Saturday, March 26, 2011

The Balboa Tapas bar and restaurant Seattle

My husband and I are heading down to Puerto Rico for 10 days over Spring break. There was a good flight out of Seattle so we are taking a red eye from Seatac airport.  We arrived in Seattle at 6:15 so decided to go find something to eat in the university district, usually a good bet, we turned off the free way and drove keeping our eyes peeled for something that looked good.  

Now some people have perfect pitch and can sing each note in tune, or innate rhythm which makes them beautiful dancers, or photographic memories.  Anyone who knows me, knows that I have none of those things, but I do have a 6th sense for restaurants. It really did not look like anything from the outside, but it was calling to me it was Bilbao Tapas Bar and restaurant and I am glad it called.

There was an extensive tapas menu to choose from and a very friendly waiter who turned out to be Peruvian not Spanish.  I ordered a glass of red wine, he asked what type and I asked for full bodied, what came was a very good full bodied red wine better than most you get by the glass.

Then came some very fresh bread (always a good sign) and a bottle of olive oil with hot peppers and herbs in it.

Oil for dipping
 This was not only beautiful to look at it was very tasty to dip the bread in.

We ordered 3 tapas dishes as we had a farewell lunch at the local pub at home and did not want to eat too much for dinner.

The first to come was Chorizo al Jerez -Iberian pork sausage in a light sherry sauce  which was $6.75

Chorizo al Jerez
This was a very flavourful and spicy sausage which tasted freshly cooked with slices of garlic and the sauce was begging to be mopped up with the bread.

Next to come was Portabello mushrooms with a creamy Gorgonzola sauce for 12.50.

Portabello mushrooms with gorgonzola sauce
OMG this was amazing, just the right amount of sharpness from the gorgonzola to cut the very creamy sauce.  It was a very generous serving with large slices of meaty portabello mushrooms, but we managed to eat it all and again bread was called for for the sauce.

The last dish Pinchito de Pollo - Chicken Skewers and aji-oil sauce was  $8.50 aji-oil is in fact a Spanish aoli, and was delicious

Chicken skewers
The chicken had a very good fresh charbroiled flavour and went well dipped in the aoli. These three dishes were just enough, we had a long flight ahead of us and did not want to start it feeling overstuffed. But we were certainly satisfied.

All the dishes co mingling on my plate
All in all a very good meal more than I hoped for when wandering aimlessly looking for a restaurant. On talking to the waiter they also have Peruvian food every Sunday evening.  On checking the menu they have papa rellena which was my last daring cooks challenge.  Maybe we should stop off there on the way home to try their version.

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