Table of Contents
- 1 Flight: 072
- 2 Destination: Andalucia
- 3 Mode of Transport: Boquerones Frito
- 4 Hours spent eating, drinking and conversing
- 5 Eating as a pastime
- 6 First time in Andalucia
- 7 Boquerones Fritos
- 8 Picasso Museum in Malaga
- 9 Bodegas El Pimpi
- 10 Finos to go with our boquerones
- 11 She exuded beauty above all others in a crowd
- 12 Feria De Abril in Sevilla
- 13 Granada
- 14 Albaicin Quarter
- 15 In Beautiful Castilian
- 16 Restaurante La Mimbre
- 17 A tapa for each drink we ordered
- 18 The long-awaited Boquerones Fritos
- 19 Travel Details to Andalucia:
- 20 Getting There:
- 21 Where we stayed:
- 22 Places to Eat:
- 23 Car Rental:
Mode of Transport: Boquerones Frito
Food Travel is a funny thing. Food always serves as the impetus for us to travel to certain destinations, it is also the reason we end up missing out on some cultural sites. To us, however, nothing speaks of culture more than the country’s cuisine.
More photos of food than the Colosseum
Well before the smartphones and social media, Brenda and I would use up many roles of film trying to capture what we had eaten during our trips to show our friends. We were always obsessed with food culture. So much so, that we would often return home with say, two photos of the Colosseum and six photos of the pasta we had eaten while in Rome.
Hours spent eating, drinking and conversing
We would spend hours at a place eating, drinking, conversing and end up having to defer what we need to see, do, or buy for the next day or on our next return. We traveled as a couple in this way for many years and now we travel in the same way as a family.
Eating as a pastime
The pastime tradition of staying at a place for long periods of time, eating and drinking, is shared by many cultures; and I like them all, from spending time in a cafe in Paris watching life pass us by, to having pint after pint in a pub in England. However, if I were to pick a favorite, it would have to be tapas in Spain.
First time in Andalucia
Though we had traveled to Spain numerous times, the most recent trip was our first to the southern region of Andalucia. The region is filled with profound architecture stemming from its Moorish history and the weather as pleasant as it is touted. Not a cloud to be found, even in April; it is the Costa del Sol after all. This region is also largely considered the birthplace of tapas and this is mainly our reason for being here.
Moreover, we were here for something in specific, the famous boquerones fritos.
Anchovies are plentiful in this region. Prepared in many different ways, the humble anchovy is a tapa offering favored by many locals. There is, of course, the ubiquitous “boquerones vinagre“ (white anchovies, butterflied and preserved in vinegar, garlic, olive oil, and garlic) which is found in just about every tapas bar in any region of the country. In these parts, it is the “fritos” that is considered their specialty, and yet, not necessarily found everywhere.
Picasso Museum in Malaga
Bailey, 12 years of age, had just exited the Picasso Museum Malaga. Of the four she had visited, she considered this her favorite. I tried to converse with her about what she had learned from what she had seen, but sounding very much like our child, had asked me to wait until we got to the tapas bar as she was too hungry to think. I quickly agreed, feeling a bit peckish myself.
Bodegas El Pimpi
We took a right turn out of the museum with our backs to the cathedral, down a small street which had arrows pointing to the direction of another famous city site, the Alcazaba. We were not heading in that direction to visit yet another attraction, we were on the path to get some boquerones at “El Pimpi”, a well-known tapas bar in town.
In front of the tapas bar, men were standing around oak barrels repurposed as tables, enjoying small glasses of sweet Malaga wine while conversing and smoking. Some of the men looked quite polished with their suit jackets on, while others looked like fishermen that were winding down their day.
Finos to go with our boquerones
The sun started to subside, and the glow of early evening set the mood for a night of eating, drinking and talking. To our surprise, only the “vinagre” version was available, which we happily ordered, and it went very well with the many finos we were drinking. The “fritos” would have to wait for another day, as would the Alcazaba.
She exuded beauty above all others in a crowd
With hair perfectly coiffed in traditional manner, wearing a form fitting traje de gitana in red, espadrille bottom wedge black shoes, and riding sidesaddle on a white horse, she exuded a beauty above all others in a crowd of many gorgeous people. What set her apart was her swagger; accompanied with a bit of a pout and a disposition that made one feel that she was capable of whipping out a cigarette to smoke at any time during the pageant.
Feria De Abril in Sevilla
We were in Sevilla during the Feria de Abril. We were in a tent enjoying the event with the Sevillanos. Bailey, Brenda and I gained access to the bar and ordered some tapas and cervezas. Again, there were no boquerones fritos on the menu, so calamares fritos along with Jamon Iberico and stewed toro had to make do. Experiencing the Feria was a dream come true. Like all great feasts, it was a family event we were fortunate to have taken part so we were not too upset to not have found the dish we had been coveting.
