Tapas along the Guadalquivir
Spain is hot. (Have I mentioned this before?) Okay, not all of the time. Since the sun is the cause of this heat, nights are downright pleasant. So are mornings before the sun gets too high and evenings after the sun goes down. The Spanish have evolved a lifestyle that works runs on this diurnal cycle. Recognizing that the sun is a necessity for life (as well as an enemy that cannot be vanquished) they developed the siesta, a break in the afternoon during the hottest hours of the day. Shops close and people go home so they are not laboring in the most oppressive heat Europe can offer. Lunch is served during this time and it is traditionally the main main meal of the day. When the sun begins to set, people return to their jobs and work later in the day owing to their break in the middle. As a consequence, supper is not usually eaten until 9pm or 10pm and it is usually a lighter meal composed of tapas.
The Spanish have this right. Back home, restaurants without a base of young people will close their kitchens at 9pm or 10pm. When I got to Spain and saw their afternoon rest period and late suppers, I felt as though I had come home. (That was until I needed to put on a third coat of SPF 60). In high school, I worked until 8pm, and would come home and eat supper around 9pm. When I got to college, late labs and library hours kept the trend alive. Now, to the chagrin of my friends and family, a supper before 8pm feels like lunch.
Restaurante Nueva Victoria is a located on the banks of the Guadalquivir River in Sevilla and the outdoor seating affords fantastic views. Get there early (normal American meal time) and there will be seating available outdoors. If you go later, you may have to wait. Don’t worry, though, the time spent waiting is well worth it. The tapas are amazing and the staff is super friendly, even to patrons who took 6 years of Spanish, but somehow cannot even order off of a menu (let alone conjugate a verb into the past participle). In Spain, meals are about taking it slow. The tapas will come out one at a time and are meant for sharing. Highlights include croquetas and calamaris fritos. Be sure to order a frosty cervaza or a bottle of their table wine-remember, there’s no hurry. When you are finished with the tapas, be sure to opt for dessert (you saved room, right?). At least somebody in your group should order the pirámide a los tres chocolates con regaliz. You do not have to have 6 years of Spanish to figure out what that is.
Know Before You Go
Nueva Victoria is located at 85 Ave Torneo along the river near Paseo Rey Juan Carlos I.
Great tapas, wonderful staff and warm Spanish evenings make this a great place to spend your night.