*Reposting this post from earlier this year!*
On my 7th day of my solo trip, I found myself wandering the streets of Valencia. I had made crazy itineraries for all the cities I was visiting in Spain and yet when I reached Valencia, I decided to throw the plans aside and just walk around the old town. The plan was to have an easy day with a no rush plan, to just take in the city and every day life there while covering a few key tourist places. For the people who don’t know my travel style – I like walking a lot! Whenever I’m in a new city, I try to cover most of the places on foot not because I want to save money but sometimes you just stumble upon something amazing and unkown while randomly walking around.
At lunch time, I decided to try the famous Valencian Paella. I had postponed eating Paella till I reached Valencia. I quickly googled the best Paella in Valencia and walked to this tiny little joint all excited and very hungry. My excitement turned to upset in a few seconds when I was told that they wouldn’t serve me the Paella because it was a two person dish and I had come on my own. I tried to convince them that I’d pay for the full dish but they stubbornly refused to give into my pleas. Upset, angry and tearing up – I quickly exited the restaurant and started walking around in a blaze of anger trying to stop myself from crying. I had no idea where I was walking to but I kept going, walking past the 100s of restaurants serving the Paella as well. After 20mins, I calmed down and decided to stop at the next decent restaurant and eat whatever I could get my hands on. I suddenly took a left turn and arrived at this cute little square with a yellow building all decorated and these really cute aged ladies bustling about serving everybody.
Intrigued, I stopped to ask them if they were serving the Paella and could make a vegetarian version (yes, I don’t eat meat). The lady quickly ushered me onto a table and offered me the menu which was a fixed lunch with a starter, Paella and a dessert all for the cost of €12! I silently prayed that they’d understand me and serve a vegetarian paella. The ladies weren’t well versed with English but with some effort understood what I was saying and agreed to serve the paella without meat. I quickly ordered my food & a glass of house wine and settled in to enjoy the ambience of this really cute restaurant. I chose the gazpacho soup (another Spanish delicacy) as a starter and eagerly awaited the paella that I had been craving all day!
And finally they served me with the dish that I had been eagerly waiting for. At first sight it looked like any other rice preparation – we have many different rice preparations in India as well. But the first bite and I was a goner! It was the most amazing thing I had eaten in my entire trip. The flavours, the smell, the rice, the vegetables all just came together in such an amazing way. I didn’t stop eating till I was half way through the dish and then also I only stopped to breathe. The restaurant was a tiny, homely one run by these 4-5 women and the food tasted like home. I think that’s why I liked it even more the homely feel of the restaurant and the food. I’d walk back to Spain to eat at this restaurant again!
The paella was followed by dessert which was Spanish bread roll, another genius dish but I was too stuck up on the paella to really give the bread roll a chance to win my heart. If you are in Valencia (sometime after this pandemic settles down) do head here and give this paella a chance to win your heart.
Did you ever eat a dish that blew your mind completely? What dish was it and where?
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