We love tapas because their small size allows us to try more options. Having so many options can be overwhelming though. If you are at a quality tapas spot, it’s hard to go wrong. But in any case, we wanted to share three of our favorites.
In our eyes, patatas bravas is the “cheese pizza of tapas.” They are our indicator of a good spot, and it’s easy to tell if they are on point or not. At its core, patatas bravas is a simple dish– just potatoes and sauces. However, if you go to 5 different tapas restaurants, you’ll likely find them prepared in five different ways.
The foundation of this dish are the potatoes, which are typically diced into wedges and fried. Occasionally we have had them boiled, which can be a nice change of pace too.
Where this dish can really vary is the sauce game. Most will be covered in two sauces, a red one, which is typically spicy, and a white aioli-based sauce. Although this dish’s name directly translates to “spicy potatoes,” most of the time, the red sauce has a mild kick at best. The aioli can be as simple as a light mayo, but can of course be leveled up from there. Our favorite aolis have garlic and other herbs added, providing an extra kick of flavor.
For seafood lovers, pulpo a la gallega is always a must try dish. It hails from northwest Spain, and like most good tapas, simplicty is key. There are only four ingredients in this dish (well five, if you are counting salt).
It’s octopus on top of sliced potatoes, covered in paprika, salt, and olive oil. The simplicity of the dish allows the octopus to be the star.
The sliced potatoes are like a chip with guac– simply a tool to get the good stuff into your mouth.
These small, poppable bites are essentially mozzarella sticks, but instead of being filled with cheese, they are filled with whatever the restaurant wants.
We’ve had everything from a truffle mushroom filling, to rotisserie chicken, and everything in between. The one classic you’ll most commonly see is jamón, because in Spain jamón is eaten at all hours of the day. The outside should be crispy, and the inside mixture should have the consistency of mashed potatoes. We love variety, and because croquettes are bite-sized, there is always room for a few in our order.
There are many great tapas out there, so stay tuned for more of our favorite orders– as well as some of the best spots around Boston to get your fix!