Tried to go to Boqueria last night. Sigh. Should have known that the recent great review in the Times could have made Thursday night a madhouse.

So still in the mood for something tapas-y, we ambled over to Pipa in the ABC store. The place was packed but there we two seats at the bar that had our names on it.

I hadn’t been back to Pipa in at least a year. Last time was with my dear friend Alonso and his family who were visiting from Mexico. There was live music and a table of shared food, all except me of course. I remember that this troubled Alonso’s father greatly; that I wasn’t eating enough or couldn’t have the seafood paella, or pretty much anything else fishy they ordered. I just kept getting plates of tortilla espanola. Allergies seemed to be a difficult concept that didn’t translate so well in Spanish; of course, sometimes I doesn’t translate so well in English either.

So fast forward a year later, and I figured that since the tortilla hadn’t killed me that time, I’d be okay last night with one exception: the place was loud and I was eating at the bar, which means no intimate conversation with the waitstaff to tell them how not to kill me.

So I was forced to do a sexy leaning thing over the great stone expanse of the bar. I’m sure that’s what got me a free glass of wine. I whispered sweet allergen-free nothings to our incredibly sexy bartender and over the din he seemed to get the point: no nuts, no fish or I will get very sick.

The dishes that arrived were yummy: a very simple organic potato soup and a freshly made tortilla. Upon reflection, i.e. once my two dishes arrived, I realized I over potatoe-d. But everything was tasty, the bar was hopping and the wall streeters next to us were buying us bottles of Dom Perignon so I can’t complain.

If I wanted a full, fabulous completely allergen-free meal, I wouldn’t run to any tapas joint—fish is a heavy component of that area’s cuisine. However, for a really fun evening, I’d head back to Pipa.


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