Last Friday we had lunch at a restaurant named Topolino (sounds Italian, not Italian). The food was amazing though I forgot to take photos (sorry!). Phil made reservations there after we were standing outside, looking at their menu del dia one Sunday and an elderly gentleman passing by came back to tell us the food was “extraordinario”. It is not very common for a stranger to speak to you on the street here; Asturians are friendly but keep to themselves. We decided if this guy went out of his way to backtrack and tell us about the food, it must be, well, extraordinario.
Our regular Profesora de Espanol, Marta, was out last Friday, so Profesora Sole substituted. We have had Profesora Sole before and we really like her as she really makes us work because Profesora Sole doesn’t speak English (she speaks Spanish and French). We told Profesora that we were going to Topolino for lunch that afternoon and she confirmed that the food was excellent, the restaurant had good ambiance and, if you’re lucky, when you go there, you might get a beach view. She also said that she sometimes has afternoon appointments near there and when she does, she always tries to go to Topolino. She was also sure to tell us that they offer para llavar (to go orders) of their menu del dia, in case they did not have tables available. When we left class, we were even more jazzed about our choice due to another glowing recommendation.
We had coincidentally been working on restaurant phrases in our Spanish class, so lunch at Topolino was an excellent opportunity to test our skills. While a “yo quiero” (I want) and pointing will usually suffice, it is nice to be able to have a bit more of a dialogue with the camarero/a (waiter/waitress) and to ask questions about menu items you are interested in. Lucky us, we were seated at the large window facing the beach. I knew right away I wanted the Fabada for my first course. I have mentioned Fabada before, but in case you forgot it is a classic Asturian bean stew of smokey pork delights (chorizo, blood sausage and what looks like fatback). It tastes like fancy Midwestern ham and beans and is really good. Phil asked a few questions about the other offerings and decided on the sincronizedas de pollo con guacamole which was like a chicken quesadilla. It was pretty darn tasty. There is not a lot of Mexican food in Spain so it was especially nice to have a little taste. For our second course, I had the salmon con salteado de trigueros y setas (salmon with sauteed asparagus and mushrooms) that came with fried, mandolin sliced potatoes. Phil had the solomillo a la carbonara (pork sirloin medallions with a cream sauce) served with a side of patatas fritas (these folks love their french fries but who doesn’t?). Both dishes were excellent. We paired lunch with a bottle of the house vino tinto and for desert, I had the arroz con leche (rice pudding-I know. Weird but it’s crazy good here) and Phil had the lemon tart which was muy rico and refreshing.
After our big lunch and a little nap, we headed out to see a play at the Jovellanos theater. The theater is a five minute walk from our apartment and is the venue for many touring theatrical and concert productions. We have tried to get tickets to a couple of different shows but because of the limited seating related to Covid protocols, tickets sell out quickly. We lucked out and scored a couple of entradas (tickets) for the June 11th production of Doña Rosita Anotada. It was a really cool experience, though mentally fatiguing. We had read a bit about the play prior to going but I didn’t realize that it consisted largely of character monologues. It also moves backward chronologically and as such was a lot for beginning Spanish students to keep track of. The actors spoke very quickly and, while they did have a screen at the top of the stage with subtitles [in Spanish] which helped, we understood very little. We compared notes afterward and both agreed on the gist of the overarching theme (score for team Barrington!). The play is about waiting and the passage of time and aging. How we often put things off because we are waiting for something else to happen and/or we put off doing things we want to do for another, later date and all the while, time is pushing us closer to the finish line.
We had planned to go out for a bit after the play but we were both exhausted from the reading and thinking so we headed home for some wine and cake, which just happens to be the perfect antidote to having an exhausted thinker*.
*this statement has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration