Thanks to fellow foodies Roomie and AM, we were able to begin to sample some more expensive fare with the use of discount coupons! After dreaming about really good paella, we ventured on down to Cafe Español to sample there well-known paella.
We started off with fresh green olives. They were soaking in fresh olive oil and were very tasty. The flavor was smooth and slightly sour and salty, just how a good olive should be.
A very simple bread basket full of soft bread great with a smidgen of butter.
Our paellas came with a complementary salad of fresh greens. It was very cool and refreshing. It was also a huge portion!
These are Champinones Rellenos, or stuffed mushrooms. It was presented to us in a cast-iron platter and it was sizzling hot. The mushrooms were fresh and the stuffing was not too salty, very good for a dish that too often salted too heavily.
Next we got sauteed octopus. It was very good. The meat was not chewy, as I had expected it to be, but was rather firm and tender. It was nicely accented with garlic.
This is the Paella Marinara, paella with mussels, shrimp, scallops, and clams. H and Mic split this dish and said that it was good, though salty.
Here is the Paella Valenciana, paella with scallops, mussels, shrimp, clams, sausage, and salmon. The rice was very moist and had sweet peas spread throughout. The seafood was fresh, though I am not a big fan of gritty shellfish, sometimes. The salmon, however, was quite dry and I did not finish it. I was hoping that the salmon would be as moist as the accompanying rice. The whole dish, in general, was extremely salty for my taste and was, in the end, very disappointing.
After suffering through over-salted entrees, we hoped that the dessert would save the meal. Thankfully, the dessert was actually quite good. Here is the flan, which came with dollops of fresh whipped cream. The flan was very smooth and creamy and the caramel sauce was perfect.
Here are churros, dusted with powdered sugar, with a chocolate fondue. The churros were crispy and, when dipped in rich chocolate, they were so good. A great combination of chewy, crunchy, and soft textures and sweet and salty tastes.
Last, but not least, was the Tres Leches, a cake that is soaked in three different kinds of milk. I thought that this was quite good, but H said that he has had better tres leches before.
Overall, I was quite disappointed by this meal. I was expecting the paella to be better than it turned out to be. The dessert save the meal, slightly, but I do not know if I'd return to this place. Their menu, however, is vast, with many other options besides paella. If another coupon were to arise, I will perhaps return to Cafe Español.
Opinion: OK to try