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Charlie Hatton
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Talkin’ ‘Bout Tapas

Tonight, the missus and I went out with some friends for tapas. We’ve tried a few of Boston’s tapas restaurants over the past few years, and I’ve discovered that the only thing I enjoy more than eating tapas at a tapas joint is saying tapas at every possible opportunity throughout the evening.

“It’s not straightforward, for instance, to split a pizza or samosa into three hundred teeny pieces. And you can’t charge nine dollars for three tater tots and a glob of Hunt’s ketchup. So Spanish food it is.”

(It’s not my fault. It’s just that I took Spanish in high school and tapas is one of the few words you can say en Espanol without having to make that ‘*hhhwyuh*‘ sound for a ‘j’, or the motorboat rolling ‘r’ noise. I don’t like to work too hard with my foreign verbiage.

In conclusion: tapas!)

If you’re not familiar with the concept of tapas, it’s really quite simple. It’s the restaurant’s job to offer thirty or forty kinds of tiny little dishes, and give them names that are largely unpronouncable for anyone born north of Juarez.

(Yes, I said *Hhhwyuh*uarez. You heard me.)

The restaurant then sprinkles a few crumbs of each dish onto a plate, and charges about half an entree’s price for each. It’s the customer’s job to order enough dishes to clog the table full, eat those, and order another round. Then it’s ‘order, chow, repeat’ until satisfied.

An accompished tapas patron can drag the process out for well over three hours, and a couple of hundred bucks. But a real tapas expert can walk in hungry for lunch, and emerge after dinner with a full stomach and a second mortgage.

I used to wonder why the tapas concept seems to be limited mostly to Spanish food. Gradually, I realized that many other styles of cuisine don’t lend themselves easily to the model. It’s not straightforward, for instance, to split a pizza or samosa into three hundred teeny pieces. And you can’t charge nine dollars for three tater tots and a glob of Hunt’s ketchup. So Spanish food it is.

The tapas place tonight was a good time. Our dishes were tasty and plentiful, and the glasses of sangria weren’t nearly as small as the portions of food. The ladies in our party even split an order of churrrr-urrr-urrr-urrr-os for dessert, and reported favorably thereon.

The only odd event of the evening had to do with the parking situation. I arrived first, alone and early, and staked out a spot a couple of blocks past the restaurant. After a quick walk around the area, I decided it might be just a bit shadier a place than I’d prefer to leave the car. And I’m not talking about it having too many elm trees, either.

So, I moved the car to a marginally closer spot. My trip from and back to the car was entirely unaccosted, mind you — I just felt the new parking spot was in a somewhat safer, more respectable, and overall classier area. Call it a hunch.

As soon as I’d reparked and stepped out of the car, a man walked up to me, pulled a watch out of his jacket, and said:

Yo man, you wanna buy a Rolex? Stupid cheap, bro.

I got back in my car, moved it to the old spot, and made a note that my hunches are just frigging stupid.

My hunches are little stunted tapas of actual ideas, and this one almost cost me forty bucks for a broken ‘Bolex’ or ‘Polex’ or ‘Casio Time-A-Lot’ or whatever the hell it actually was. All I know is it wasn’t genuine, because I know I didn’t hear my man say, ‘Rrrr-urrr-urrr-rrr-olex‘. You an’t foot this gringo.

Permalink  |  1 Comment

One Response to “Talkin’ ‘Bout Tapas”

  1. Roofie Raccoon says:

    Oh, it’s like the Mexican version of sushi! Neat!

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