In Spain, dinner is commonly served late, between 9 - 11. So after a siesta, many locals will stop by one of the small tapas establishments and have a drink and an appetizer.
We met our guide near the Plaza Mayor, by day he works for the British Embassy!
He explained that the word Tapas comes from the Spanish word tapar "to cover".
Small plates were set on top of a glass of sweet sherry or in our case,
sweet vermouth, to keep the fruit flies from settling.
Eventually small appetizers appeared on the plates.
This restaurant specializes in Jamon Serrano....
thinly sliced dry cured ham.
One of our favorite tapas restaurants specialized in mushrooms......
.....filled with chorizo, garlic and parsley,
and sprinkled with lemon olive oil
on a very hot grill.
We went back the next day for another round!
Tapas may be cold like olives & cheese,
deep fried croquetas or calamari
or served piping hot like these garlic gambas "shrimps".
After 5 or 6 stops we could not imagine
going for dinner....
When in Spain .... Tapas is the way to go!
Notes: We stayed at El Jardin De Serrano
right on the Plaza de la Independencia
It was perfect, fantastic service, Hop on/off bus stop,
Who's who Night spot, shopping district!