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February 25, 20124.0
This restaurant bills itself as Spanish, but also offers Portuguese and French cuisine on the menu. Paella is the specialty, one whole page of the menu is dedicated to the rice and seafood dish. Various combinations of fish and meat are available, plus a custom version can be made to suit anyone.
The paella meals, like the daily specials, come with soup or salad, dessert, and coffee or tea. It was difficult to decide, but those on a budget will have a hard time finding a meal under $20.
On Saturdays apparently there is live music and a flamenco dancer, but I was there on a weeknight so there was no entertainment. Service was unhurried but petered out near the end of my stay (nearly 3 hours long), but a very large group had come in and took up about half the seating.
I must give you a heads up about the bathroom. It is at the bottom of a flight of stairs, which are hidden behind a curtain. Once you get in, it will be toasty warm thanks to the large heater, but a very tight squeeze. Only slightly roomier than in an airplane!
Chicken and mussels: about 6 mussels and a few big meaty chunks of chicken, cooked on the bone. The dish looked shallower than in other restaurants, but it was a very flavorful and filling meal. A little on the salty side.
It is very easy to fill up on these crunchy little guys. They sit there on the table so temptingly. Add a dot of butter, or float them in soup.
The soup of the day, a mixed vegetable soup, thin and bland with a yellowish color and mostly peas. A dash of freshly ground pepper was a nice touch; floating some croutons in the soup made a bigger improvement.
It may be just a commercial slab cake square, with a coulis drizzle on the plate. But it was a very good cake, dark and moist.
These dishes from the El Gitano menu are contributed by Menuism users directly, as part of a restaurant review, or as part of an image upload.