Eating Uptown Series… Part Seven — Got Tapas ? @ Malabar

Got Tapas ?? 

This is what you see on the back of the staff’s T-shirts as they seat you down in this cozy restaurant off of the Tryon street in uptown Charlotte.

Ever since I have started working uptown, I have noticed the red awning on a small restaurant space in the building opposite to me. I remember Coco Osteria being there.. I loved that restaurant. Cozy and delicious food.. The same place my husband planned a surprise 25th birthday party for me.  🙂 Ahh.. good times .

So I was really disappointed when I saw the restaurant change names and cuisine. BUT I was intrigued to try this new place out. I needed a partner in crime… Who else would suit the bill than my dearest hubster 😉

My lunch date 🙂 

So this place specializes in Tapas style meals (Appetizers, small plates) but also has full on entrees depending on your appetite. Krish and I being the foodies that we are decided to “share” some small plates… The decor is very minimal. Nothing crazy.. No eye piercing wall colors, no heavy drapes or crystal chandeliers, but warm and cozy. I bet it looks great in the evening with the soft lights and the shadows from the red awning outside.

Have I said “cozy” enough already ?

So we look at the menu and unfortunately don’t understand the names or how they are pronounced. They are in Spanish. BUT the descriptions are in English.. Yeah!!

So me being me, try to say as much as I can in Spanish, which is a whole lot of nothing actually. But our server humored my attempt and corrected me often.. I love such cultural exchanges. He was very well versed with the menu and took his time to explain the dishes in detail (with correct pronunciations).

Dates filled with cheese wrapped in Serrano ham
The salted ham complimented the sweet dates stuffed with the salty cheese.
Not for the faint of the heart. This is like a flavor roller coaster on your tongue. 

The inside of the dates
Vaca Frita
Crispy marinated beef with red onions..
Slow cooked, fork tender beef with pickled red onions.
Crispy beef with pickled red onions!
Try FC’s own pickled red onion recipe
Bread to go with the clams below..
Would have loved it if it was tad bit thicker to help soak up the juices more.
Almejas a la Mancha (sautéed clams, chorizo, and saffron)

Clams and chorizo in a tomato and saffron broth
A little heavy on the salt. Sausage seemed a little over done and
I couldn’t taste the saffron really.
The bread that came with it was not thick enough to soak up the broth
BUT it was a tasty dish none the less. Clams were cooked to perfection.

Generous serving *****

Happy as a “clam”.. 🙂

Slow cooked oh so tender pork! Creamy Avocado crowned the sandwich.
Spanish style pulled pork sandwich. 
Served with yucca fries.

Torta! Krish’s favorite.. Slow cooked pork.. with spices..
and fresh avocado. I loved the pork and the thick bread really  held up  to the juices of the meat. The avocado didn’t work for me in that. (I have been eating a southern style BBQ pulled pork sandwich for a while I guess and couldn’t appreciate the delicate Avocado flavor). Krish liked it on the other hand.

Waiting patiently for dessert !
Yes we had dessert for lunch 😉

Tres Leches.. OR HEAVEN !
We were so confused as to what to get for dessert BUT our server came to our rescue..
He just flat told us.. Get the Tres Leches and boy, am I so glad we did.. Dessert HEAVEN!

Krish polishing it off.. Actually I did too 😉
OK so conclusion! Spanish folks might eat small plates but man, they eat well!! I would like to goto Spain now !! Soon , I hope sometime soon 🙂

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