In El Centro

29 Sep

Locals told us about an old grocery store in the El Centro neighborhood, called Casa Moreno. Down an alley near Plaza Nuevo we found it and an older Sevilla.

Big smiles from the owners who encouraged us, in Spanish, to sit at the counter with enthusiastic sign language of welcome. It reminded me of the little Italian markets in East Utica when I was a kid, the men drinking espresso, the old women dressed in black, clustered for their morning gossip.

One by one a single toaster oven produced all of the fresh tostadas, a breakfast sandwich of Iberian ham and local cheese on a soft roll. The cafe con leche was dark, bitter and, uncharacteristically ample.

As we were using sad Spanish to order, a sweet man came over to help us explaining what was the best. His wife got a big kick out of this. So did we.

The owner greeted everyone with a smile, a kiss or a handshake. Suits, heels, shorts and house dresses really didn’t matter. The walls are covered in bullfighting posters, holy pictures and religious icons. And on top of the layers were handwritten postcards and small white paper notes from customers stuck to the walls with scotch tape.

Our top three experiences in Sevilla; watching Andalusian horses run, going to a bullfight at the Maestranza bullring last night and having breakfast at Cafe Moreno. Home on Monday.

We’ll be in Cuenca, Ecuador next January through March. Hope to see you there.

2 Responses to “In El Centro”

  1. Maryl Travis September 29, 2018 at 3:12 pm #

    What a wonderful experience you had at the Cafe Moreno. Such a great send-off to your vacacion sevillana. It’s too bad that the weather was so hot that it made it uncomfortable to be outside during the day. Does Sevilla still observe the 2-4pm Siesta time when all the stores close? Obviously it is for a good reason to beat the worst heat of the day.

    You also mentioned that the bullfight was one of the highlights. At least you were able to go in the evening when the temps were not quite so high. What was the most interesting part of the experience? I am glad I did it, oh those many years ago, but I have to say I wouldn’t want to go again.

    Safe and smooth travels home! xo Maryl

    • Jill and Dana September 29, 2018 at 3:26 pm #

      We purchased sombra (shade) seats so we were not in the direct sun. And it was a breezy evening so all was well. We rented cushions to soften the stone seats. The audience is a big part of the tradition in bullfighting. They are of all ages, quiet, well dressed, respectful and important witnesses to the tradition. There are ripples of verbal appreciation when a matador demonstrates bravery and prowess. Few “oles”…more subtle sound than that. The passion and intensity of the killing of the bull is just part of this culture. In many ways it is a spectator sport much less brutal than American football.

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