Date Night Tapas

Thursday night was a long overdue Date Night for us. While I had a great time on vacation and it was nice spending time with my family, Michael and I never really had any alone time in Arizona.


I bought the Groupon for Patanegra and I made reservations. I hadn’t heard of this local restaurant before but when I saw their tapas menu I was sold!


Sorry the photos are so dark. It was a very romantic restaurant with dim lighting. The restaurant itself was very cool: rustic and industrial at the same time. The ceiling was exposed beams with track lighting.


The kitchen was visible from the dining area. The place was completely packed. Luckily we had reservations. The restaurant was also a bit loud and not as intimate as I would have liked.


The only complaint I have about Patanegra was that the service was insanely slow. We were seated and it took about 20 minutes because a waiter came and even gave us water or took a drink order. Yes the place was packed but seriously, they need to hire at least one more waiter if it’s going to be that busy on a Thursday night. I shudder to think how slow the service would be on a Friday night!


I had one glass of a nice red wine. It was just their house Rioja but I enjoyed it. (I would have ordered a second glass had the waiter ever made it to our table!)


We ordered five tapas to share. The first was Tortilla Espanola: “Spain’s Most Famous Tapa.” It’s basically a cold quiche with eggs and potatoes. It was just okay.


Next was the Vieiras a la Parilla: grilled scallops wrapped in serrano ham on some delicious rice. This was my second favorite dish of the night. The scallops were absolutely perfect: they were soft and melted in my mouth. The ham was smokey and salty.


Morcilla: spanish morcilla sausage with sweet oloroso and caramelized onions. It was a delightful surprise. The sausage was black–a tad disconcerting but we split it and both loved it. The sausage was soft and salty and the sweet onions were a lovely combination.


The calamari was crunchy and flavorful. Calamares Fritos: deep fried calamari rings with alioli. The alioli was garlicky and the lemon complimented the whole dish. They had the traditional calamari rings plus the little tiny squids–they creeped me out. I ate one but it was hard to dissociate from the image of a tiny squid. It was like a deep-fried spider. Eeew!


And the star of the night: The Empanadas! Empanada del Día: turn-over of the day with spicy sofrito.  The Empanada of the day was filled with Mexican cheese, ham, beans and onions. It was amazing. The salsa was spicy and sweet at the same time. The combination was a winner and I immediately said “I wish we had four more of these.” The empanada was crunchy and melted in my mouth. If I go back to Patanegra I would order these again!


Half way through the meal I wanted to try a different glass of wine to go with dinner. Like I said, the waiter was non-existent so Michael suggested we skip the second glass of wine and get dessert instead. My arm was twisted. 😉


Flourless chocolate cake with raspberry sauce. It had nuts in it and a crunchy topping (not sure what it was–white chocolate maybe?). It was dense and the flavor was very mild.

It was a really nice night. I enjoyed spending time out with Michael and I got to wear my new dress. The tapas were the perfect sizes too. I didn’t leave feeling like I’d overindulged in a bunch of food.

I enjoyed the food and would like to go back but the slow service makes me pause. I wasn’t in a hurry to eat and leave, but I do like having a waiter that is a little more attentive.

How to Lose Weight – Week Four Check In

How did you do with Week Four? Your tasks for this week revolved around food.

  • Counting Calories
  • Eating the Same Things
  • Take Photos/Food Journal
  • Eat Portion Sizes

What was it like recording all your food? Was it eye-opening? Did you immediately notice things you could change?

Seeing my calories in black and white is a great barometer for how I’m doing. I can tell when I’m slipping into bad habits and when it’s time to reign it in. Having that accountability is how I’ve kept the weight off.

QUESTION: What was the hardest thing about trying to lose weight this week?

10 Responses

  1. When I went to Spain, the “tortilla” (Spanish omelet) was what I ate almost everywhere, because almost everything else was really meat-heavy or seafood, which I’m not that into. I can eat seafood, but I’m picky about it, and I don’t like when it’s prepared in unfamiliar ways (i.e., calamari without any breading!). Oh, I also loved the ham in Spain, which sounds like the ham you had in the scallop dish. Ham is like the big thing in Spain. Even their potato chips have ham flavoring.

    BTW … did you know morcilla is black pudding, aka blood sausage?? That’s why it was black.

    1. OH MY GOD. When they brought the sausage out I said to Michael: “I hope that’s not blood sausage!” OMG. I can’t believe I ate it. hahaha!

      I would LOVE to go to Spain. The food is part of it. I loved the ham we had. The seafood was great. I just felt like the tortilla espanola was pretty plain.

      1. Hahah, well I guess it goes to show, some things that seem really gross can taste pretty good … I would have trouble eating it if I knew what it was, but maybe if I didn’t know, I would think it was good.

        I liked Spain, but it was weird. I struggled a bit with the food. It definitely seemed more ‘foreign’ than I was expecting. Even things that we have here, or things you could get in a Spanish restaurant here, just seemed …different. I have so many stories about weird food there, but I’ll tell you sometime when we finally meet up in person!

        1. You are right….I can probably eat almost anything “Weird” as long as I don’t know ahead of time what it is. With enough breading, or seasoning I might like it. I’ve eaten escargot and the texture was a little weird but there was so much garlic and butter sauce I didn’t mind. 🙂

  2. Love the pattern on your dress! Where’d you get it?

    We were going to go to Spain this summer (maybe), but then *someone* drank to much wine at a school auction over the weekend and bought a week in Puerto Vallarta. My bad.

    Slow service is fine when you’re with a group of friends, I think, but when it’s just the two of you it’s somehow more annoying. Glad you enjoyed the food.

    1. Got the dress at Kohl’s! It’s white, purple and black. I love it.

      Puerto Vallarta will be nice too. I’ve been there and enjoyed it. I’d like to go back as an adult so I can lounge by the pool with adult beverages. 🙂

      I did enjoy the food and the waiter was super knowledgeable about the food and the EXTENSIVE wine list. He was really nice and I could tell he did his job well–there was just too many people for one waiter.

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