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Opinion about Spanish Restaurants in the USA

 
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KC_BRAINS



Joined: 06 Jul 2006
Posts: 3
Location: Parres, Asturias

PostPosted: Fri Jul 07, 2006 5:57 pm    Post subject: Opinion about Spanish Restaurants in the USA Reply with quote

In my opinion Spanish restaurants in the USA are big disapointment. I spend over 6 years in the Philadelphia/New Jersey area and my cravings for real spanish food were indiscribable. Every restaurant I visited never quite took care of those cravings. Personally I think is due to the ingredients. For example if you take the best Tortilla maker in Spain and you have him make one in the US it will never come close to a middle of the road homedade toritilla made in Spain. IS it the eggs, the potatoes, the onions? It don´t know but it like that. The best solution I found for my cravings was to have my family back in Asturias send me for example chorizo, morcilla, lacon, fabas ¨de la granja¨ and make my own fabada at home. That was the closest it got. One time my father sent me a Joselito ham, and since I did not have a god stand and nive to cut it, I took it to and Italian butcher. You should have seen his eyes as he was cutting that Jamon de Bellota. He had never seen nothing like it. He told me that if I let him eat a couple of grams he would cut all the ham I wanted for free for the rest of my life.
As far as restaurants in the Newark area I guess you could say they are the best they can get for the area. But is really sad that the owners are not really Spanish. They are mostly portuguese that put up spanish restaurants because it sells better than Portuguese.
Also be aware when buying Cabrales cheese in speciality store because many times I saw that they were selling regular blue cheese from the Picos de Europa area as if it was Cabrales. As you probably now there is a big difference in price and taste. Try to look for the DO tag in the label.

Well it was just my opinion, don´t want to bash anything!
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Art
Site Admin


Joined: 17 Feb 2003
Posts: 4421
Location: Maryland

PostPosted: Fri Jul 14, 2006 12:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

KC, you've written lots of interesting comments. I didn't realize that the Cabrales sold here is sometimes not the real thing. I'll have to ask about the ownership of the Newark NJ restaurants the next time I go. Or maybe I should just go to the Portuguese ones!

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KC, has escrito muchos comentarios interesantes. No me di cuenta que el cabrales vendido aquí a veces no es la verdadera. Tendré que preguntar sobre los dueños de los restaurantes de Newark NJ la próxima vez que voy. ¡O quizás debo ir a los portugueses!
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Eli
Moderator


Joined: 30 Mar 2005
Posts: 308
Location: Luray, VA. US

PostPosted: Tue Jul 18, 2006 10:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Although I can't speak of Spanish food I know that this too is the case with food cravings for people from just about everywhere else, I’ve heard Argentinians, Peruvians even Mexicans make the same claims. I believe you are right and the fault lies in the ingredients, for some things I know this to be the case, for instance, Peru has a typical dish called ‘Ceviche’ it is made out of ‘Corvina’ there are many types of fish in the world known by this name in Spanish, the one that goes by corvina in Peru, Chile and Ecuador is the species known as Cynoscion analis http://pick5.pick.uga.edu/mp/20q?search=Cynoscion+analis (to read about this gourmet’s delicacy http://www.elanzuelo.com/la_pesca/la_pesca_de_la_corvina.htm ) the thing is, there is no such fish in the US. This fish is cooked in lime juice (this form of cooking is known as acidulation) in order to cook in this manner we use the acid in lime juice (limes have ascorbic acid and citrus acid). After ‘macerating’ the fish in lime juice for about 20-25 minutes we have one of the finest delicacies in the world (folks add condiments to suit their taste but lime juice and Corvina meat is what makes or breaks the dish).

The problem arises when in the States we try to make up for what we don’t have by substituting this for that. We don’t have ‘Corvina’ so we use the closest animal we can think of ‘blue fish’ because it kind looks like it (although it is not even in the same family) and we use United Statesian limes that ARE the same thing but have been deformed and manipulated to such an extent that they no longer even resemble a lime in the wild. United Statesian limes are two sometimes three times the size of normal limes, they have three times the juice but less than 1/4 the amount of acid in them in total (not the same amount diluted in three times the amount of liquid), so when we attempt to cook the hard blue fish with this weak lime juice the product inevitably is not what the original dish is. The cook may try to ‘make up’ in a million ways but the end result will never be the same.

