Having sufficiently recovered from a head cold, I decided to start my day with a bit of exercise.  Thanks to Dynamic Strength Training, of Eagle Rock, California, we have equipped ourselves with a very effective home gym and know how to use it.  It is highly effective and takes very little storage room.

Home Gym

With that done Marty and I decided a good walk was in order.  But like most long walks, this one ended at an absolutely delightful restaurant.  Pepe had recommended Mercatbar, and it was indeed a fabulous recommendation.  It is a very informal restaurant decorated with a “market-like” theme.  We opted to order a number of tapas so we could taste a variety of dishes. On one level, the dishes were traditional.  However, the presentation and the preparation were anything but traditional.  Each was a delicious small work of art.  We started with a small loaf of crusty bread served with a small bowl of grated tomato.   My favorite was the fried eggplant with honey that was the perfect blend of sweet, crispy and salty stacked “log-cabin” style.  The croquet dish was a sampling of 4 different fillings – my favorite being the blue cheese with walnut.  The pulpitos were served on a mound of wonderfully flavored potatoes.  The boquerones were simple and succulent.  The papas brava were sitting in the most flavorful sauce with just the right amount of heat.  Of course, I couldn’t resist the “espuma de naranja.  Good thing we had a good walk home to work off a bit of what we had consumed.

Pan con Tomate



Beregena con Miel


Patatas Bravas

Espuma de Naranja

A Creative Way to Present the Bill

While Santa is not such a big deal in Spain,  Los Reyes Magos are.  As we passed a shop on the way to the restaurant,  we spotted them making their approach to the window via a rope ladder.

Los Reyes Magos

About susanvida

Happily retired, I now spend much of my time in Valencia Spain. I fill my days with photography, cooking, dining and visiting with friends. In my "former life" I was a Director of Human Resources for Starwood Hotels and Resorts. I am married to Martin Kaplan, who shares my passion for Valencia, food and of course, our daughter, Rachel Sara.
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