Best Tapas - 2011
The term tapas derives from the Spanish verb tapar, "to cover." This jibes with at least one history of tapas, which has it that the snack originated as pieces of bread that Andalusians placed atop their sherry glasses to prevent fruit flies from diving in. Sometimes meat, such as ham or chorizo, were used as well; the saltiness increased beverage sales. Another version claims King Alfonso X of Castille, after recuperating from illness via a diet of wine with small dishes of food, decreed that all taverns must serve small bites with drinks. A third rendition of the word's origin is that the owner of El Bocaito, which took over the former Xixón space on Coral Way, invented them last year. Granted, this last theory hasn't gained much traction among historians, but head to this cozy Spanish taverna and sample the chorizo al infierno (with red wine), pulpo vinaretta (marinated octopus), bolaitos de cangrejo (crab fritters), salmorejo Cordobés (cold soup with egg and Serrano ham); almejas a la marinera (baby clams in white wine sauce), or any of the extensive selections ($5 to $12 each), and you're liable to forget about prior versions. This is especially true if you have a few glasses of wine with your meal.