So a lot of people have heard of tapas and associate it with Spain. In Rota though they are really catering to American military (the Spanish military came out on the other side of the base in a different town). So not so much tapas. In fact I don’t ever remember going to a tapas bar while in Rota. The things we did have were not what you would expect. First there were loads of sandwich shops, particularly to cater to late night eating after hitting the town. You could find a shop at 3 o’clock in the morning easy. Other than serving sandwiches, always warm, you could also get a tortilla Espanola or Spanish omelet. I loved these. you take boiled potatoes, onions and eggs and cook it flat on both sides for what was like a giant potato cake. This and a ham sandwich were my favorites for late night.
A really popular place that sold sandwiches, also sold the best fried rice I have ever had in my life. In fact they ruined fried rice for me all together. It was rice, duh, little shrimp, deli ham, peas, carrots, onions, eggs, and I don’t know what else. It was soooooo good. I often wonder if it is still there.
Another really good place was an Italian joint. Not your Americanized Italian that you see here, but it was either real Italian or had a Spanish twist. I don’t know since I never made it to Italy. They had this really spicy dish that I loved, and chopped up sauteed mushrooms on toast, and spinach.
The other thing that was really popular for those in a hurry in the daytime was rotisserie chicken. These thinks just spun round and round dripping their fat on the chickens below. Couldn’t have been healthy but it was also good.
Some things that you wouldn’t see in Spain, at least in Rota are beef and corn. The only place for a hamburger or a steak was on the base. Now on the Spanish side there was a McDonald’s I went to once. This is when you wish you had been somewhere with some sense under your belt. It never occurred to me to look and see what was different on the menu, but just ordered a filet of fish and chomped it down. Might have been interesting!
The last thing I really liked was Lemon Kas. It was a lemon soda that wasn’t overly sweet. There was orange too, but that was too sweet for me. Although not nearly as sweet as a Fanta or Sunkist or Crush here in the states.
I do remember if you went to a sit down dinner, which we never did hardly, you would get marinated olives, carrots, and cheese as a starter. That was like your bread. I would love to get my hands on those carrots, best ever. But that was about it. Oh, there was a German bar and a British bar that served based on those nation’s foods.
At rooftop parties at a Spanish family’s home you would also be served snails. Not the big ones you usually see, but little bitty ones. You just reach in grab a handful and then suck them out of the shell. Again, wish I had been older and more adventurous as I never had these.
OH!!! How can I forget pinchitos! They are marinated bits of pork, skewered and cooked. Very popular and again very yummy. You can order on Amazon the spices for the pinchitos, I have it I just haven’t made it yet. It comes from England, but is very reasonable. So you can see that the Spanish delicacies were lacking. But that was okay since what I was offered was still good.
Have a great day!