The hallmark of a truly great meal is the undeniable presence of conversation. This dialogue is one that is not centered on interaction, but one that focuses mainly on the food.
If you’re an avid watcher of shows on the Food Network and TLC like I am, you’ll notice that the part where the host partakes in a meal is never quiet. He/she often takes time to describe the taste of the food between each bite, making sure to be very, very specific. I used to think that they did this so that viewers at home could somehow have ‘a taste’ of what the host was eating. By describing the flavors, the audience could understand why the food which the host ate was something of note. But then, there came a point when I realized that there was more to this then simply describing tastes for the sake of TV.
Good food is worth talking about. You know you’ve eaten somewhere special when you’re too excited that you end up talking about your food in between bites. An atypical, so-so meal would oftentimes be discussed post-lunch or post-dinner, but a special meal is one that is worth instant conversation. Why? Because good food is hard to come by. The taste of good food is twice as elusive.
Such was exemplified when I was granted the opportunity to partake of a delectable dinner at ‘Alba’, a well-known Spanish restaurant along Tomas Morato. The descriptions below are accompanied by the appropriate photographs, taken during dinner. I have but one piece of advice upon reading the succeeding passages: immerse yourself, entice yourself, relax. And then, go eat at Alba. Trust me, you won’t regret it.
A. Medium rare roast beef and buttered vegetables
Where can I even begin to describe this sumptuous third plate? The beef tasted like an instant orgasm: brief, euphoric and desirable. The melt in your mouth experience is something worth reliving, just like the taste of magic. Eating a slice of roast beef is almost like taking a thirty-second trip through a euphoric pseudo-reality, an experience that culminates in the satisfaction of a trip down one’s hungry esophagus.
The broccoli is thick, fresh, and bathed just right in a tub filled with tasteful butter. One need be careful though, when selecting vegetables from the buttered vegetable buffet: if you pick out the over buttered veggies, you’re going to end up with a mouth full of oil (unhealthy).
B. Buttered vegetable, mushroom risotto and sausage
The sausage was not one of the better parts of this plate. As mentioned in the previous passage, the vegetables were a delectable treat. The risotto tasted special: unique, and slightly special. I’ve only tasted risotto once before, and I have to say this risotto tasted a hundred times better. No overbearing flavors ruined the taste of this difficult dish, and we are left with tempered yum: well-balanced flavors, delicious taste, and an all-around rice dish that would make the Italians proud.
I apologize if my brief passages have not provided enough reason for you to want to go to Alba for a meal. Yet, I’m sure there will come a point when you will be in search of authentic taste, authentic atmosphere, and a craving for genuine paella. When that point comes, I implore you to not go all the way to Promenade for a disappointing experience at Las Paellas (I’m sorry, I was disappointed). Instead, visit Alba first. Alba is the perfect place to become acquainted with Spanish cuisine, believe me. There’s no better place to go. 😉