By Nancy Todd
You are at the beach with friends and kids and have worked up an appetite slathering on the sun lotion, swimming, and a playing a tough game of volleyball. Hungry? Head to a chiringuito, a casual bar/restaurant serving you on the beach – another example of the food culture in Spain. The chiringuito can also be a kids club where they can hang out, eat, play in the sand, and parents can keep a watchful eye while downing sangria. Hot dogs and pizza are available for kids.
You find chiringuitos scattered like washed up hulks in Barcelona, Malaga, Marbella, and in other beach cities along the the Costa Dorado, Costa del Sol, almost anyplace where you wear a bathing suit and kids are having fun. Originally, chiringuitos had sand floors. Old fishing boats were filled with sand with a wood fire built in the middle for grilling. Your Scoopettes love that some food cultures in Spain never die. Here is The Scoop.
l. You never have to leave the beach. Chiringuitos are on the sand with no walls. The deep blue of the Mediterranean Sea never leaves your view. Sea breezes continue to cool as you eat in your beach duds. This makes kids real happy.
2. Great food. Typical food is fried: calamari, razor clams, sardines on a stick, anchovies. Some restaurants have paella. Drinks include the usual inexpensive Spanish wine, sangria, beer, etc. Ice cream for dessert will replace any calories you have burned putting on your sun glasses. Meat dishes also served.
3. Music from live guitars or accordion entertains. And, yes, Bob Marley also takes the mike.
4. Bathrooms. We all like bathrooms at the beach. With a total of three port-a-johns on all of Barcelona beaches, cranked up to 137 degrees, we like bathrooms in chiringuitos. Good for emergencies with kids.
5. Tan as you eat. Maxing your vacation time, sit on the sunny side. Return to your office with a golden tan that has your friends envious.
6. You eat with your sunglasses on and look like a star. Yes, A Scoopometer 10!
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