There they were, round the corner from home, in a cloud of sardine-ish smoke. I queued. And while I waited Vince went to a stand next door operated by the Chip Shop to get beer. Beer in public. In the street. This is not normal. I mean, it should be, but it isn't. Very exciting.
Oktoberfest Hoffbrau is all the tap said.
Then I spotted Don Orlando, a gardening friend, behind the sangria table. Very soon we had a complimentary sangria, too. Sunday was off to a rolling start, and not a sardine eaten yet.
We stood and got smoked. I panicked and ordered four sardines. They were $3 each and quite big. But I should have got more. There was a lot of pressure.
We squeezed under a rope cordoning off La Mancha's sardine, chorizo and paella-eating patrons, and asked to share a tiny table with two women who were gracious and friendly and provided wet wipes afterwards for our fingers. They were Marie and Aida and said they come every year for the sardines.
The fish? Perfect. Charred, very fresh, a squeeze of lemon, a bite of white bread, a mouthful of cold beer.
By far the best food on the entire stretch. But I shall have to write a post about the pizza...