Saturday, November 29, 2014

Ibiza; S'Escalinata

Hi guys! I'm taking a break from my research paper and so I've decided to make it sort of productive by sharing my experience at S'Escalinata, an adorable snack and juice bar in the fortifications of Ibiza.

We discovered the spot while walking around, obviously, after visiting the church. We got lost on our way down but that was quite a pleasant discovery.

So we sat down on a huge pillow and ordered some drinks. We started taking selfies and were admiring the view on the town down there and the tourists exploring the fortifications. The girls had a glass of local vino tinto (red wine) while I asked for a zumo de piña (pineapple juice). The juice was so thick and creamy that the straw was standing on its own. I don't know if you see it on the picture, but it's not touching the side of the glass.


We also asked for tortilla de patata con pan tomate (potato omelet and bruschetta). The tortilla was not warm but it had a melting texture and had the right ratio of potato to egg. The pan tomate was light and crispy, though I would have personally liked a little extra drizzle of olive oil.


We also ordered tortilla and guacamole. The guacamole had a bit of chunk to it and we didn't run out of it (we actually ran out of tortilla before). The tortilla was simply a soft flour tortilla cut into triangles.


The place seems to be quite popular, and we could tell because every time a group of friends would get up to leave, another one would take their spot only seconds later (sort of like someone on a crowded bus waiting impatiently for a seat to be freed). The fact that a lot of tourists walk around doesn't help neither. I found it was kind of the Spanish version of something hipsters would totally fall in love with and then complain about it being ruined by tourists.

Overall the whole thing was very cute and pleasant. The prices were good (we split the bill in three and it was like 8€ each). They also have more choices, such as sandwiches and other kinds of tapas. I think it's one of those spots that, even though it is not an actual secret, is worth stopping by.

So if you go visit the fortifications in Ibiza, go rest your tired feet and have a glass of fresh juice there.

For more information : http://www.sescalinata.es/ibiza/

Until next time!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Ibiza; Bar Flotante

Hi guys! The Hotel Argos Ibiza (where we were staying) is located on the Talamanca beach, and is separated from the old town by the marina. One evening we had to eat but didn't want to go back in town nor spend too much money so we tried this little restaurant by the beach.

Nothing fancy, plastic chairs, people looked like locals. We thought eh, why not?

So we sat down and looked at the menu, which was surprisingly inexpensive. Because we had been having a craving for fish and seafood (damnit we're surrounded by sea we have to have fish) that's what we went for. Pictures were taken with my cellphone.

So we ordered sardines with a herb and olive oil dressing.


The sardines were actually okay, though I think they would have been better if they had been grilled on an actual barbecue and if their skin was much crispier.

We obviously ordered tortilla de patata, because one of the girls was obsessed with it.


It was ... meh. I found it was too eggy and chewy to my liking. Honestly I have tried one of my colleague's tortilla de patata and it's like ... ten times better than what I had tried in Ibiza. Also that one was sorta bland.

Our order also came with garlic shrimp, which were basically cooked in olive oil with garlic in a cast iron skillet. That one for some reason was very simple and I actually liked it for its simplicity. The size of the shrimp though (I remember it being the priciest meal among our orders) was quite disappointing. I had imagined something bigger, or shrimp on the shell. Oh well.


We also had a grilled calamari, that came with the same herb and olive oil dressing as the sardine.


I was actually kind of impressed by the calamari (compared to the other plates), because it wasn't overcooked nor undercooked. The salad that came with it though was very disappointing because it looked like a bunch of stuffs thrown in together. Honestly I do not know what Spanish eat in a salad, but in all cases, wherever you are, if your restaurant serves salad, please make it 1. pleasing to the eyes, 2. practical to eat, and 3. actually enjoyable. Gosh. What's the point of paying for a salad I don't even feel like eating? This is a problem all around the world it seems.

