I'm getting the itch.
Not due to my dry, winter skin, either. I'm getting the itch for spring.
Not like this winter has been all that harsh. It's February - my most hated month of the entire year - and it doesn't FEEL like February. I'm not complaining AT ALL. Two years ago, I was digging out from a blizzard, missing an entire WEEK of work due to school cancellations (luckily, we didn't have to make up all of the days). I remember a few years before that FREEZING daily due to below-freezing temperatures for several days, causing the pipes to freeze in my house.
This February? I'll take it for all that it's worth.
However, seeing the advertisements in the Sunday paper with bright, colorful spring clothes ALREADY is making me want spring so badly. Usually I get this way in March, but having the temperatures be just on the cusp of normal March weather is getting my desperate-for-spring-mojo going early. I want to feel a natural, warm breeze - not the warm breeze of my furnace kicking on every 20 minutes.
The last time that I visited Mallorca on the South Side was in August, and due to the warm weather, TF and I ate outside on their patio. It was so, so nice dining al fresco, enjoying traditional Spanish dishes with that natural, warm breeze blowing in our faces. Dining outside makes the meal that much more enjoyable.
|Beautiful, colorful salad at Mallorca in August while dining outdoors|
I bought a Groupon for Mallorca awhile back, knowing that it expired on February 1, 2012. Mallorca is notorious for putting out Groupon, Living Social, and Google Offers constantly - in fact, my Groupon expired a week ago, and just today, a Living Social deal came out for them. Not to mention that they constantly have offers on Restaurant.com.
Anyone who pays full price at Mallorca is getting ripped off.
Given that I am a procrastinator - and cheap - I wanted to use the Groupon for the promotional value, so James and I secured a reservation on...you guessed it...February 1st.
I have no clue what happened to the parking lot - it is "For Rent", and your only option now is on-street parking or valet. It was early in the evening, so I drove around looking for an on-street spot around the block, and was able to get one pretty easily.
James had arrived and was seated when I got there, so we started our eating game plan right away. Of course, the bread was on the table, and if you remember my last visit, I commented on how good the bread was - in fact, we ended up getting another loaf...but...it was a bit burnt. I understand not wanting to waste product, but serving bread this burnt isn't exactly acceptable. It was our second loaf, though, and for complimentary bread, I guess it would do:
|The burnt loaf|
We both wanted soup to start, since it was pretty cold outside (although not typical-February-cold). I ordered the Sopa de Ajo, a garlic soup with egg:
|Sopa de Ajo|
James ordered the Gazpacho, but when our soups came out, they brought the Caldo Gallego (a garlic vegetable soup). Instead of sending it back for the Gazpacho, James decided to be adventurous and try it instead. I didn't get a picture of it, but my Sopa de Ajo was much, much tastier than his vegetable soup. I could see getting my soup for a light lunch and being completely satisfied with it and (non-burnt) bread. Garlicky and rich, it definitely was a great way to start the meal.
We also ordered Almejas en Salsa Verde (clams in green sauce). They were delicious, although they took awhile to come out to us after finishing our soup:
|Almejas en Salsa Verde|
For my entree, I didn't want to go with Paella Valenciana again, and I also didn't want to get the Mariscada like I did last time (although I know that either one is a fine choice). Instead, I decided upon the Camarones Costa del Sol (shrimp in white wine sauce), which I did not regret. It was served with saffron rice (as you can see on my picture), which was great for soaking up some of the excess sauce, which was too good to leave on the plate!
|Camarones Costa del Sol|
James ordered the Mariscada like I did on my last visit. For once, the tables turned, and I gave him a perfect recommendation on an entree! (Usually, HE'S the one giving ME the right recommendation - here, I was in my element).
|Mariscada, from my visit in August|
I had never had dessert at Mallorca, and neither had James, but we had just enough room left in our stomachs to share a piece of Caramel Cheesecake (who could resist that?) Definitely rich, decadent, and worth the calories:
Did you notice how much worse my pics were with the indoor, non-natural lighting? Boring. Dismal. Not flattering. However, I think this captures how much better al fresco dining is, even just for setting the mood of the meal. I can't wait for it to be warm enough to eat outdoors again. I can't wait to wear capris, short-sleeves, flip-flops...
Ugh, I have to stop. I'm depressing myself further. Punxsutawney Phil - you had better be wrong. 5 more weeks to go. Bring on spring!
2228 East Carson St.
Pittsburgh, PA 15203
Website: http://www.mallorcarestaurant.comTwitter: https://twitter.com/#!/mallorcapgh