So, our friends from Christchurch made it out and are up in Auckland for a week or so, just to get away from the shaking and the stress, and to have a shower. In order to assist them in their need for normalcy, E and I invited them out to the movies on saturday afternoon.
And they kindly accepted.
So, we met at the large movie theatre downtown in the CBD on Queen Street, and while waiting for them, E and I got some pizza (man somebody could make a killing opening up a real NY Pizza place down here. A killing.), and picked up a frozen coke for the friends.
We went to go see Love Birds with Rhys Darby and others from Auckland. If there is ever a chance you want to get a 2ish hour crash course in everything that I’m seeing and doing and the people that I’m meeting, you should watch this movie. The scenery is all from Auckland, and the humor is, as our friends said, decidedly Kiwi.
But I’m not here to talk about the movie, no no no. I’m going to tell you about the absolutely delightful food we had after the movie. The pizza slice before it was a bit of a downer, more bread than sauce or cheese. And you gotta know that there’s no sauce on it for me to be complaining about it. But the food after dinner? Terrific.
We walked up Queen street a bit and into the Whitcoulls, a local large book chain, kind of like Barnes & Nobel back in the States. But the entrance to the restaurant that’s usually open through Whitcoull’s was closed, so it was back out and down to the small alleyway up beside the building. I say alleyway, and it’s more like a lane. On an incline.
Everything is on an incline.
And we entered into the Tapas bar. Now, I don’t remember the name of it, i think it was something with Mezze, which would make sense. But this is a place that you would be hard pressed to find in Delaware, possibly Baltimore or Philadelphia, but even then, maybe not.
Wooden tables and chairs, a very cozy atmosphere with the menu written up on a large chalkboard behind the bar. There were drink specials and Tapas and then main meals.
Tapas is, essentially, a very Spanish thing. No, not Hispanic. Spanish. Like from Spain. Small bites and bits of dishes for sharing amongst friends over good drinks. So we got little bits of this and of that and then had a blast.
Patatas Bravas: potato wedges cooked with a delightful spice mixture, topped with a red sauce and some sour cream. delightful, if a bit difficult to spear with toothpicks.
Tricolore Uno: Pita bread and crostini with a trio of dips, Red pepper, Pesto, and Garlic. Very delicious, although the Pesto really could have standed some pinons added into it.
Gambas al ajillo: I think that’s right. It’s essentially these delicious little prawns (or shrimp) with garlic flavoring, served on bits of toast with some aioli on the side.
Chicken and Risotto: This was a meal sized plate, but it came with four pieces of chicken, so it portioned itself out very nicely for all of us. The chicken was fantastic, I didn’t even mind eating the skin, and the risotto was terrific. so good.
Bowl of Vegetables: was exactly what it says, a bowl of vegetables but seasoned wonderfully and roasted in the oven until delicious. Tomato, courgette (zucchini). mushrooms, carrots.
Meatballs: these were actually really really good. Not sure what all was in them, probably a mixture of meats, but it was definitely well seasoned and cooked, topped with crispy croutons and red sauce.
We had a bottle of pinot gris between three of us and E had a glass of limonata, which was more expensive than the whole bottle of wine.
I’ve had more wine in the last week than I have in a year. Or more. But it’s all been very good. And all Kiwi.
so that’s it. the point of the matter is, go find a place that is doing Tapas. You get small plates of delicious food to share with everybody, and you no longer have to look at a menu and go ‘man, i wish i had tried some of that!’ because with Tapas, you can.