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Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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Wednesday, April 17

Gapers Block

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Eric / August 26, 2005 5:45 PM

San Chez in Grand Rapids, MI

winediva / August 26, 2005 5:56 PM

Cafe Iberico! Love the potato omlette thing they make. And killer potatoes in garlic aoli. Guess I'm on a potato kick. I remember their sangria being decent, too.

robin / August 26, 2005 6:13 PM

mmmmmmmmas on division

Benjy / August 26, 2005 7:03 PM

Cafe Iberico
Ba Ba Reeba
Meson Sabika

Wally / August 26, 2005 8:46 PM

WTF is tapas??

amyc / August 26, 2005 9:01 PM

Emilio's on Clark & Fullerton.

Ron / August 27, 2005 12:59 AM


They're like pierogi for yuppies.

Maureen / August 27, 2005 9:56 AM

I used to go out for tapas all the time until I got hooked up with the man I'm going to marry. He doesn't like them. He likes big plates. I like small plates. We'll make it work.

amyc / August 27, 2005 10:01 AM

I have no idea what that even means, Ron.

Wally, tapas is Spanish bar food, served on small plates and meant to be shared. Lots of appetizer-type snacks involving olives, tomatoes, potatoes, balsamic vinegar, fish -- your basic Mediterranean stuff. Very tasty.

Kelly / August 27, 2005 2:10 PM


Only once so far, but I need to go back - I only sampled 1,786 kinds of tapas out of a possible 2,968,956.

Leelah / August 27, 2005 6:31 PM

Cafe Ba Ba Reeba for me, too,

I also like their sangria... in fact, I wish I was there now... eating tapas and drinking sangria.

JP / August 28, 2005 1:55 AM

I make my own. I have a recipe for a hot dog, olive and cracker tapas that I make for myself. I can also fire up a bacon and mayo
tapas that knocks me out of my socks a little, also served on a cracker. I used to go to San Luies in Pilsen but they did not have a liquor license so I got tired of bringing my own Modelos so I figured out a few of my own (mentioned above) and now I can have tapas any time I want.

steven / August 28, 2005 3:49 PM

cafe ba ba reeba
arco de cuchilleros

nico / August 28, 2005 5:03 PM


Maggie / August 28, 2005 10:09 PM

Iberico, Barcelona in Evanston, the original Emilio's, and my friend Kathleen's for the best sangria.

Moon / August 29, 2005 9:42 AM

Aren't tapas like free bar food in Spain?

Do they have actual tapas restaurants in Spain?

sky / August 29, 2005 10:14 AM

Cafe BaBaReeba.....the mushrooms, the chicken with gorgonzola cheese....the steak with horseradish sauce, and the picture of white sangria. Seriously, this is cruel for a monday morning....

eep / August 29, 2005 10:34 AM

I'll second Barcelona in Evanston, and add Rioja to the mix. The second isn't as authentic Spanish tappas, but it's cheaper, and their white sangria is great.

Gub / August 29, 2005 10:50 AM

the best is Solera in Minneapolis

waleeta / August 29, 2005 11:36 AM

Iberico = Yum Yum.

Moon, they do have tapas in resturants and cafes in Spain - they are like appetizers. Although having lived in Spain for a while, I hate to say it - we make 'em better! Except maybe for the vegetable tortillas (thick potato omelettes)...mmmmmm....

Charlie / August 29, 2005 11:56 AM

Cafe Barcelona - Evanston
Rioja - Andersonville

Paula / August 29, 2005 12:46 PM

I ate at Rioja in Andersonville a couple of weeks ago and enjoyed it (although it was kinda pricey). They have a small plate of ribs that were amazing - and I don't usually like ribs.

Asterisk / August 29, 2005 1:45 PM

Cafe BaBaReeba - The squid are delicious and the dates wrapped in bacon are a fine treat.

At Home - Take a lemon, cut it, put it in your mouth. Ouch! (It's not like tapas at all, but it will rot your teeth.)

