Essentially this is a bread stick sandwich with the typical Spanish potato omelette. The aspect that makes it different in Valencia is that the bread is liberally spread/loaded with alioli - a garlic mayonnaise which is just perfect for the aforementioned sandwich.
Anywhere in the city of Valencia. My favourite was a bar down one of the side streets near the train station. It was called Bar Turia. Well worthwhile - a good beer with the sandwich dripping garlic at a decent price.
This a typical Valencia dish. It is made of thick noodles, fish, all sorts of prawns and seafood. It is very tasty and rivals the famous paella.
The best place to eat it is in Gandia, a holiday resort 40 miles south of Valencia. Gandia is the hometown of fideua, however you can ask for fideua in nearly every restaurant in Valencia that specialises in seafood.
It may be a Spanish cliché, but you really can’t visit Valencia without eating paella – and, to the region that invented the dish, if you haven’t eaten it here, you haven’t eaten it at all. The authentic version – Paella Valenciana – is with rabbit, chicken, snails, butter beans and broad beans, although veggie-friendly Paella de Verduras is usually available. To Valencians, “paella” anywhere else in Spain is merely rice with meat and vegetables. They border on the fanatical when talking about the hardness of the water required to perfectly cook the rice – which must be grown locally, of course.
But despite this, paella is not a fussy food. It is hearty family lunchtime fare (never make the mistake of eating it at night, except during Fallas) and best enjoyed on a Sunday afternoon, at one of the many paella restaurants that line Las Arenas beach front to the left of the port. Pepica – one of the oldest and best of these – is rumoured to be where Hemingway first sampled the dish. It is usual to order paella between at least two people. You may want to book in advance to make sure of a table.
La Pepica, Paseo Neptuno, 6; Tel: 96 371 0366
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