- Ceviche Tapas Bar and Restaurant, 125 West Church Street, Orlando, FL www.ceviche.com
I happen to go there on a Tuesday. Immediately, I realize that it’s the right day to go. “This is our Tapas Tuesday Menu” the waitress says as I take a seat. “You can chose among thirty different ‘frias’ or ‘caliente’ tapas, sangria, mojito or dessert for $4”. I goggle. I have been told great things about Ceviche, a Tapas Restaurant that presents Northern Spain and Catalan cuisine, and, striving to maintain its authenticity, imports most of the products from the Iberian peninsula.
I order a Ceviche Island Mojito even before opening the menu. It’s only $4. Mt. Gay Eclipse Rum, muddled with mint and fresh lime, refreshes my mind while I pick up my Tapas. Chorizo y Pimientos, five types of chorizo sausage sliced with roasted tomatoes and sweet peppers arrives first. As hard as I try, I cannot distinguish any of the five different kinds of meat. The sauce, a mix of sweet and salty, is really tasty and doesn’t allow my palate to capture nuances that subtle. It is, however, still able to recognize good food. And this certainly is. Only $4?!
My second tapas is not as gratifying. Sold as “Patatas Bravas tossed with homemade aioli”, this dish comes as a side of diced French fries drowned in mayo and a little paprika powder. At the first bite I feel cheated. An exotic name to hide an average fast food item. Had they mentioned it on the menu I wouldn’t have ordered it. By the way… it was just $4…
Fortunately my entree makes up for it. The Filetito the waitress recommended is truly impeccable. Beef tenderloin arranged on a warm bruschetta, garnished with peppers, onions and crumbled blue cheese. I can’t decide what I like better: the bread soaked with a meaty juice, or the succulent slices of steak spangled with cheese drops? …They’re both delicious.
At this point I could be ready to ask for the check, but from the bottom of the Tapas Menu the Tres Leches heading shows up. I linger for a while… but, for only $4, dessert can’t be a mistake. I get a big portion of cake soaked in a creamy syrup, made with condensed milk, evaporated milk and heavy cream (the three “leches”).
The paste is moist but dense, the flavor extremely rich but not overloaded. The sugar is attenuated by a squirt of nutmeg and some fresh berries. Mmmhhh… so good! While I am savoring my last spoonful, I almost get carried away by the $4 thing. “Maybe I should try the flan. It’s just…”. I bit my tongue. Fortunately, I have my limits too.
It could have been better if… I hadn’t ordered the potatoes. But they were just $4…