I love food and I enjoy going out to eat. In my opinion I have a simple taste and ordinary food makes me happy. I enjoy trying out new restaurants, nice views and a good atmosphere. While in Hamburg I only had a few problems, when something was too posh for me. Here, things are a bit different… I would consider myself almost vegetarian. For myself, I never prepare meat but I can eat chicken or some meat in a restaurant. Its just not important to me and I prefer to eat side dishes :).
What I don’t eat at all is fish and see food. But here in the area of Alicante people love meat and sea food! You can find the typical „Menu“ everywhere, which is a cheap, three-course meal for lunch and drinks are included. You can choose between fish or different kinds of meat that usually include parts that I don’t like. Spaniards love their ham, which is either Serrano or Jamon York. For example ordering pizza becomes a struggle, when the only pizza without ham or bacon is Margherita… and usually the waiters are a bit irritated when I ask them if its possible to order something without the ham. On the other hand I have had one of the best meals here after we asked the waitress about a vegetarian choice and she just offered to grill some vegetables. It was soo good and much better than what the others had for lunch.
What I love about the Spanish cuisine around here are some of the Tapas. I love Gazpacho, the cold tomato soup, when it’s hot outside. It tastes so good! Or patatas bravas, which are potatoes with a “hot” sauce. This can go from ketchup to something really spicy, depending on the restaurant. Tortillas are my favorite, potatoes with eggs like a huge omelet… Fitting into the stereotype of a German potato… I got lucky because my boyfriend loves to prepare food and cooks for me so usually we dine really well at home as well. Spain has lots of different cheeses to offer, I really started liking Manchego cheese and we always buy a lot. Olives are much cheaper than in Germany and we buy a huge glass with a gazpacho taste, so it also comes with onions, red bell peppers and garlic.
During the week when I’m working I prepare some fruit at home, because we don’t really go out to have lunch. Watermelon is amazingly sweet and cheap to buy, cherries are also much sweeter. Oranges for orange juice in the morning come in 5 kg-packs and don’t cost a lot at all. During my short break I usually get a bocadillo, a sandwich, when they have a vegetarian option. Usually it’s with tortilla. Or I buy empanadillas, small empanadas filled with spinach and cheese or other things.
Pintxos, that originally come from the Basque country in the North are really famous as well. In Benidorm you can find some narrow streets filled with Basque restaurants and they offer pintxos in every possible way. It’s a piece of white bread with something on top. This can be cheese, vegetables, chorizo, ham, sea food, everything. Some are designed really nicely, and it’s all fixed by a stick – a pintxo.
What’s really amazing in the restaurants here is the breakfast. From time to time we have breakfast outside and you can get coffee and bread with tomato and cheese, ham, or just tomato for around 2 Euros. Juice isn’t expensive either, whereas in a German restaurant you already can pay 4 Euros for the juice. But because the oranges are mainly from this region they can sell them much cheaper. Another interesting thing is the cost of drinks. When you order a menu that I already mentioned, it might be that it comes with water, wine or beer. Any sodas you have to pay extra. But usually they are included as well. People told me here, wine is like water. It’s so cheap. One glass of white wine can be around 1,80 Euro. One time we ordered a menu at night with some friends and beer and wine just kept coming. For 15 Euros we had enough food for at least three more people and bottles of wine and beer included. I still can’t believe it. The prices are really well. Of course, you can find more expensive restaurants everywhere, but where I like to eat the prices are okay. Always keeping in mind that this is a really touristy area. In the small towns a bit further inside everything is even cheaper. In Germany, especially in Hamburg, it’s hard to eat out at night with wine and pay less than 20 Euros for 2 people. But here, it’s rare to pay more. Win! (Of course I know the cost of living in general is lower than in Germany and so are the salaries, but for now I still think in Hamburgian dimensions).