Of course this is probably one of the most extreme cases, but generally speaking I’m convinced that different ingredients demand different cuisines.
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Inguanzo



Joined: 21 Nov 2005
Posts: 2
Location: NJ USA-Cabrales

PostPosted: Tue Sep 12, 2006 8:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hope you all are fine.
Well Im in Newark for the 32yrs of my life now. There are few places I go eat around here Spanish owned. Casa Vasca, very good, Spanish Sangria pretty good, Spanish Pavillion dont go much and thats about it for Real Spanish owned places to eat in Newark, the rest are all portuguese completely.

Queso Cabrales yes 99% are fake around here, I think if they dont have the leaves around it I dont think its real. I rather have it send from my family in Cabrales as I do. Cant see how a small region can produce enough for export.

Raul
Newark NJ
Berodia+Inguanzo Cabrales
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Bob
Moderator


Joined: 24 Feb 2003
Posts: 1706
Location: Connecticut and Massachusetts

PostPosted: Tue Sep 12, 2006 9:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm certainly no expert, but I thought that when Spain joined the European Union it became subject to its import/export restrictions, and wrapping cabrales cheese in maple or sycamore leaves was thereafter prohibited, allegedly as a health/sanitary measure. The rules for cabrales sold within Spain may be different.

In any event, the cabrales I buy tastes like that I had in Asturias, and is wrapped in foil rather than real leaves. I buy from La Tienda, always as a whole cheese, not pre-cut, and I think that they offer a good and authentic product.

There are several excellent Spanish restaurants in Connecticut, but most of them are quite expensive. The ones in New Haven and Norwalk are owned and operated by gallegos. For the New Haven one, some of the seafood is flown in from Spain twice a week or so.
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Art
Site Admin


Joined: 17 Feb 2003
Posts: 4421
Location: Maryland

PostPosted: Thu Sep 14, 2006 3:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm sure some of our Asturian members can answer this authoritatively, but I remember hearing, too, that wrapping cheeses in leaves is no longer legal. Also, I didn't see any leafy cabrales in Asturias the last several visits. I'm pretty sure that the foil-wrapped cabrales is as real as it gets now.

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Estoy seguro que algunos de nuestros miembros asturianos pueden contestar autoritariamente, pero también me acuerdo de oír que envolver los quesos en hojas ya no es legal. También, no vi ninguna queso cabrales en hojas en Asturias durante mis últimas visitas. Creo que el cabrales de pape de aluminio es el único que existe ahora.
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Inguanzo



Joined: 21 Nov 2005
Posts: 2
Location: NJ USA-Cabrales

PostPosted: Thu Nov 16, 2006 11:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, you guys are correct. I guess im still thinking yrs ago.
My family still make it in town to see to certain local places.
But I still dont understand how can such a small area make enough to sell around the world.

here theres better info
http://www.productosdeasturias.com/museo_cabrales.php
http://www.fundacioncabrales.com/

Raul Inguanzo
www.berodia.com
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Betty



Joined: 26 Jan 2006
Posts: 82
Location: Centerburg, Knox County, Ohio USA

PostPosted: Fri Nov 17, 2006 8:01 pm    Post subject: Cabrales Cheese Reply with quote