La Alhambra in Granada is the most visited site in Spain, and on the day we wanted to visit, we were told by the concierge at the hotel we were staying, that our chances of attaining tickets would be slim to none. We decided to venture out anyway and take our chances. Regardless of the outcome we felt that the weather was perfect for a drive. The views of ever-changing topography of the country from lush green valleys to arid landscape was something to behold and played allegory to how diverse this country truly is. Its micro-climates are equaled by its micro-cultures.
Arriving into town, we felt the energy of the people of Granada, as we drove through the riverside near the Church of Santa Ana where there were many people enjoying tapas on a Sunday. We also passed the Albaicin Quarter, where many outdoor eateries were filled with people enjoying the sunny day with the Alhambra as the setting in the distance.
In Beautiful Castilian
Nearing the Alhambra, I rolled my windows down to ask a kind gentleman where we were able to park the car without breaking any laws. In beautiful Castilian, he spoke to me slowly and directed me to where the parking lots were. This was another trait of people in these parts – patrician, yet gentle.
Restaurante La Mimbre
We parked the car, and before even trying to get entrance tickets, an outdoor eatery by the name of La Mimbre called to us. It was located on a cool corner of a street, covered by trees and it was very busy. We lucked out and found an empty table at the cafe area, which was not as formal as the vine-covered restaurant area behind. We were happy to be there. The lack of formality made it more fun, more authentic. We were with the people rather than the tourists. The waiter quickly cleaned the table for us and handed us a menu. Scanning it, there it was – Boquerones Frito!
A tapa for each drink we ordered
Our waiter, a corpulent, yet light-footed gentleman noticed our excitement and smiled as he took our order. With our order, which included the obvious, we ordered two glasses of the local white wine and along with it came a tapa called, tortilla de gambas. It was a wonderfully crisp shrimp fritter that complimented our drink. Actually, we were brought out a tapa every time we ordered a drink. This place held true to the tapas tradition of serving a complimentary small dish (a tapa) with every drink. The tapas got larger and better with the more we drank.
The long-awaited Boquerones Fritos
Finally, he brought out our order of Boquerones Fritos. The simplicity of the recipe is what makes the dish so delectable. Anchovies, butterflied and seasoned with salt, pepper, and a hint of vinegar; then lightly battered and fried. That’s it. The subtleness of the small fish was the star. We almost burned our tongues as it came out piping hot and we started to devour it as if we hadn’t eaten in days. Bailey could hardly take a breath; Brenda could not stop saying how good it was; and I knew that when the waiter came over and took yet another drink orde, La Alhambra would have to wait.
That evening, before going to sleep, we recollected our wonderful day of family travel; and as we went through our photos on our devices, there were a couple of good shot of La Alhambra and a good half dozen great shots of the Boquerones Fritos.
Have you tried Boquerones Fritos? Do you like it? Share this food story with your friends! Don’t hesitate to PIN it! Below these beautiful photos, are the travel details.
Travel Details to Andalucia:
From London we took EasyJet (Luton to Malaga) round-trip for 70 pounds each.
Where we stayed:
Our friend from JustGoPlaces found a deal on Secret Escapes for Iberostar Costa Del Sol and it was 100 pounds for the room and all-inclusive. This was the first all-inclusive hotel we’ve ever stayed and although we didn’t eat all our meals at the hotel, it was quite convenient to have it when we wanted to stay put and the food was quite delicious. The best part was that drinks were also included; how can you go wrong? The best meals to have were the breakfasts, it’s great to know it’s there when we plan a whole day out .
Places to Eat:
- Calle Granada, 62 y Calle Alcazabilla 29015 Málaga
- Teléfonos: 952 228 990 | 952 225 403
- Email: [email protected]
- Open from 10:00 daily
Restaurante La Mimbre
Avenida del Generalife, S/N
Bosques de la Alhambra
18009 – Granada
Tel.: +34 958 22 22 76
Fax: +34 958 22 85 95
A car is essential to get around Andalucia, especially because taxis are quite expensive. We took a taxi from the Málaga Airport to our hotel in Estepona and it cost us 100 Euros! The next day we decided to ask the concierge about a local car rental. They found us Espacar and paid 300 Euros for a 5-seater for 6 days! They dropped the car off at the hotel for us and we dropped it off right at the airport before catching our flight back to London.
It was fantastic to have the freedom to drive wherever we wanted and in every town, we were able to find public parking very easily. We even put in Parking to Google Maps and were able to find them all easily.