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Meze, Tapas, and Street Food…Oh My!

Continuing the culinary adventures of London, I’ve decided small plates are the best thing since sliced bread.

Or peanut butter and dill pickles together.

I know small plates aren’t a new trend, but this trip was the first time I’d had them several times and it confirmed my love for them.

If you’re anything like me, you look at a menu and can never decide what to order.

“Hmm…I feel like fish but that steak sounds so good. No, wait.  I want that salad.  Maybe the salad and the steak.  What are you having?  What do you recommend?”

The best part of having a few small plates is getting to try and sample so much.

That sounds good.  So does that.  Oh, that too.  You can order it all and try it!

*Now would be a good time to mention all these stops did not occur in one day.  Someone would have had to roll me onto the airplane home.*

The first small plate excursion was to The Real Greek where the small plates are know as meze.

There isn’t much about Mediterranean food that I don’t love.  We ordered tiers of hot and cold meze that included flatbread, htipiti (feta dip), revithia (chickpeas with herbs), watermelon with mint and feta, grilled halloumi (amazing cheese), and pork belly with paprika & red onion.

Then it started to rain. What do you do when it rains in London and you don’t have umbrellas for the walk home?

Tell the waitress to keep the meze coming.

Round two consisted of Loukaniko country sausage with smoked chili relish, grilled calamari with a honey & paprika marinade, and grilled asparagus with honey & saffron.

It was so good I wanted to start smashing plates and shout “Opa!”  The only way to top that meal would have been to have some Bonk cake.  If you’ve seen My Big Fat Greek Wedding you understood that.

Next stop on the international small plates tour was Tapas Revolution.

I think Spanish tapas might be the best known small plate tradition.  My mom and I split the shared menu of bread with garlic mayo, Spanish omelette with potato & garlic, paella, chorizo, spiced lamb meatballs, and roasted potatoes in tomato sauce.  Check out this spread!

I’m on the lookout for little ceramic dishes like this and foresee a tapas party in my future.

After a jump back to North America, the final stop on the small plates journey was to Wahaca, a Mexican street food restaurant.

The name is just so fun to say.  I could see myself naming my next dog Wahaca.  Just kidding.

You should know that my middle name is Mojito.  Not really.  It’s actually Kate but I love mojitos.

Therefore I have radar precision when it comes to spotting lime and mint together, especially on a drink menu.  Since it was 11am in London and only 5am in the US when we ate at Wahaca, I went for the the citrus fizz which was crushed lime, mint leaves, and sparkling water.

For lunch I had the chorizo & potato quesadilla (do you see a chorizo theme here?).

Chicken tinga mini tacos

And grilled corn with lime, cheese, sour cream, and chili powder.  I really love Mexican style corn.  It needed to be said.

You know what else is cool about Wahaca?  You get this with your bill.  Any guesses?

My mom thought they were matchsticks the first time my parents ate there, only to find out they are jalapeno seeds to plant at home.  How cool is that?!?

So there you have it.  All those flavors and dishes with little bites along the way.  I think it’s a really refreshing and casual way to eat a meal as opposed to a large, over sized portion!

Now if I could just find chorizo, grilled Mexican corn, and revithia in one place…

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Writer of recipes. Storyteller with a food twist. Sarcasm/humor served on the side.

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