Overall, the whole thing was rather cheap but eh, you get what you pay for. It wasn't bad, but for a restaurant that's like almost into the waters of Talamanca beach, that was rather disappointing.

Other than that the staff was actually nice, and I liked how nothing was pretentious or fancy. And yes, we had paper aprons that were actually maps of Ibiza. That was cute.

So if you feel like being cheap and don't mind having half your plate wasted by crappy French fries or a salad that could use some more loving, or if you're having a sudden fish craving at 9pm, I guess you can actually stop by this place if your hotel or your apartment is not far from Talamanca beach. Other than that it's not that worth it.

So that's it for today. Until next time!

Friday, November 21, 2014

Ibiza; Café Mar y Sol

Hi guys! During my stay in Ibiza I had to eat at the restaurant ... pretty much everyday. See, I have a feeling Ibiza is such a touristic place that it's nearly impossible to find a grocery store. And even if there is one, I have no clue how we would have been able to cook anything in our hotel room anyway.


So the first place we went to on the first day we got there was Café Mar y Sol, by the marina. We had spent the afternoon shopping and were trying to figure out where the heck the Pacha was (turns out it wasn't far from our hotel). In the evening we sat down at this cafe to grab a bite, because we walked by it many times and did not really feel like spending too much money on food on the first day.


They offer a selection of sandwiches, fish and seafood, and tapas. We decided to go for tapas. The girls also ordered a sangria de cava (made with the Spanish version of champagne) which I did not drink because I knew we were going to get drunk on gin before going out.

Now it's time for some pictures! Please excuse me for the crappy quality, it's only very recently (I feel like an idiot) that I have figured out how to take pictures of food under low lighting.

One of the orders was insalata russia, or Russian salad. Basically a potato and diced vegetables salad.


I felt a bit weird about this salad, because I thought it was good but could have been better, and also because I have mixed feelings about anything drenched in mayonnaise. Mayonnaise can be used to conceal anything bad and make it taste not so bad.

We also had, if I remember properly, mozzarella sticks.


Mozzarella sticks are, I guess, on every menu of every restaurant on earth. Why? Go figure. They were quite normal but at least they had that good crunch on the outside and were all melty inside.

Then grilled Padron peppers. Something I have to try making at home.


Those grilled peppers are delicious. They are not spicy at all and I remember tasting them for the first time in Berlin, while having a beer at a random bar, because I used the bathroom and on my way out our waiter made me try his lunch. Could things get more random than that?

We also had stuffed pepper (with cheese) in a tomato sauce.


That was quite good and hearty. I drenched my bread in that tomato sauce (and stuffed myself on bread like an idiot).

There were sliders. Four different types : American classic, chicken curry, avocado, and the fourth one I can't quite remember.


They were okay. I am not exactly a fan of sliders anyway, but I find they did well for a place that's not specialized in burgers.

The sangria de cava. The original order had strawberry in it, which was a surprise because we didn't know. We had to return it though and ask for another batch because one of us is allergic to strawberry. We sort of felt bad because we didn't tell the waitress when we ordered.


Our dishes also comprised tortilla chips with salsa, cheese and guacamole, and some meatballs.


The meatballs were actually quite good, but the tortilla chips were disappointing. I didn't mind the texture of the sauces, but it was missing something. Also, the fact that all the sauces were dumped over didn't make it quite enjoyable.


The bread though was beautiful and delicious. Crispy outside, soft and airy inside. And we had the same bread at the hotel! Damn you, bread. Why are you so bad for me yet so delicious?

So overall how was my experience? It was okay. The service was okay though the people were actually really friendly. The place sort of sucks (it's not pretty but it's cozy). The prices were affordable. And the quality of the food is okay. Honestly it could be worse for what you pay for.

So do I recommend el Café Mar y Sol? Given the fact that food is expensive in Ibiza and that I don't know where the cheap good hidden places are, I guess yes. It's actually fine for a snack or to chill out between friends comfortably.

So that's it for today. Until next time!
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