18 Jan SPANISH STREET FOOD IN THE ARNDALE
I said it when I discovered SmokeShed and I’ll say it again, sometimes you can find delicious food where you least expect it. So today I’ll write about our foodventure at La Bandera Street Food, which, as you can probably guess, is a more casual version of their original restaurant, and was created inspired in markets that you can find in cities like Madrid and Barcelona (btw, we’re visiting Madrid again next month, so if you have any recommendations, send them my way!).
Anyway, I got the chance to talk to Yasmin while we were there and she told me all about their concept. They wanted to provide a real street food experience that was still truthful to Spanish cuisine. And yes, I know you’re thinking “oh, tapas!” but that’s not all they focus on.
Let’s see what we had.
I’m obsessed with croquettes, okay? OBSESSED. And these definitely surpassed my expectations.
You can taste the squid ink in every single bite, and they’re so incredibly creamy, yet crispy on the outside, I just wish I had like 10. The ink definitely took these to a whole other level, and I don’t know about you, but I’ve never seen croquettes like these before, so extra points for such a unique dish!
When I say I’m obsessed, I mean it. Last December when we went to Madrid (I don’t have any articles because G and I decided to spend time with our family and enjoy our days together) we ordered croquettes every.single.day so I’ve tried a few 😉
Yasmin suggested the bravas, and I just couldn’t say no.
These were flavourful and well seasoned. The texture was good, specially for being such big chunks of potatoes, and the combination of the two sauces provided a good balance. Our favourite sauce was the alioli, but the brava sauce was okay too. It wasn’t spicy by any means (and that comes from someone that cannot tolerate spice that much) so don’t be scared with the description.
I was incredibly intrigued by this burger, because I’ve never seen anything like it before. I found the idea of a squid ink infused bun really creative, so we decided to order it and taste it ourselves.
G went bananas over the calamari, and the alioli, of course, was delicious as with all the other dishes. The bun was a bit different from what I expected, so I’d stick with the calamari, which was seasoned perfectly, and the alioli (although I wish there was a bit more variety when it comes to sauces accompanying their dishes but hey, if it isn’t broken, don’t fix it right?).
They had me at ‘pan fried breaded pork’. I mean, what could go wrong with that?
The texture was amazing, as you can probably get from the photo, and the dish had a delicious homemade feel to it. It was really tasty, and completely different from what I usually expect when it comes to Spanish cuisine. It’s always great to try dishes that aren’t just the typical paella or tortilla de papa, just to go beyond what we’re used to eating and get a better feel of their culture.
One thing that I found really funny is that Yasmin, after we ordered everything, said that we definitely wouldn’t be leaving hungry, and the same thing happened to us when we were in Madrid. All of our servers back in December said “are you guys sure? that sounds like a lot of food”, and we always managed to surprise them when we finished everything on the table, and then ordered dessert. I think we just eat
a bit more than the average Spaniard 😉 with this I’m not saying I left La Bandera hungry, I’m just saying I still had room for dessert afterwards!
Anyway, if I had to pick my favourite part of our visit, it would definitely be their croquetas de chipiron. A really unique and delicious dish, and probably the thing that would make me go back and visit them over and over again!
Anyone else is fan of croquettes? If so, tell me your favourite place to eat croquettes in Manchester because I need to give it a go! You can send me your recommendations on Instagram (@michellelovestoeat), Twitter (@mlovestoeat), or Facebook (@michellelovestoeat). I always get excited when I hear from you, guys!
That’s it for today’s post, but be sure to follow me on Instagram if you want to see more foodventures. And this month I’m featuring great food deals in Manchester on my Instagram stories on a daily basis so follow me if you want to save some cash (and read this article too)!
Also, I’ll be going to Liverpool this Saturday for a foodventure there, so if anyone has any recommendations on things to do, send them my way 🙂 I’d be forever grateful for all the help I can get.
Thank you for reading and for your continuous support. I’ll talk to you soon!