Tuesday, March 14, 2006

pimientos de padron at brindisa tapas bar

after a few hours of browsing around borough market wide-eyed on saturday, i was ready for some snackitos spanish style at brindisa, a tapas bar located right near the entrance to the underground at london bridge. what i wasn't ready for was champagne and wine which everyone else seemed to be washing down over a late lunch. it felt like being in spain already!

i was reunited with my new best friend, the pimiento de padron, which i've heard is becoming quite popular even as far west as san francisco. i encountered it only one other time at a tapas bar in clerkenwell but have been quite taken up with it ever since. i read online about zarzuela,one of my most favourite restaurants in san francisco, serving crispy padron peppers deep fried in olive oil and sprinkled with kosher salt. that's exactly how i had them on saturday afternoon at brindisa. they're not exactly the spiciest peppers around. in fact, they actually taste a little sweet. but every now and then you bit into a spicy pod and therein lies the fun.

delicious as they were, i couldn't survive on pimientos de padron alone so i also ordered a salad of greens and roasted beets.

so brindisa is where the naked chef gets his recipe idea of roasted beets from! the soft and flavbourful beets were delicious and they reminded me of shopping for beets of all varieties at the green market in manhattan.

Shopping at Union Square Farmer's Market

to be perfectly honest, the beets are brindisa were much better cooked than when i have made this dish. i get impatient and pull them out of the oven sooner than i am supposed to. 45 min for roasting beets is just so excruciatingly long, no?!

brindisa has a fantastic selection of tapas. the atmosphere is so cheerful and the crowd a bit boisterous. i felt transported to spain at least till i walked out and had to confront the horrible english weather.


Blogger cal said...

Ooh I love those padron peppers in Brindisa as well - it's the russian roulette thing of never knowing quite when a spicy one is going to hit. And that combination of bitterness and saltiness is positively addictive.

7:58 pm  
Blogger Lulu said...

hi cal,
great to hear that the padron peppers has another big fan! i love spanish tapas. would you please recommend some other spanish tapas restaurants in london..

8:20 pm  
Blogger cal said...

I'd love to but I've only been to a couple of others and they don't stand out in my memory.


7:58 pm  
Blogger BoriquaLulu said...

Hi Lulu,

Okay, this is kind of freaky but my name is Lulu, I live in the Bay Area and happened upon your blog after doing a search for Pimientos de Padron. I've eaten PdP at Cesars in Berkeley, Bocadillos in the City, and Zarzuela. And not only can you buy Pimientos de Padron at the Ferry Plaza Farmer's Market, I have 12 seedlings in my kitchen awaiting planting in the yard. I hope to be harvesting my own PdP by the end of summer. And if I'm successful, I'll collect the seeds for next year.
You can also purchase PdP at The Spanish Table in Barkeley.
Lulu by the Bay

4:26 am  
Blogger Lulu said...

hi lulu by the bay,
oh my gosh, this is freaky indeed. you are the first lulu i am meeting in my entire life. if i were still in the bay area, i would have LOVED to meet you. zarzuella and bocadillos are two of my favourite restaurants in the bay area - i really miss those places. i'm really impressed that you are planning to harvest your own PdP. only in california! i hope you have lots of success for all your seedlings.

11:54 pm  
Blogger BB said...

I was on a business-trip last week and had lunch at brindisa tapas bar, it was really good.
I like the place around borough market - a nice place to live and work (except of the weather).
Also the business appointment was succesesful.
By the way, nice blog.

4:10 pm  

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