Cartas Españolas: Menú del Día

Getting the schedule straight in Spain has been hard. Typically I'm a decently early riser and I usually use midnight as my go-to-sleep gauge, but in Spain that's been thrown for a loop and a half. People wake up late (think 11 or 12 on weekends) and go to bed even later (we're talking 4 a.m. at least, guys).

With that schedule comes a cosmic shift in meal times as well. Don't expect to get breakfast at 7, because chances are the store or restaurant won't even be open by then (even for a cafe con leche). Also, whereas the big meal in North America is dinner, here the importance is placed on lunch.

Though the siesta has been officially removed from the Spanish workday, the idea of a long lunch persists, and after weeks of blowing it off in favor of the later meal, I began to realize that lunch is actually the jam over in Iberia.

If you want to do a Spanish lunch correctly, you have to find a good menú del día , or as they often call it here, simply menú. The menú is essentially a three course meal packed into a lunch sized portion and a lunch price point—appetizer, main dish, dessert, and drink (often beer or wine). Best part is that it usually costs around 10 Euros, which is currently around $11.

 Course 1: Fish Ceviche

Course 1: Fish Ceviche

Today in Barcelona, I scored an awesome Peruvian meal that consisted of a fish ceviche starter, fried fish entree, and a tres leches dessert, all washed down with fresh maracuya (passionfruit) juice. Yes, I know this is a food post, but check this stuff out.

 Course 2: Fried fish with lentils and rice

Course 2: Fried fish with lentils and rice

So if you ever find yourself in Spain, make sure to learn from my mistake, embrace the lunch hours, and order the damn menú. I guarantee it'll be the best thing you do all day.

 Course 3: Just enough tres leches cake to make you feel like exploding.

Course 3: Just enough tres leches cake to make you feel like exploding.