Laura Lodewyck, NBC5 Street Team
I’m not the big plate of pasta girl. Not that I have the super model stamina to live on nothing but olives and champagne and diet pills, no; I simply like my big plates to be filled with lots of tiny different foods. In other words, as my brother says, “My favorite food is snacks.” So true.
Given this, tapas is the obvious choice as my restaurant favorite. Now I know that life is subjective and everyone has a right to an opinion, blah blah blah, but if you don’t like Cafe Ba Ba Reeba, I don’t trust your opinion on taste or fun, and I’m not even sure that you are human. Sorry. Maybe it’s partly due to the fact that every time I’m there I’m celebrating, and maybe it’s partially that we always drink a lot of sangria, but I’m all about their patatas bravas. I’m not entirely sure if it’s an actual “authentic” recipe like you might find if you visited Spain, but I don’t care. And although I’ve met with argument on this one, I’ve found that Ba Ba Reeba is also the most affordable and best bargain for what you get. (And we always get a LOT.)
Then there’s Emilio’s Tapas and Cafe Iberico, which are always fun — but when are sangria and cheese not fun? Emilio’s queso de cabra is a hot goat cheese garlic tomato mess of deliciousness, but overall Emilio’s is somewhat pricier. Iberico’s fine, but just not my favorite. I feel like I always get caught in the corner seat by the bathroom directly beside an incredibly loud stranger. My disapproval stems partly from the fact that I typically enjoy taking the role of Incredibly Loud Stranger myself, but also because there seems to be something about the acoustics in that place that elevates the drunken roar of diners to an impossibly loud pitch. It defies physics.
It’s been a long time since I’ve been to 1492 Tapas, so I’ll have to give it another try, especially given that I walk by it daily and the promotions (Monday specials on sangria and beer, Tuesdays wine and martinis, etc) are enticing. I remembered enjoying it, but I don’t remember much else. Perhaps it was those drink specials.
Lucille’s Tavern and Tapas is also enjoyable, but given that they also serve French onion soup, it’s somewhat less true to the tapas theme. Ole Lounge is relatively new and has some fancy-pants delicious drinks, and Arco de Cuchileros is always yummy and bills itself as the “most authentic” tapas restaurant, which I appreciate.
What have a missed? Tiny Twist in Wrigleyville, where we found it’s not so easy to get a table, and Sangria on Weed Street, which I have yet to try because everything (including the giant rotating bubble-letter sign and the fact that it’s on Weed Street) leads me to believe it’s more club-y and less tapas-y. Which is totally fine, but just not what I’m looking for in my tapas restaurant.
Besides, I already have a favorite…and I apparently don’t like change. I’m always up for a suggestion, though! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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