Saturday, January 23, 2016

We Are Still Craving The Shrimp From Mas Tapas

After hearing about Mas Tapas in Charlottesville for years, we finally went. Muy deliciosa!

Mas Tapas
Mas Tapas
We arrived on a dreary late afternoon right before they opened and a line had already started to form. About 30 minutes later most of the seats were taken and an hour later folks were standing around waiting. Due to the weather they all stood around at the crowded bar. While the bar is long and would have been a great spot to watch the kitchen in action, the onslaught of the incoming hungry (and thirsty) masses made us grateful that we were at a table.

Bar Seat
Th bar before the storm of people
Our waitress was lovely and brought us some marinated olives to savor while we looked at the menu. A sheet of paper listing all of the options lay before us and we were to mark which dishes we wanted similar to a sushi menu. The list was long, and lots of items caught our collective eye. Our waitress was patient and went on to explain that usually tapas meant small plates, but the owners were from the deep south and portions were usually a bit more generous.

We continued to peruse and ordered a cherry muddled old fashioned to tide us over. Usually, I avoid old fashioneds because I don't want sugar added to my bourbon. In this case, the cherries added just a hint of sweetness, no additional sugar added. Best old fashioned ever, for me.

Okay, we now had our thoughts together to order. Here were a few of the dishes that posed somewhat good enough for the camera.

Carne Asada
Grilled steak with a smokey tomato sauce. Only served medium rare. Nice char on the outside. A thick piece of flatbread arrived with the dish. I'm not sure why. We both took one bite and thought it was bland and mealy. The beef was much better.
Bocadillo Jamon
Iberico ham and Manchego cheese with crusty bread. Simple, but satisfying. I had to deconstruct my sandwich so I could dip the bread in the olive oil that graced our table.
Gambas al' parilla
Grilled jumbo shrimp with garlic sauce. The star of the show. These guys were gigantic, meaty, and sweet. A bit messy because they did not want to give up their shells easily. Definitely worth the effort. When we go back this will be at the top of our list to order.

What a yummy night. While the place was busy we experienced great service. The menu holds even more tasty gems, and we plan on returning to try more (and to devour the shrimp again).

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