Allan / August 29, 2005 2:10 PM

Isn't "tapas" just a fancy word for snack used by insecure people to make themselves seem cool.

winediva / August 29, 2005 2:20 PM

Andelucia on Montrose is good too. BYOB! Owner/host can be curt during busy times. Kitchen is slow, but thats more like the pace in Spain as well. Tasty and cheap - just don't be in a hurry.

Shannon / August 29, 2005 2:51 PM

Winediva - I think Andalucia on Montrose is closed. Or at least going through some serious renovation. Not quite sure what it is, but it's not been open for eating in quite a few weeks, unfortunately.

christy / August 29, 2005 3:07 PM

Tapas may be served in upscale restaurants in the U.S., but they are definitely real, and are prevalent in Spain. Sometimes simple tapas come free with drinks, while more elaborate tapas are charged separately. I haven't found any place in Chicago that does it just like the taverns in Seville or Madrid, but Cafe Iberico is the best here -- excellent food at prices that won't empty your wallet.

NotSoHealthy / August 29, 2005 3:39 PM

My favorite place for tapas is a small place on the corner of Kedzie and Addison. It is open late and the only drawback is they do not serve liquor so most people just show up after they have been drinking. I can't remember the name of the place but it's in a small white building in the shape of a castle.

sky / August 29, 2005 3:41 PM

"Isn't "tapas" just a fancy word for snack used by insecure people to make themselves seem cool."

Going out to dinner at a Tapas restaurant is something I always look forward to. It's a great way to be able to sample multiple items on a menu, it can be a great conversation piece, it keeps a meal and conversation going rather than the silence that sometimes comes when the food shows up infront of you, since they serve the dishes at different times. And, with the right person, it can be romantic! Especially with the right amount of sangria! I always leave full, feeling good, and if you go with the right amount of people, it really isn't that expensive.

Ralphie / August 29, 2005 4:03 PM

I think that Iberico would probably be closest to how they do it in Madrid as the owner is from Madrid (and I might add, loosely connected to the owner of Atletico Madrid, who is constantly being surveilled by the 5-0 for potential mob related activities) Draw your own conclusions.

JP / August 29, 2005 4:24 PM

NotSoHealthy, That is a White Castle!

NotSoHealthy / August 29, 2005 4:44 PM

JP thanks! The name escaped me for a minute, Great place for a romantic night of tapas, started with a plate of mini hamburgers, then had a plate of what they call "chicken rings" we finished the night with a small plate of deep fried cheese served with marinara. The whole dinner cost a little over $10.

Naz / August 29, 2005 5:51 PM

I'm surprised at the amount of Tapas haters -- they probably feel the same way about Japanese.

One of the key issues here I think is that these are small amounts at prices that aren't that cheap -- food that isn't considered a "value". It's not surprising considering how fast food chains have gone all out to give you the shittiest food at what is appropriately it's valued price. Dollar menus are keeping people fat and obese and unhealthy.

Digression aside, tapas is a style of cuisine -- yes, you'll pay for it, but it's the food (the taste, flavours and such) and the experience that matters rather than the bang for your buck.

But that all depends on how much you value or consider your eating habits.

Naz / August 29, 2005 5:56 PM

P.S. While I haven't been, Green Zebra has great tapas (though vegetarian as the restaurant is such) I've been told (many, many times).

Allan / August 29, 2005 9:05 PM

I don't hate tapas and I am not a fan of the dollar menu either but there is a certain amount of pretension associated with such things despite how tasty,healthy or creative the concoction. That I can do without.

karen / August 30, 2005 10:22 AM

mmm mmm mmm go to moe's cantina....

winediva / August 30, 2005 10:54 AM

thans Shannon - I hope Andalucia isn't closed for good. But maybe it will make the owner nicer to patrons....or not.

tapas schmapas / August 30, 2005 10:54 AM

this is the most boring question ever.

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