Sunday, June 22, 2014

Paella Sunday

Passing Jaleo, a Spanish tapa restaurant on my way for beach volleyball, I passed by Jaleo, a Spanish tapa restaurant. I do like tapas, and was curious about the restaurants. My friend tells me the restaurant has a special Sunday menu, where it's 20 USD for all the paella you can eat. What? All you can eat paella? I need to go there.

So after some good fun in the sun, it was about lunch time. I mentioned the exciting new information about all you can eat paella and the next thing I know, we were all heading towards Jaleos. Jaleos is a restaurant under Jose Andres, who has many other nice looking restaurants and also a food truck (which I should try soon). While the meal was expensive for the budget I have, the paella was delicious.

Jaleo at Crystal City is a pretty big.

Jaleos is not a cheap place to eat, while the paella Sunday deal is 20 USD, tapas all cost around 10-15 USD and you'll need 3-4 tapas to fill you. It's not a place an intern like me can visit frequently, so it's really is a little splurge for me. But I love food, so I went for it. The paella Sunday menu includes a soup, a salad, all you eat paella, and a dessert. We also ordered Sangria, because it seems a summer Spanish meal needs Sangria. With the the recommendation of the waitress, we got a white Sangria.

White Sangria

The soup was a cold soup, and probably the first cold soup I have ever had... I don't recall having cold soup anywhere else since it is not something I would order. The cold soup was received differently by the people at our table, some complained it was too sour. While I still like soup to be hot, the cold soup wasn't bad, it has a strong taste of tomatoes and garlic, and vinegar.
Salad and cold soup and a pretty mosaic table.

There were four choices of salad, and all have a sherry dressing that was pretty good. I enjoyed my salad, and somehow an extra once got delivered to our table and I ate half of that, too.

Since there were seven of us, we got two full paellas delivered to our table side. Even when there's only two people at the table, you still get a full paella. And we're talking big paella pots here. There were two flavors to choose from: a chicken and mushroom, and a vegetable one. Both were delicious, and the mushrooms and chicken were generous. Our table in the end finished three paellas. Many people think of paella as the yellow rice filled with seafood, but that is not entirely correct. Paella is the rice dish and it can be made with any ingredients you like, so the yellow one dyed yellow with saffron and filled with seafood, or the brown one of chicken and mushrooms, they are all paellas. Paella has rice that feels like it is entirely cooked, it's a little bit hard in the middle still, but it has absorbed all the flavor of the stock it is cooked it.
Here comes our paella, two big pots, just for us.

Alioli, garlic mayo, is provided as well, though I think the paella itself is rich enough.

Lastly, dessert, and I was pleased with lovely flan. Somehow I was worried that dessert was going to disappoint me, probably because I have had several experiences where the food was lovely and the dessert was disappointing. But Jaleo is a fancy restaurant, and their dessert matched up to everything I had had earlier. The flan was super creamy, and even the whipped cream next to flan was flavored carefully with some spices I guess to be orange peel or liquor, vanilla, and maybe some cinnamon as well. The cream was so yummy that everyone ate the cream; usually people at my table leave the cream that is just decoration and calories, but here at Jaleos, it's part of the meal.
Lovely, lovely dessert.

In the end I spent a total of 32 USD, with the tax and tip and Sangria. No restaurants for me for a while.

By the way, before I end this post, Paella Sunday is only available at the Jaleo at Crystal City, so don't go running to the other Jaleo.

Outdoor seating if you feel like it. I didn't.

250-A Crystal Drive
Arlington, VA 22202

t. 703-413-8181

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