On Monday I had lunch with Jonas and Alicia at Sense Nom Cerveseria Cafeteria, which is conveniently just up the road from Sant Antoni. The weather was lovely, warm and sunny but without the recent stifling humidity. Incidentally, sense nom is Catalan and means, “without name”.
The menú del día looked good (especially at €11 for 3 courses including wine) – I did a little scout around of the other local bars and today this was the most appealing.
While pondering our choices, I enjoyed a vermut de la casa, an aperitif that I’ve really missed over the last year.
Alicia ordered menestra de verduras as her starter – a mixture of cooked seasonal vegetables (and possibly some tinned ones) which can be served as a starter or as a side dish to a main course. There are many versions of menestra in Spain – it can be cooked plain or with ham and is sometimes served drained or in it’s stock, like a soup or stew. Menestra can even be mixed with a little flour to make a thick sauce.
Jonas ordered esparrago blanco en dos salsas – white asparagus on a bed of lettuce with two sauces. Here I think the sauces were mayonnaise and Mary Rose, but traditionally, they can also be vinaigrette, Hollandaise and parsley.
I had fideos a la cazuela – this is not the regular paella like fideuà found on Catalan and Valencian menus, it is a thick and savoury noodle stew with vegetables and pork. The Spanish took pasta with them to the New World, so you will find similar dishes in Mexico and other South American countries.
I had conejo al ajillo – rabbit with garlic. This was excellent!
I was prompted to ask for a little allioli on the side.
Jonas and I had flan de la casa for pudding (de la casa means home made and not bought in) – Alicia skipped dessert in favour of coffee. I remembered to order my flan, sin nata – without cream, otherwise they (most Spanish restaurants) squirt foamy sweet cream all around it.
…and of course I ended the meal with a carajillo de cognac, to pick me up for the rest of the afternoon.