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Latin Quarter – Universal CityWalk

After another long day on our feet, we again headed out to CityWalk for dinner at Latin Quarter. It’s a pretty ginormous restaurant, with plenty of outdoor seating too. There’s a big stage also, but nothing was going on that night, except little kids running all around it. We were seated right below a giant tv screen playing latin music videos.
they have these weird contraptions in the middle of the table with coiled wires. It looks weird by itself, but then when you put wine bottles in it and a paper cone filled with bread, it makes a lot more sense. The warm bread is super good.
Here’s the shrimp and snapper ceviche – look how big it is! It’s marinated in lemon, lime, and orange juices and is served with jalapenos, tomatoes, red onions, cilantro, and green olives. We enjoyed this.
Here’s the guacamole, which was made tableside. This was pretty good, but apparently there were olives in it. I didn’t notice them, but some people found it gross. But the guacamole tasted pretty good and zesty to me. It came with plenty of chips and a little bowl of salsa.
Here’s the churrasco skirt steak. It’s grilled marinated skirt steak with chimichurri sauce over garbanzo frito and chorizo sausage. It looks pretty good but I heard it was a bit bland.
The roast pork loin, slow roasted and basted in cilnatro mojo, served with boniato mash, black beans, and mango puree. This one is without the boniato mash and with extra black beans.
Whenever paella is available, I pretty much have to get it. So here is the Paella de Latin Quarter. It’s a giant bowl of chorizo, scallops, shrimp, mussels, clams, squid, green peas, and roasted red peppers with spanish rice. This was certainly one of the weakest paellas I’ve ever had, but it was ok. There was plenty of seafood but the rice was pretty blah. The service was pretty decent and the food came out fairly quickly, considering how large the restaurant is.

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Latest Visit To Bar Ferdinand

We headed over to the Liberties Walk to have dinner at one of the newer restaurants. We didn’t end up going there, and ended up having dinner at Bar Ferdinand instead. One thing I love about Liberties Walk / the Piazza… the free parking! I’m not sure how long that will last, as I have a feeling that whenever the Pathmark goes up, the free parking will be gone. But in the meantime, I enjoy taking advantage of it. It was another beyond steamy night, so we got a table inside. I was kind of stunned that there were people eating outside. Unless you’re that addicted to smoking, it’s just not worth it! The tapas here comes out as it is prepared, so you don’t have any real courses. You just get your food as it’s ready.

Since it was so unbearably hot, if I had my choice, I would have eaten all cold dishes. Alas, the menu really didn’t have very many cold things, unless I just had salad or booze. Luckily for me, one of the specials of the day was a cold dish! Here’s the beautiful and delicious chilled local corn soup with peekytoe crab. Yes people, this was seriously yummy and luxuriously cold! It was really just want I wanted. I would have loved to have eaten a giant punch bowl worth of this. Heck, throw me in the bowl so I could cool off along with eating my way out of the bowl…

I had been craving short rib earlier that day, so I also lucked out with the Montadillo de Costilla – braised beef short rib and olive mashed potatoes with a pomagrante jus. The beef was super tender and fall off the bone and I enjoyed this whole dish immensely.

Here we have the Pastel de Pastor. It is sherry braised lamb, topped with harissa mashed potatoes, further topped with herbed breadcrumbs. It’s sort of like a lamb pot pie? It’s quite lamb-y, but still quite good.

Here is the Mejilliones con Chorizo y Fideos. This is a slightly bigger plate of sauteed mussels, chorizo, and fried capellini in a tomato and beer based sauce. I’ve had this before, and loved it, so I definitely wanted to get it again. The sauce is surprisingly strong and goes well with the mussels as well as the pasta. I could do without the chorizo, because I’m not that crazy about them in general, but it definitely works in this dish.

It was a weekend evening, so they had the outdoor paella. It’s mostly seafood, but there’s also some chicken in there. I don’t know very much about paella, but I know that I like it here. It’s not the largest portion, but it’s plenty for one person. The shrimp in here are ginormous! And I love the fact that there are fresh green beans in this. It’s definitely one of my favorite things to get here.

The last dish to come out was the least exciting. It took so long to show up that we secretly hoped they’d forgotten about it. But alas, it eventually did come out. Here’s the Samfaina. It is a little bake of zucchini, squash, plum tomato, ricotta cheese made from tofu, and sofrito. It was a perfectly fine dish, but neither of us was crazy about it. We would have preferred more cold soup!

I’ve always had good experiences here. The food has always been consistent, and the service tends to be quite good. Our server this night was particularly awesome. He was friendly, knowledgeable, and helpful.

Bar Ferdinand on Urbanspoon

Happy Birthday Bar Ferdinand

This weekend marked the 3rd birthday of our favorite tapas spot in northern liberties (are there any other ones?), Bar Ferdinand. To celebrate, they had discounted food, flamenco dancing, and free midnight paella. I was lucky enough to be invited to a special pre-party which sported some additional free food from neighboring restaurant El Camino Real, as well as free paella, way before midnight. We had some pork ribs from the real, which weren’t bad, but weren’t great either. I was absolutely starving, so I scarfed down a handful of these right quick, just to fill my belly. There were also some pulled pork things and guacamole. Holy guacamole! I know my first and last El Camino Real visit was highly disappointing, but for their guacamole, I would return. Swear to avocados. Excellent guacamole here folks. And the margaritas was delish too.

Absolutely the largest paella pan I’ve personally ever seen. And delicious too. What’s better than free paella served up by surly tattooed hipsters?

The flamenco was spot on. This was the last show of the night, right before the freakin monsoon.

Once the monsoon started, we were literally trapped inside Bar Ferdinand. So what do you do? You grab some beers and just hang out. We hung out for a long time. The rain would not let up or stop. Eventually, when it was just lightly raining, we ran and escaped. Certainly, there would be worse places to be stuck during a thunderstorm.

Bar Ferdinand on Urbanspoon

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