tapa of the week: doña croqueta exprés, ciudad real
When I first arrived in Ciudad Real, I asked around about places that served the best tapas. Several people mentioned Doña Croqueta. Needless to say, my expectations were pretty high when I finally got a chance to visit. It's worth noting that there are 2 Doña Croqueta (DC) locations in Ciudad Real (strangely enough, only 1 is listed on their website). The 'downtown' location near Calle La Mata is called Doña Croqueta Exprés - which I assume is because it's much smaller with fewer tables, and even a walk-up window outside. The menu at each location is also a bit different, with the 'uptown' location (near Calle Toledo) serving slightly more upscale (and pricier) dishes.
For my first visit, I met some friends at the DC Exprés, and we proceeded to order several rounds of cañas, each of which was accompanied by some truly gourmet tapas. The variety and quality of each dish was impressive and I could clearly see why DC was in the top of many people's list for best tapas in Ciudad Real. This is not to say that I enjoyed every item that came out, but I chalk that up to more of my personal tastes or dislikes, not necessarily any problem with the food itself.
|DC's namesake: croquetas|
|Grilled ribs with a raspberry sauce|
|One of the tapas I wasn't thrilled with - still pretty to look at though!|
Aside from the free tapas, DC Expres offers some delicious and affordable options on their regular menu. Since that first visit, I've been several more times, and have tried one of the artfully presented massively large sandwiches, and one of their gourmet tostas. Both are filling, expertly prepared, and a deal at around 5 euros each - especially if you share with a friend.
|A simple chicken sandwich gets upscaled with a perfectly cooked egg, crispy bacon, and artisan bread|
|Tosta featuring caramelized onion, goat cheese, arugula and bacon - riquisimo!|
|This little lady is going places.|
Doña Croqueta Exprés
Average Price : 1.50 euro for a caña.
My Rating: Good service, amazing gourmet tapas. Regularly crowded - especially on weekends. Go early. Go often.
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