Holly V. Kapherr
Seafood paella at Tapa Toro.
It's hard to believe that a steaming cast-iron pan of paella could get any better, but it can. We promise.
If you're looking for a truly authentic paella-eating experience, there are two "secret" requests at the I-Drive 360 Spanish spot, Tapa Toro, you can make of your server that will 100 percent amplify your meal.
1. Ask for the soccarat.
Almost every rice-centric culture, Asian or Latin-American or Iberian, has a word for the crispy bits of burned rice at the bottom, sometimes reserved for the elderly family members because it's so desirable. In Spain, it's called the soccarat
, but they'll only do it on request at Tapa Toro. The paella at Tapa Toro already takes about 30-40 minutes to come out (it's not pre-made then reconstituted with stock — they make it to order every time), and adding the soccarat
will make it take a little longer, but it's so worth it, and way more authentic.
2. Give it a splash of sherry.
Spain is known for its fortified wine known as sherry, and in the northwest corner of the country, they make a sherry called Jérez. Paella is already full of flavor, but adding a little drizzle of Jérez to your portion and folding it in adds even more depth, between the must of the grapes and the alcoholic zing. A shot of the stuff is only $3, so it's a worthwhile add-on to add a little panache to your plate.
If you're ready to take the plunge into that amarillo
Arborio, the seafood paella at Tapa Toro will run you $35 (and feeds 3-4 comfortably), and the lamb and chicken paella is $42.
8441 International Drive