Wednesday, June 2, 2010

My new favorite dining experience

Ok, so as I mentioned yesterday, Matt and I had dinner at this restaurant called La Merenda on Saturday night. It’s a tapas restaurant. And, oh boy, did I love it. Not only was the food delicious, but I love the tapas style of eating.

Tapas is the Spanish name for appetizers or snacks. The style of eating is designed to encourage conversation at mealtime, instead of focusing so much on the meal.

When we first sat down and were getting ready to order, we asked the waitress how many tapas she thinks we should order for the two of us. She encouraged us to just order a couple and then continue ordering until we felt full. Can you imagine that? A restaurant wanting you to sit and enjoy the meal, instead of trying to turn the table quickly?

It was so great to be able to sit and talk and not be rushed out of there. We had a number of delicious tapas, including tostadas stuffed with pork and apples, fried polenta, Korean short ribs over rice, and a few others. I wanted to try everything! So, I will definitely be going back to do a full tour of the menu.

And, the best part was, I wasn’t completely stuffed after eating. I was full, but not overflowing. You know that nasty feeling you often have after eating at restaurants because the portion sizes are way too big and you felt obligated to keep going and then you regret it? No regrets and no nasty feeling at tapas restaurants.

When they talk about the obesity crisis in America, one of the main things talked about is our distorted view of how big a portion size is supposed to be, and restaurants definitely play a huge role in that. Tapas should become the new standard at restaurants. You won’t feel guilty about eating too much and you’ll be able to try a variety of things.

So, if there’s a tapas restaurant in your area, check it out. It was a great experience.

Oh, and save room for dessert. We had a tres leches cake that was to die for.

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