Saturday, March 18, 2006

Adeus Sra. Maria

Today we bid a sad farewell to Sra. Maria who passed away suddenly earlier this week. As we grieved amongst a church full of mourners and the chanteuse sweetly sang Ave Maria, I was vividly replaying the last time we spoke. Her infectious smile is forever ingrained within me and I sob no more.

After the service we headed for Stella's on the Drive (previously known as Santos Tapas - another much mourned Portuguese icon) with some friends, where we enjoyed a very tasty chorizo dog served with caramelized onions, lightly drizzled with mustard and mayo along with a side of frites and citrus aioli.

So here's the thing...one would never find a chorizo in Spain served with mustard and mayo or call a citrus infused mayonnaise an aioli if it didn't have garlic as a main ingredient. Having said this, the eats were dee-lish and the service primo, so Stell-aaahhh, you're forgiven for your clever twists on Spanish classics.

Always impressive is the 10-Step Belgian beer serving ritual of Stella Artois, the restaurant's namesake. A seat at the bar is highly recommended if you haven't had the honour of this lip-smacking beer served "just so" - in a Stella Artois Chalice Glass with a three centimeter head and at three degrees Celsius. Even in the dead of winter, this Belgian star warms the heart.

Speaking of Belgians...I must relay one of Jesee's childhood stories about a Belgian family who vacationed regularly in Mallorca. His father, Francisco was famous throughout the town of Soller for his caracoles, and invited his newfound friends home for a tasty delicacy of snails. Madame was so zealous for this dish that she insisted on the recipe, which the late Francisco happily obliged.

Upon seeing them again a short time later, Francisco inquired of the success of her caracoles. Madame replied, "I followed your recipe as you instructed, but it did not taste the same, as the snails that I used did not have houses."

Can we say eewww?!!