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Las Tapas, Old Town Alexandria - Tapas on King and Columbus Street - Closed

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Old Town Alexandria has Las Tapas on King Street, which is a few steps above the dreadful La Tasca (Now with two locations to serve you!) but far below the quality of Jaleo.

I tried Las Tapas for the first time last night (after 7 years of living just down the road). Have to agree that it's not on par w/Jaleo. But I think Zaytinya is even better and I really like the wide variety of 'tapas' they offer.

We (4 of us) tried:

1 - Queso Manchego

2 - Ceviche de Pescado y Mariscos: Scallops, shrimp, calamari, flounder and salmon marinated in lemon and fresh cilantro

3 - Avocado Relleno De Gambas: Large shrimp steamed with herbs served in half of an avocado with calypso sauce and cocktail sauce

4 - Spanakopeta (Spanish spelling for Greek dish??)

5 - Grilled calamari with olive oil and garlic.

6 - Stuffed veal scaloppini braised in Spanish wine Sauce

7 - Croquetas De Pollo Y Queso - Spanish cheese w/chicken served w/tomato sauce

We ordered Chorizo but it never showed up.

My favorites were the ceviche, grilled calamari, and Manchego (you can never go wrong with cheese in my book! biggrin.gif ) - the seafood tasted fresh and the ceviche had a nice kick with some fresh jalapenos in it.

We also shared 2 paellas (Valenciana and Marinera)- pretty mediocre, but more than enough food with all of the tapas to start. The (red) Sangria was tasty, but at $26 a pitcher, pretty pricey, so 2 pitchers accounted for almost a third of our bill.

The best part though, in my opinion, was the live Flamenco show - the dancers were great!

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I talked two tourists out of eating at La Tasca downtown, pointing out Jaleo, Oyamel and Zaytinya as alternatives. Felt like I did my civic duty for the day. :(

As for Las Tapas, I had a nice lunch there once, at least a year to 18 months ago. I don't get to Alexandria all that often, but when I'm there, Las Tapas is definitely a place I consider for dining.

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Resurrecting an old thread!

Old Town was busy tonight, but the further west from St. Asaph we walked the quieter King Street became. The original plan of Virtue Feed and Grain turned into Las Tapas after the former was a zoo and my dining partner said "How about here?" as we wandered back up the street. When we walked in around 6:40 there was one other table occupied in addition to some people at the bar/hookah lounge which is attached to the restaurant but glassed off so the hookah part is legal. When we left a bit before 8 there were 5 tables occupied, which makes mayble 1/5 of the first floor. There is more seating on the 2nd floor.

We had:

Patatas Bravas: Fried potatoes served with roasted tomato, peppers and garlic sauce.

Quesadillas De Pollo: Two delicate flour tortillas stuffed with tender chicken, tomato, pepper and monterrey cheese.

Croquetas De Pollo Y Queso: A rich mixture of Spanish cheese combined with tender chicken and served with tomato sauce.

Empanadillas: Two turnovers filled with delicately seasoned beef and chicken served with salsa verde.

My dining partner requested details about Sopa De Ajo: Traditional Spanish Garlic Soup, and the response was essentially soup made with garlic. So he admitted defeat and got Gazpacho Andaluz: Authentic gazpacho from Spain.

For dessert we had the flan.

For being pretty empty, service was a bit slow at first. The kitchen was noisy with chatter at the start since they didn't have much to do but as more people came the talking stopped.

As for the food, it was filling but rather ordinary. The patatas bravas were your standard fried potatoes a bit larger than the ones you'd get in the bag at the store, and the sauce tasted suspiciously like the marinara that came with the croquetas (those reminded me of mozzerella sticks, but with different cheese and some chicken). The chicken in the quesadillas reminded me a bit of the Perdue chicken strips, and they were otherwise a standard quesadilla dish with sour cream and guac. The empanadillas were fine. The partner seemed to be satisfied with his gazpacho. The flan was flan, with some raspberry and white chocolate sauces decorating the plate.

The above, with 2 glasses of wine, came to $51 before tip.

Looking at an old magazine article by the door, the date was 1996. So it's been around for quite a while. They still have the flamenco Tuesday-Thursday and Spanish guitar Friday and Saturday. But would we go back? Probably not.

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