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Casa Tomate - Finding Tapas in Seville

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December 4, 2014 / Tapas / By

On your first night in a new and unfamiliar town, there are a few hurdles to be jumped. You’re probably hungry - so where to eat? It’s your first time out of the hotel and not unnaturally, you're a bit apprehensive about getting lost - so where to go and how to get there? That very smart phone in your pocket/handbag can solve both of these traveller’s conundrums for you. Tripadvisor and similar sites tell you where to eat and Google Maps or Apple Maps tell you how to get there and, more importantly, how to get back again. Nothing wrong with that, but it might just make you feel as though you’re being “led by the hand”. Our recent short trip to Seville gave The Tall Guy (TTG) and I a chance to re-polish our old pre-iPhone street-smarts, which, I’m the first to admit, have as much chance of getting you thoroughly lost and into some decidedly dodgy eating joints as they have of finding gourmet heaven for you.


So, Globe-Eaters, avoid getting lost by walking in straight lines! In other words, first night out, limit the number of turns you take on your explorations to just two right angles. Getting back to your hotel again should just be a matter of retracing your steps. It usually works, but I can recall a near-divorce experience in Venice at 1.00am in the morning when I let myself be guided by TTG’s all too fallible internal compass. Second point - take a good look at the eateries: are they empty or full? That first night’s short, straight line walk in Seville’s Santa Cruz district, with just a single left-turn down another straight line gave us a street full of tapas bars and restaurants - Calle Mateos Gago, for the curious. Some were full and buzzing, some more sparsely populated, some empty or maybe just one or two customers. What does that tell you? It doesn’t necessarily mean that the empty places are bad, but if the people aren’t coming, there’s a reason. Maybe they’re just not cheerful. We saw plenty such eateries with morose mâitres d’ standing outside ready to serve, but from our point of view, their gloom and lack of enthusiasm discouraging us from looking closer. 

 Our first choice tapas restaurant, Casa Tomate, had nice ambience, plenty of buzz and efficient, rather than warm and ebullient service. This was the place where the first tapas plate was the rather eccentric patatas bravas with curry sauce, already written about here. The later plates, calimares fritos (lightly battered and fried squid rings with eggs and a small salad) and anchoas fritas (again, lightly battered and flash-fried anchovies, with a helping of salad greens and oranges) were very good and the bill pleasingly small.

 Yes, we found better places over the next three days, without moving too far from the area of our hotel, but Casa Tomate was a pretty fair beginning, applying the principles of the first two paragraphs. Seems quite a lot of Tripadvisor reviews of Casa Tomate think so too, so you could do worse than give Casa Tomate a try on your first, or next visit to lovely Seville.

Casa Tomate

Country: Spain

Province/State: Andalucia

City: Seville

Address: Calle Mateos Gago 24

Zip/Post Code: 41004

Location Tips: Seville Cathedral

Phone: +34 954220421


Price Guide:$$ (What's this?) N/A = home cooked meal,etc
$ = street food, fast food,etc
$$ = bistro, cafe, pub, bar,etc
$$$ = fine dining,etc

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