Castanets, machine-gunning heels, flying feet, and bantam-rooster posturing, I've loved flamenco since the first time I saw José Greco. I'm moved by sinuous women and masterful men striking poses to guitar arpeggios and the staccato punctuation of castanets, and by the keening wail of the cante jondo, the auditory umbilicus that joins North Africa and the Iberian Peninsula. Siguiriyas, bulerias, and even Sevillanas, I love every Andalusian cliché of it. I also love tapas, the nibbles that become a meal, and bars that recall the smoke-filled tascas near the Plaza Mayor in Madrid or off Calle Sierpes in Seville, classless haunts where patrons stand ankle deep in discarded paper napkins, sausage rinds, and shrimp shells while debating the latest corrida. Here friends can share thick-rimmed glasses of purple-tinged wine or chilled copitas of Tio Pepe while munching flaked bits of manchego cheese or an earthenware cazuela of angulas, sublime baby eels that look like... More >>>
By Michael Kenneth Lopez
Spanish clichés in every combination are the currency at Alegrias, as on this tapas platter.