The ratty, dog-eared business card above is for the “Botifarra,” a hidden gem in the middle of ‘el Carmen’ district of Valencia. As two weary travelers, we stumbled into it at about 10:30 on a Wednesday night. Easy pickin’s by Spanish standards but akin to Magellan’s arrival at the Spice Islands for us. When we arrived we were tired, hungry and had no idea what lay ahead of us.
Luckily, it ended up being an small bistrot-type Spanish tapas bar where all of the cooking was done by the owner Jorge himself. A small stove/grill in the corner, chalkboards on the wall advertising the wine and tapas and the drool inducing bowls and shallow clay pots of sausages, peppers, and various indescribable tapas were all that stood between us and the kitchen. Well, that and a nice bottle of red wine. I have no recollection of what wine we ordered at this point but I can tell you what accompanied it. We had a delicious plate of gooey Spanish cheese (OK, I don’t remember what kind), with a tomato marmalade just sweet enough to cut the pungency of the cheese. As a second plate, we had a Roquefort-stuffed pork sausage, cooked in white wine and in a natural casing. Sublime. In fact, I recall saying that on that very night. “Just, uh, sublime.”
Indeed it was. And the conversation with Jorge and his assistant proved to be the highlight of the night. Terribly tolerant of my over-imbibed Spanish, Jorge proved to be his own version of the Valencia Chamber of Commerce.
The menu changes nightly but I can only imagine the quality and the experience is the same. Go and give Jorge a shout from the gringos who forgot cash.