So, the night I arrived in Stockholm, I learned that I would be meeting some co-workers at a tapas restaurant called Boqueria, right in the main shopping district in downtown Stockholm, near the main train station. I was intrigued, because I know plenty of people who absolutely love tapas. I even know people who like tapas more than brunch, and that is saying something.
I will say now that Boqueria was both the best and the worst tapas restaurant that I have ever been to. This is because, confession time, I had never eaten at a tapas place before before (my only other experience with tapas was at a dinner party of a Spanish friend, which was great, but at the same time quite different from the restaurant experience). To the uninitiated, tapas is (are?) basically Spanish appetizers and snacks that some bars and restaurants serve as the main thing on the menu.
To me, there is quite a high barrier to entry with tapas, it seemed like one of those things that you have to know what you are doing to have a good time, and it always seems like it has the potential to get expensive really quick. Luckily, my co-worker is a big tapas fan and has determined that this was the best place for it in Stockholm. Like I said, I have no base to judge on, but everything that got brought to the table in hip, Scandinavian-styled wood plates was delicious, from the Iberian Ham, to the cheese, the octopus, the pork, the sliders, everything. Unfortunately, the menu was in Swedish and he ordered too fast to eavesdrop, so I still don’t know exactly what to order next time I find myself in a tapas place. But I know that I will definitely go to another one, because it was fantastic.
One added benefit was that there were so many things coming that there was always something to discuss. We all knew each other, so the conversation was not stagnant, but in a situation where there is potential for awkward pauses, it is great to always be able to fall back on “Have you tried the cheese yet?” or “Wow, this fish is fantastic!”.
I love trying new things, and to have my first visit to a tapas place be in Stockholm, and to have it be delicious at that was a great (and somewhat odd and hyper-globalized) experience.