The cutest flat white I’ve ever had, and Valencian mussels, finally!

I had the chance to visit La Manera, which I eyed on a former trip to Valencia but didn’t have time to stop at, and it just didn’t disappoint! First I got the cutest flat white I’ve ever been served, then a really yummy granola (I really liked the mint leaves-it was a surprisingly good flavour pairing) 😋

Granola (with mint leaves)

I will say the tablespoon they brought was way too big to eat without spilling everything out though, so I ended up using the coffee spoon.

Later we visited La Pilareta. We had been there almost a year ago, but mussels weren’t available as it wasn’t the right season. This time we were lucky and we could FINALLY have our Valencian mussels! (Plus other delicacies)

Valencian mussels, at least!

Mussels are called clotxines in Valencian, and that’s why the bar is called La casa de les clotxines, ie “the house of mussels”.

Bravas (of course!)
Calamares

The batter in these calamari was nicely thin, yum!

Burgers, horchata and tapas (not necessarily at the same time!)

After my slightly-delayed-in-every-sense-but-not-enough-to-claim-compensation flight finally landed, things became a bit of a whirlwind and so my hopes for live blogging went away… so here we are!

We had a burger at Black Turtle, the “caloret burger”. The name of this burger is such an excellent example of Valencian sense of humour 😂

Caloret burger

A former mayor once delivered a really confusing and bewildering speech when inaugurating the Fallas. “Caloret” was one of the most prominent words in this public performance, and it didn’t take long for people to start making fun of it (and also using it as inspiration to create all sorts of memes… and eventually a burger, of course! 😂).

Here for you to watch:

El caloret!!

We also had a horchata. I had a “mixta”, which is 50% iced, 50% liquid horchata. The best!

We tried a place called Palao for dinner. The food was really yummy and the ingredients felt fresh and tasty! Good find (although there were lots of serious contestants in the same street, and we were agonising as to which one to choose).

Croquetas

These were so comforting and delicious 😋

Lukewarm octopus stew

There was a touch of warm spice here, but not so much that you can’t cope with it if you’re Spanish AND not used to spices. Very tasty and serving it lukewarm was a great idea as it was the right temperature: too cold and you can’t taste the flavour; too hot and it becomes overpowering.

Calabrese salad

These tomatoes tasted wonderfully sweet and tomatoey! Not sour and dusty. Best tomatoes I’ve eaten in a long time…!

Sorry if I made you hungry 😇

Paella (traditional Valencian style)

Valencian Paella
Valencian Paella

Paella is a very simple dish that Valencian peasants would cook using cheap, fresh and widely available ingredients. Yet despite its innate simplicity, people repeatedly misunderstand and complicate it, causing us Valencians a great deal of stress in the process, because we know it could be so much better and yet people keep insisting on bastardising our national dish in every possible way! 😭

Also if you, like me, do not live in Valencia and hence do not have access to some of the “niche” local ingredients, I will also provide acceptable replacements that follow the original spirit. I live in the UK, so my suggestions will reflect what I can find in local markets and supermarkets. If it’s not in my list, it quite probably is not acceptable, so don’t add it 😜

Hope you enjoy it!
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