Greetings from Carrboro,
We couldn’t order it for the restaurant. So I’d stop at the store and buy it, usually early in the morning or late at night after the shift. The “Valentina Salsa Picante” with the yellow label has a certain flavor that is a requirement for our summertime steak sauce. And for the longest time, Food Lion was the only store that carried the large bottles. But with each trip and purchase I had to cringe.
Now, I’m not a food nazi. Or any sort of cultural warrior. But one night I broke; I had to tell someone. Because an aisle full of dried chilis, corn tortillas, pickled jalapeños, prayer candles, and canned beans cannot be labeled “Spanish Food.” No. Spain ≠ tacos. That’s Mexico. Looking back, I’m sure that the poor woman at the checkout completely glazed over before I even said the word “paella” much less after my lengthy – yet eloquent – closing dissertation on the rapture of gooseneck barnacles. She waited patiently until I was done. And when she asked, I had to be honest: No ma’am, I don’t have an MVP card.
Oh well. But that setback could never dim my love for the food of Spain. I’ve had amazing meals all over the peninsula. From grilled leeks and romesco with ice cold Cava watching the sun set in vineyards south of Barcelona to eating giant spider crabs, octopus, and percebes on the rugged Atlantic coast of Galicia. So it makes sense that the Acme Staycation World Tour would touch down in Madrid this week. Of course one meal could never do justice to the vast array of Spanish food; I have far too much sense than to joust with that windmill.
We crisscross the country. Farmers’ market gazpacho in Andalusia, a generous spread of Basque-styled pintxos, a seafood paella with scallops, clams, and grouper that would be right at home in Barcelona, and a sweet finish of churros with Spanish dipping chocolate when we get back to Madrid. Not bad. Not bad at all. We’re also featuring bottles of txakoli, the freshest, coldest dry sherry this side of the Atlantic, and – duh – sangria to wash it all down. And, hey, if you want the full effect, just wait and eat your dinner at midnight.
If you’re looking for a distinctly more Southern summer vibe this weekend – or just to add a little Carolina del Norte to your Spanish Staycation – the Acme Tomato Plate is back in all it’s summertime splendor. Local tomatoes with fresh mozzarella, basil pesto, pickled summer squash, and deviled eggs. And – how could I resist – a fresh peach, blueberry, and blackberry cobbler. Served warm with whipped cream. Yum. In my book, the combo is sort of like summer squared. And beyond delicious.
To order, click here, choose your pick-up day (Friday-Sunday), then select the Staycation menu from the drop down.
Well, that’s all the news from Carrboro. The staff at Acme look forward to serving you soon.
The Staff at Acme