Had seen everything I was going to see on this trip to Seville and it was time for a break. Having been advised that this place was particularly good, I made a beeline for El Atún. Just to be sure I got it right, I’d written down my order:
‘espinaces con garbonthes‘ (spinach with chickpeas) and just to make sure I didn’t miss out, I politely asked for ‘aceitunas‘ (the plate of olives that I’d been assured would come with or without me saying anything).
The waiters seemed to delight in the ridiculousness of my having written such a simple order down, but were very friendly and generous with their good-natured, knowing smiles. It didn’t hurt that I was carrying a Real Betis Balompié shopping bag. Soon enough, they were telling me that this was the only football club worth paying attention to in Seville.
The food was exquisite…I’d had proper tapas with loads of meat dishes the night before (and it wouldn’t have bothered me if there was meat in the spinach), but it was somehow perfect to have this plate of superbly prepared vegetable after so much meat and cheese and bread…I was both sated and satisfied. Very much so.
Right around the corner from the Plaza Nueva is this unassuming tapas bar. I’d never have given it a second glance had it not been recommended. And despite the unbelievably memorable and beautiful things I’d seen in the capital of Andalusia, these few moments alone with my small plate of olives were the nicest I could imagine.
So many photos I could show you. So many stories I heard from an old friend I visited here who reminded me what it’d been like to be fifteen. Yet the nicest thing I can tell you about is a quiet spot outside of a bustling kitchen where I could simply catch my breath.
It was that good.