Chorizo, Albondigas, and Patatas, Oh My!

So here is the moment that you have all been waiting for. Another post. My sincerest apologies for not posting anything for more than a month, but I have my reasons:
1. I hate to write. Period.
2. I would always forget my camera. I can't write a post without giving you some proof that I actually did it.
3. Lately my life has been consumed by obsessive cooking/baking (bless the people who have been willing to eat what I've made), so I haven't really been going out too much. I suppose I'll blog about this later on.
4. I kind of forgot that I had a blog. (I only have three followers. Sad.)

But any way, this is not the reason why I'm apologize...I'm here to write about being in the city.

Now let me just tell you that right after Indian food, Spanish food (and maybe Moroccan food as well) is my favorite type of cuisine...oh hell, I love all kinds of food! What am I talking about? My friend Colleen and I spent one month in Spain last summer, and the food was just amazing! I don't think I've ever eaten so much pork in my life! (After that trip, I have declared that my favorite type of meat is now pork.) **To all the vegetarians out there who are reading this and are offended by my love and devotion of meat, feel free to
leave this website at any time.** Colleen and I even tried to smuggle some pork back into the US, only to have hers confiscated by customs, leaving her in tears. (Mine made it through fortunately.) But I digress.

So several nights ago, Colleen and I decided to relive part of the Spanish experience and go to Bilbao, a really good Spanish restaurant in the U-District. Now just because it's named Bilbao doesn't mean they only serve dishes that are from Bilbao (a city in Northern Spain). Instead, their dishes can be found all over Spain. But I'm not complaining.

We usually go to Bilbao (the restaurant) during happy hour, but decided to go there for dinner because they have live music on Saturdays. The people there are always so nice, and it is a great place for us to practice our, shall I say, "deteriorating" Spanish skills.

Every time we go, the very first thing we do once we sit down is order una copa de sangría (a glass of sangria). According to Wikipedia, sangría in Spanish means "bloodletting" in English. (Who knew?)

Anyhoo, that night, we decided to stick to tapas (always a classic choice)...chorizo al Jerez, patatas bravas, albóndigas, and queso frito. And of course, I'm saying all of this with the infamous acento español.

Let me start with the chorizo al Jerez. Succulent slices of pork sausage swimming in a sea of olive oil and garlic. Now, It's not exactly like the thin-sliced cured and smoked chorizo that I've become accustomed to eating in Spain, but I will tell you that this chorizo al Jerez was pretty damn delicious. Pair it with a few slices of pan (bread) and you've got yourself a meal (or shall I say, tapa).

Next, the albóndigas. Sad to say, they were quite pathetic. It was basically just like meatballs in a marinara sauce. The meatballs weren't even very juicy. I've had way better albóndigas in España, or better yet, I'll bet I could probably make better albóndigas than Bilbao. (The secret to juicy meatballs...bread & milk...I won't tell you what to do with it though...because then it wouldn't be a secret.)

The patatas bravas. Probably the best thing that they serve in this restaurant (other than the sangria). I will say that the patatas bravas in this restaurant tasted EXACTLY like the patatas bravas in Spain. No lie. Deep-fried potatoes covered in this spicy (but not too spicy), creamy sauce. If you plan on eating at this restaurant, ORDER THIS. You won't regret it.

And finally, the queso frito. Now, I've never eaten this when I was in Spain, but it's surprisingly really good! Colleen and I are sometimes a little wary about trying new things at this place, mainly because we are just so hooked on our usuals, but now I think we can add this to our list. It is exactly what it says: fried cheese. Pan fried goat cheese over caramelized onions, pine nuts, and raisins. You may be thinking, "fried goat cheese"? But let me tell you the tangy-ness of the cheese balances with the sweetness of the onions. And because it's fried, it's just crispy on the outside and gooey on the's like a party in your mouth! (Forgive me for the terrible photography skills.)

Well shit, I think I wrote too much. Let me just add a few other favorite dishes that I think you should consider: jamón serrano and gambas al ajillo.

Thank goodness we live so close to this restaurant...because by the time we left, we were so full, that a nice brisk walk back home didn't hurt.

Bilbao on Urbanspoon