

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Croquettes were a must order. They weren’t as fresh as other restaurants, but were still decent. These also came with some fries and mayo. Again, the fries were thinly cut, something that seemed typical in Seville.

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Someone suggested to order the Seafood Pancakes. They were sort of odd… They were basically a potato patty with shrimps in it. I believe they put the whole shrimp, still with shell in to deep fry, so we actually bit into pieces of shell. I guess you could technically eat the shell, but I found it a little odd.

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Patatas Bravas are also a must in Spain. This one came with tons of sauce. A mix of mayo and ketchup. These deep fried potatoes are always a pleaser.

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And lastly, we had the Smoked Salmon Molletes. Andalucia is famous for molletes, so it was no surprise that we were having molletes in Seville. Lightly grilled buns with cream cheese and smoked salmon. Definitely not as a good as Ciudad Condal’s salmon montadito, but not bad.

Overall, Bodega Santa Cruz was a very down to earth bar to grab some cheap tapas. Don’t expect amazing quality, but you’ll get to sort of experience some typical Spanish tapas at a local joint. Next stop, Italy!

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La Tradicional and Seville Sights

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In Seville, we stayed at the Apartamentos las Cruces. It was located in the Santa Cruz neighborhood, which I later learned that it’s a typical tourist spot! It’ was the Jewish quarter back in the day and has many of the historical buildings here. Seville is filled with beautiful buildings. Here, the Seville Cathedral is the largest Gothic cathedral in the world! And as a church alone, it’s the third largest in the world!

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This is the Main Door or Door of Assumption on the west facade. Very intricate decorations, although this door is not used for visitors. We were able to enter at a different door, and you’re able to see part of the church. The rest of it will cost money and also allows you to go up the bell tower I believe.

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Another must see is the Alcazar of Seville, which is the royal palace, and previously a Moorish fort. It’s the oldest royal palace in Europe that is still being used! This is the Courtyard of the Maidens and shows just some of the beautiful architecture of this palace. Today, the upper levels are still used by the royal family.

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The Torre del Oro or the Golden Tower is a military watchtower right by the Guadalquivir River. It was actually a prison back in the day too! Today, it is a military museum and costs admission to enter, so we didn’t go inside.

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Bullfighting in huge in Spain, although it’s not available in Barcelona. I guess one of my regrets is not seeing a bullfight during my time on exchange! The Plaza de Toros de la Real Maestranza de Caballeria de Sevilla is the oldest bullring in the world! Pretty cool! The facade outside is in a Baroque style and brightly coloured. Unfortunately, there were no shows during our time, but only a tour of the ring.

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Last but not least, I personally think a must see is the Plaza de Espana or Spain Square. We have a Plaza de Espana in Barcelona, but this is definitely so much more impressive! The plaza is located in the Maria Luisa Park and was built for the Expo back in 1929. It shows the Renaissance style of Spanish architecture and showcases a lot of tiles! Extremely beautiful with all the colours.

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At night, we went to this busy street filled with restaurants. We went to La Tradicional, which was such a tourist trap! I can’t find the restaurant online, but it was on calle mateos gago.

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First we had Croquettes, which were still acceptable. It wasn’t the best ever, but they didn’t seem very fresh. The only thing I enjoyed were the fries. In Seville, I realized that their fries are almost like hickory sticks. They’re cut so thin and therefore, when deep fried, they are very crispy and crunchy.

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We also ordered a tapa size of Paella, which I was not impressed by at all. It was so dry and the seafood wasn’t fresh. It seems like a dish for tourists who haven’t tried authentic paella.

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I ordered a cup of Gazpacho, which is cold tomato soup and it was nasty! I’ve had a good cup of Gazpacho back in a local cafe in Barcelona, and it was so good! This one had such an odd flavour and was so strong in onions.

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The Seafood Salad was also such a disappoint. If Ciudad Condal was a 9/10, this would be a 3/10. The seafood was not fresh at all! The shrimps were so tiny and seemed like frozen shrimp. They even cheaped out on the imitation crab. It was just filled with tons of onions and green peppers. We didn’t like the flavour at all.

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The last dish was the Fried Calamari, which was also a disappointment. I guess it was one of the better dishes, but it was basically like eating batter. The cuttlefish was almost non-existent, and I’ve had plenty better in Barcelona or Vancouver. So disappointed.

Beware! Do not go to this restaurant. It’s so catered to tourists that they speak to you right away in English and offer you an English menu. Seville is pretty Spanish-oriented, so you can tell right away they are used to tourists at this spot.

Vineria San Telmo – Seville

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We only stayed a night back in Barcelona, really for my new travelers to drop off their luggage. And of course, we ate at Ciudad Condal once again! Everyone was totally satisfied! Next morning, we were off to Seville, the capital and largest city of Andalusia, an autonomous community. Seville is very south in Spain so we were able to enjoy some sunny weather! We stayed at Apartmentos Las Cruces, which is pretty neat since it was basically like a one floor townhouse for ourselves. Two queen size beds, huge bathroom and kitchen. We did have an issue with our hot water tank, but other than that, it was a very good deal and at a good location in the Santa Cruz area. We took a short walk out in a maze (the streets keep turning!) and we found Vineria San Telmo, a nice little bar/cafe. It has pretty high ratings on Tripadvisor! Service wasn’t too bad and there were English menus.

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Squid Ink Spaghetti with Garlic and Grilled Scallops

First, we had the Squid Ink Spaghetti with Garlic and Grilled Scallops, since many reviews suggested trying this. I did find that the spaghetti was a little too dry since there isn’t really a sauce. The pasta is very bouncy and chewy though!

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Fresh Grilled Foie Gras with Apple Compote

Next, we had the Fresh Grilled Foie Gras with Apple Compote, which is perfect for foie lovers. I loved the little touch of the flower painting too! I didn’t know that apple would go so well with the foie! A nice apple spread similar to apple sauce, paired with the foie that melted in your mouth. The outer layer is grilled to a nice crispy texture.

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Quail Eggs with Cured Iberian Ham

I think the Quail Eggs with Cured Iberian Ham was the most physically attractive dish! Essentially montaditos or bread with Iberian Ham and topped with sunny side up quail eggs. I still found the Iberian ham a little tough for my liking, but the quail egg was delicious with the yolk still runny!

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Duck Breast with Chutney and Yucca Chips

Finally, we had the Duck Breast with Chutney and Yucca Chips. The duck breasts were grilled, but I found the inside to be a bit tough. Not the best duck breasts I’ve had. The chutney sauce was nice to go with it, since it was a bit sweet and sour from the mangoes. Yucca chips are also known as Cassava chips, which are really sort of just like potato chips, but they’re a lot more crunchy.

Overall, I really enjoyed the dishes at Vineria San Telmo. Prices are quite reasonable, and they have a large variety of choices.