Tabla describes itself as a downtown tapas bar. Richard is a guy who likes little tastes of many different flavors, so a tapas bar was right up his alley. As for me, well, I typically go more for a whole lot of just a couple things that I really like and I’ll admit…..I don’t like to share! So I’d been putting off the tapas bar concept for quite a while. But I’m glad I finally made the plunge and checked out Tapas for myself. I was really missing out!
Richard had already been to Tapas for lunch and had given his seal of approval. He said that they had quite a lunch crowd when he went, during the work week. We checked it out together on a Saturday at 4pm, right when they opened. It’s a great downtown space that is inviting and comfortable and as you can walk in you can view the tapas being made right there. The space has an excellent vibe.
We were greeted right away by the hostess and were able to select a nicely lit table in the back of the restaurant. Even though it was an odd hour, there were soon several other guests who arrived and occupied tables. Our server Alba came immediately to take our beverage order, and we ordered up a nice cab. She also took time to explain to me (the tapas newbie) what tapas are and provided some ordering recommendations. We spent a little time perusing the menu, and we were struck by the interesting variety of flavors that awaited us. It was hard to decide, but in the end we three tapas for the two of us to share: (a) smoked baby backs with apricot bbq sauce, chopped almonds, and greens, (b) pinchos (grilled pork skewer with piquillo pepper aioli) and (c) papas bravas (crispy potatoes with herbs and aiolis for dipping). Also on the menu were many other tapas as well as some salads and cold plates, but those will have to wait for another time!
Not long after ordering, our first tapa arrived: the papas bravas. Oh my, these were addicting! They were piping hot and perfectly seasoned, and that accompanying sauce was to die for. This dish was available in a small and larger tapas portion, and we had gone with the larger size (thank goodness). As we were continuing to enjoy the papas bravas, the baby backs arrived. These were beautifully arranged and were as great to eat as they were to look at. The ribs were super-tender and super-flavorful. All that we had left were bare bones! Then the pinchos arrived, and this was tasty as well. I had a little bit of each of the meat tapas but let Richard go to town on those while I finished up those crazy-good potatoes….so good!
Of course, dessert was in order. Richard loves churros, so he had to go with the churros that came with apples, sweet pecan syrup, and honey crema. I obviously love potatoes, and I continued my high-carb theme for this meal by ordering the sweet potato doughnut holes with canela and maple syrup. These desserts were fantastic! I gotta admit….I did no sharing with this dessert (even if it was in a tapas restaurant)! The doughnut holes were to die for. Richard said that the churros also were excellent.
Our whole experience at Tapas was top-notch. We loved the atmosphere, our server Alba did a wonderful job throughout the meal, and we really enjoyed every single item that we ordered.
Tabla is located downtown at 115 S Durango Street Suite D El Paso, TX 79901