While in Asturias a couple of weeks ago our hosts, Madian and Mike Prado (of WaytoSpain), and my husband and I went up into the Picos (our 2nd Picos venture) stopping in Sotres along the way. My and Madian's mission was to find a particular cheesemaker Madian had frequented in the past for Cabrales...
We two walked up and around, asked this person and that, and then she found him! What an experience! I think we may have interrupted his nap, but he took us into his cheese place which was kind of like a garage under his house. After some polite discussion he produced a wheel of Cabrales. He took a small implement, sharp on the end, half round and inserted it into the Cabrales. When extracted he offered us the samples on the "extractor." Heaven!!!! We asked to purchase the wheel, half for each of us. When he cut it in half, he discovered it had a hole in it. He did not want to sell it to us. He pulled another wheel, we went through the same scenario. But, we both felt the first wheel was better tasting. He explained the first was nearly 6 months old, the second 4 months. The demand is so high that he is selling it at 4 months when he prefers to sell at 5 to 6 months. After much more discussion, he agreed to sell the first wheel, but he really didn't want to. As we were leaving, he called us back to taste another cheese. It was very soft and very pungent - 1 year old Cabrales that he produces for a certain individual. It was delicious! He insisted we split the small wheel of 1 yr old cheese as a gift. We know he just wasn't happy that we took the "defective" Cabrales! Can you imagine!
He explained he sells Cabrales all over the world and cannot keep up with the demand. He also confirmed that he can no longer wrap the cheese in leaves because of the EU guidelines.
This was just one of our many AMAZING experiences while in Asturias last month. What an exciting, wonderful, unbelievable 12 days Madian and Mike made possible for us! Asturias is more beautiful than anyone can imagine. Its natural beauty is breathtaking! Betty
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Art
Site Admin


Joined: 17 Feb 2003
Posts: 4421
Location: Maryland

PostPosted: Sun Nov 19, 2006 3:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's a neat story, Betty. I'm glad you enjoyed your trip! Did anyone talk about Asturian politics with you? I'm getting the sense that the political culture of Asturias is one of its only bad aspects. (I'll probably move this part to another thread if you answer.)

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Qué historia tan encachada, Betty. ¡Me alegra que te gustó el viaje! ¿Habló cualquier persona sobre la política asturiana? Me parece que la cultura política de Asturias sea uno de sus pocos aspectos malos. (Probablemente moveré esta parte si respondes.)
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Betty



Joined: 26 Jan 2006
Posts: 82
Location: Centerburg, Knox County, Ohio USA

PostPosted: Fri Nov 24, 2006 8:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Art, I am glad you enjoyed my cheese experience in Sotres. We also enjoyed the Sidra Museum in Nava and that was another fun experience - pouring sidra all over ourselves!
Concerning politics, no we just didn't explore much about politics. From the newspapers I read it was pretty clear there is a negative opinion of the current administration -- but we could say that about many of our newspapers here in the States too, couldn't we?
Best Regards!
Betty
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Trina Gonzalez



Joined: 06 Nov 2007
Posts: 7
Location: Aliquippa, PA

PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2007 10:47 am    Post subject: spanish restaurants in the US Reply with quote

If any of you get to Pittsburgh, PA there is a fabulous restaurant on the south side of Pittsburgh called Mallorca. The have a great selection of seafood and meats and of course the wine and alcohol is awsome too. I tried the roasted goat (I am not a fan) but I love the seafood selections. The people who run the place are from Argentina but the food is real and just like my mother used to make. You will love it.
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Trina C. Gonzalez
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Art
Site Admin


Joined: 17 Feb 2003
Posts: 4421
Location: Maryland

PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2007 3:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Welcome, Trina!

Do you have an address or website for that restaurant? We do have members in the area and others who get up there occasionally.

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¡Bienvenida, Trina!

¿Tienes una dirección o página web para esta restaurante? Tenemos socios por esa zona y otros que visitan de vez y cuando.
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Terechu
Moderator


Joined: 24 Jun 2003
Posts: 1544
Location: GIJON - ASTURIAS

PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2007 3:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

KC, I believe that is simply the sign of the times. In fact, if I were to make a cautious estimate of how many Madrid restaurants serve 100 %authentic and fresh produce, I'd say it's less than one in five. And I'm not talking tourist-infected historic-district Madrid where you can get away with serving plastic pork chops, I mean all of the city, including the ritzy neighbourhoods.
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Trina Gonzalez



Joined: 06 Nov 2007
Posts: 7
Location: Aliquippa, PA

PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2007 8:18 am    Post subject: Mallorca Restaurant in Pittsburgh Reply with quote

They do have a web site: mallorcarestaurant.com and they have another restaurant with the same name in Cleveland, Ohio. I haven't tried the Cleveland one yet.

The restaurant in on East Carson Street and again you will love it.

Trina
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Trina C. Gonzalez
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