La Autentica Carmela - Restaurant in Granada, Spain

La Auténtica Carmela was such a tasty and unforgettable experience, that my boyfriend and I decided to have dinner there twice. It is the restaurant that I recommend the most in Granada, Spain.


What I found really cool about La Carmela is that they have four different restaurants: La Auténtica Carmela, La Cuchara de Carmela, El Pescaíto de Carmela, and La Piccola Carmela.


Each restaurant, as you might be able to tell from the names, has a different food "theme".


La Auténtica focuses on traditional Spanish foods, and is the restaurant that Sancho and I ate at.

La Cuchara de Carmela also focuses on traditional Spanish foods, but more specifically the foods your grandma would cook for you.

El Pescaíto de Carmela is a seafood restaurant.

La Piccola Carmela is an Italian restaurant.


This allows you to choose a different restaurant based on the food you are in the mood for, while being able to know and trust you will have the same tasty, and amazing experience that La Carmela offers.




Here are the foods we ate ...

Warning:

[Pictures will make you hungry due to their delicious looks - bring a snack when reading]


First Night


Gazpacho

Gazpacho is a cold soup made of raw vegetables, specifically tomatoes, cucumber and peppers. Along with the veggies, olive oil and white wine vinegar are poured in to enhance the fresh flavors. This soup is usually served, with steaks and meats, but can also be consumed as an appetizer before meals other than steaks. This dish is also referred to as the Andalusian Gazpacho because it originates from Andalusia, which is in the southern region of the Iberian peninsula. The Gazpacho from La Autentica Carmela had a smooth, velvety texture with the freshest flavors - it also came with small bowls filled with veggies and bread to pour in.As simple as this dish may sound, it's been tricky to replicate, possibly due to the fact that the tomatoes I've been finding are not to the Spanish standards.

(I would eat this soup everyday if I could)

Photo Credit: Grupo Gastronómico Carmela


Presa Iberica

This dish... Wow. Presa Ibérica, which in English means Iberian Prey, comes from Spain's black Iberian pig - this specific cut comes from the shoulder of the Iberian prey. The meat is incredibly tender, and with a buttery outside it feels like its melting in your mouth. This dish is paired up with pisto manchego, which has a similar concept to ratatouille, goat cheese and fresh sage. If you are a steak person, this dish will rock your world.


Photo Credit: Grupo Gastronómico Carmela


Arroz Negro con Gambas

Risotto blackened with squid ink, shrimps, aioli sauce, and some roasted garlic. The Arroz Negro con Gambas is a dish I wish I could eat every night. The rice was creamy with the perfect al-dente texture, and all the ingredients created the most beautiful balance of flavors - sweetness from the shrimps, freshness from the sage, the stronger aioli notes and the subtle sweetness and saltiness of the rice and squid ink.


Aside being delicious, it is also fun to eat as it blackens your tongue and teeth. My boyfriend and I kept laughing with each other whenever one of us would smile with our blackened teeth and tongue - and joked that it would be a funny dish to eat on a first date.


Photo Credit: Grupo Gastronómico Carmela


Torta de Queso (gf/sg)

The cheesecake in Granada is pleasingly different from your typical New York cheesecake - in fact, I liked it more. This cheesecake has a fluffier, more air-y texture - giving more cake vibes than cheese - and does not usually have a bottom of crushed graham. This delicious slice of cake was paired with a line of tangy apple sauce, and I could not get enough of this dessert. At my last bite, with a sad face, I stated: "I'm so sad". Sancho worried for a second asked me why, just to hear my answer be "I don't want this to be the last bite". This dish was one of the many reasons why we chose to go back the night after.


Photo Credit: Grupo Gastronómico Carmela


Second Night


Gazpacho

Couldn't resist and needed it for a second night.


Huevos, sobrasada ibérica y pesto (gf option)

Eggs, sobrasada ibérica, pesto and french fries. This rich dish had the perfect balance between all the four different flavors. Sobrasada, which is essentially a cured sausage with paprika, has an acquired taste but brings the eggs, french fries, and the pesto together so beautifully.


Photo Credit: Grupo Gastronómico Carmela


Arroz de Pueblo

The Village's Rice - a risotto decorated with saffron, thinly sliced artichokes, chorizo and presa ibérica. A rich, filling dish but also incredibly tasty. As with other dishes, the Arroz de Pueblo had a perfect balance between textures and flavors - you have the crunchiness of the meats, with the softness of the rice, and the lightness of the think artichokes. The artichokes brought in some sweetness and acidity, that balanced out the sweetness of the saffron and the saltiness of the chorizo.

Photo Credit: Grupo Gastronómico Carmela


Torta de Queso (gf/sg)

Second round was a must!


I want to go back to Granada asap, and La Carmela is one of the reasons as to why I hope to go back soon. If you're traveling to Granada, make sure to eat at their restaurants which are budget friendly, they give you the best experience with their warm smiles, and the food is simply the most delicious. If you're not traveling anytime soon, make your stomach do the traveling by cooking these foods. Recipes on my favorite foods from my time in Spain will come soon :)

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