Bread made of Catalan woman

Someone once told the English that “tapas bar” was Spanish for “exotic chav drinking hole”. El Sabio in Winchester has taken Alfonso, our royal name, in vain and concocted a quasi-Spanish menu that proves nothing more than that they are perfectly suited to running an English-style tapas bar. Pan de Catalana (which they believe is made with “sweet cherry tomatoes”) is our favourite, but there are plenty of other entries in the illiterate peasant stakes. For example: “Aceitunas Mixta” might taste better if the adjective agreed, “Albondígas” have a dangerous rear lurch, “Croketas de queso Manchego y Champinones” revolutionise Spanish orthography and phonetics (here are some ñs for El Sabio: ññññññññññ), “Tortilla Espanola” demonstrates that they can’t even spell the name of the country they are screwing, we figure “Paella de Vendors” must really be a rice dish made with estate agents, “Champinones Sacteador” looks like the champiñones have suffered the attentions of the Inquisition (they may simply have been salteados, however), and “Real Ali Oli” isn’t a sauce invented by Cassius Clay but proof that they can’t spell in Catalan either. To end on a positive note, their “Crème Catalana” not only demonstrates a daring combination of correctly spelled French and Spanish/Catalan, but succeeds in insulting the entire Catalan establishment by describing their work as a “traditional Spanish dessert”. Highly recommended.

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Last updated 17/08/2019

This post pre-dates my organ-grinding days, and may be imported from elsewhere.

Barcelona (1399):

El Sabio Tapas Bar and Restaurant (1):

English language (462):

Föcked Translation (414): I posted to a light-hearted blog called Fucked Translation over on Blogger from 2007 to 2016, when I was often in Barcelona. Its original subtitle was "What happens when Spanish institutions and businesses give translation contracts to relatives or to some guy in a bar who once went to London and only charges 0.05€/word." I never actually did much Spanish-English translation (most of my work is from Dutch, French and German) but I was intrigued and amused by the hubristic Spanish belief, then common, that nepotism and quality went hand in hand, and by the nemeses that inevitably followed.

Hampshire (19):

South Downs (14): The South Downs are a range of chalk hills that extends for about 260 square miles across the south-eastern coastal counties of England from the Itchen Valley of Hampshire in the west to Beachy Head, near Eastbourne, East Sussex, in the east.

Spain (1881):

Spanish language (504):

Translation (788):

Winchester (11):


  1. I like the sound of Pan de Catalana but if I’m honest, Pan de Sevillana would probably be more exciting.

    The okupa-style spelling of ‘croketas’ is OK, but they should really have gone the whole hog and called them ‘kr0k3t’s’.

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