Linda's a vegetarian, and Spain can't boast to be the best place in the world to eat out if you're not a meat (or fish) eater. But it's not the worst...
We were skiing in France a few years ago, staying at a mid-range hotel. The evening meal arrived: Meat and two veg. Linda explained that she had advised the hotel about her dietary requirements and had been told it wouldn't be a problem. So the meal was taken back... only to return within 60 seconds with the meat missing from the plate. So, two veg and a tell-tale scrape of gravy for dins. (I have to report, the meat wasn't actually up to much. Reminded me of the Fawlty Towers scene, two diners (not) complaining about the quality of the meat, 'Oh, there's a nice bit, see?')
Then there was that time we were in Eastbourne for the tennis, staying at a 'traditional' B'n'B. Breakfast time.
Proprietor (Tall man, military bearing, reminded me a bit of Basil): 'Full English breakfast for you two?'
Linda: 'No, I'm a vegetarian.'
Proprietor (with no hint of irony, sarcasm or any other 'traditional' signs of British humour): 'Oh, what a shame...'
I'm not making this up. If I could, I'd surely be writing for the BBC myself!
So, back in España, we're on the look-out for vegetarian fayre and tonight we're in the city of Valencia at Copenhagen, Cocina Vegetariana.
The menu is completely vegetarian, and a pretty full one at that. You can view it in its entirety (and in English) at their website, along with map and contact details:
We arrived just before 9pm on a Friday night and were offered the only table available (which was reserved by others for 10pm). So we ordered quickly: Patatas bravas; wild mushroom and toasted hazelnut croquettas; gorgonzola, nut and fig croquettas; hummus with arabic bread; pistacho, advocado and strawberry salad; and some mini veggie burgers.
These were all from the 'tapas' and 'primeros' parts of the menu, but if you have more time than we had, there's also a pretty full selection of 'segundas' plus 'postres' and even three dishes for the niños (quorn nuggets, mini veggie burgers or veggie sausages; all with chips, salad and ketchup!)
Having waded through the food pages, it was a surprise to find that the wine and beer sections were even longer, with a very good selection of Valencian 'artesana' beers and wines outnumbering the 'international' offerings.
Our tapas arrived and were very generous in size; it didn't take us too long to realise that we'd over-ordered by a couple of dishes. The salad was especially monumental.
I guess what all vegetarians will want to know is would we recommend the place. Well, all our dishes were empty by 9:55, so it's a yes from Linda (the vegetarian) and a yes from me (the hanger-on). As you can see from the menu there's a huge variety of food on offer, and we were very impressed by the quality (and the quantity!)
So, our verdict? We'll certainly go again, but next time with a reservation. That way we'll be able to explore beyond the tapas and primeros parts of the menu.
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