One place that people find dates is at a friend’s flat party. I mean a friend of a friend is a friend of yours; at least that is how the saying goes…

So going by this proverb if you get a date from a party the odds are in your favor. Well, usually… Now normally I would not do this kind of thing, but there is a first time for everything. So, I gave my number to a guy at a party and decided to go out to dinner with him for a date. Later in the week I was talking to him about where we should go for dinner, and he suggested McDonalds. Yes, I almost died. McDonald’s, how can someone suggest McDonalds for a date? Oh the horror…

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I told him, never mind, I will pick the place. The restaurant I picked was PATA NEGRA, the Spanish tapas restaurant at Kalvin Ter. I thought to myself, “What could be more romantic than two people sharing food, and wine?” Boy was I mistaken.

The night began marvelously. He was wearing a nice shirt, and sexy cologne. I was in a sexy little dress. He acted like a perfect gentleman, so my hopes were at 100% that it would be a great evening. Walking into the restaurant, a warm array of earth tones produces an exquisite atmosphere. In the center of the room is a bar, and behind it are the raw tapas ingredients. You can see them preparing some of the tapas dishes as you walk by.

We started the evening by ordering a liter of their homemade sangria. It arrived to the table in a glass pitcher of dark purple red, with lush, plump fruit that had swollen from the wine. So far, so good!

Then we looked at the menu. With over two pages of tapas options, there were too many choices and so little room in our stomachs. All of the various tapas dishes were under 1,000 HUF, except for a few that were solely meat. My date turned to me and said, “Aren’t these expensive for the size of the dishes, I heard that Tapas is small proportions.” I reassured him that it is very cheap for the quality of the food.

I ordered grilled eggplant with cheese, and ham croquets. He ordered a sausage and egg stew, and lemon chicken skewers. While we waited for the food to come we talked about a lot of topics ranging from music, to our careers, to previous relationships. I started thinking, “Wow! What are the odds? I have finally found someone just as crazy as me.” Then the food arrived at the table.

For me it was just what my stomach desired. The eggplant was grilled perfectly; it melted in your mouth with the vinaigrette sauce. Then just when you think it can’t taste any better, the cheese explodes to create a melody of flavors. Creamy, salty, sour. every bite was a piece of heaven. When it came to the ham croquets? Yet another flavor filled morsel. Crunchy on the outside, soft and gooey on the inside, and bearing the perfect balance of cream and salty ham, the croquettes were magical.

My food was so good I shared it with my date, expecting some reciprocation.

But no, he ate some of mine and went back to eating his. After, he ended up ordering two more of the same dish. This dish was not a light affair. It was a stew like dish of vegetables, sausage and egg. One bowl looked like it would fill someone for the night. It was that hearty.

Three courses and three baskets of bread later I was starting to see this date in a negative light. He said to me, “What everyone has told me was true. The proportions are too small. You have to order three or four of them to be full.”

Tapas food is meant to be eaten in small proportions, and it is meant to be shared. People here apparently don’t understand this concept, so all that matters is whether you get a lot of food per plate. After all that he had eaten, when the bill came, he looked at me stated, “Since you chose the place, you have to pay.”

I thought it would be a nice romantic evening of sharing food, drinking and sharing stories. Yet, apparently some people in this world are not yet ready to share anything with another person, not even a piece of bread. Where I come from there is a saying, “There is always one bad egg in the dozen.” I guess I just happened to pick that one bad egg.


– Pata Negra, TWO LOCATIONS: PEST: 1091 BP, Kálvin tér 8. +36 1 215 56 16, patanegrapest@patanegra.hu, open every day 1124h, BUDA: 1023 Bp, Frankel Leó út 51. +36 1 438 32 27, patanegrabuda@patanegra.hu, open every day 11-24h, www.patanegra.hu