by Monika Kowalczyk - 65 Reviews - 40 List
Oh glorious paella: one indulgent Spanish vacation-turned-unforgiving-bingefest some 5,000 miles from Austin and we were hooked. Eventually returning stateside (feeling more worldy and a few pounds heavier), we wondered if central Texans can whip up the traditional bomba rice dish with much (if any) justice or culinary integrity. A Sunday rendezvous at Vino Vino or midweek food romp at Malaga beckon an affirmative si gorda, estas de suerte!; and thus, we're thrilled to say, you can now find us face first in a piping hot pan of seafood, meat or (if we're feeling really crazy) mixed paella right here on home turf. Chow down at any of our Austin picks.
Updated: July 18, 2011
Roll into Vino Vino at around 6:30pm on a Sunday night to secure your portion of the 7pm pan, as Paella Night is typically a big hit. The goods here are the real deal: perfectly salty and complete with the epitome of the dish's legitamacy--Socarrat (caramelized crust of rice that often sticks to the bottom of the pan).
Chef Alejandro Duran's downtown haven for lovers of good Spanish tapas and wines fires up its pan every 2nd and 4th Tuesday night of the month. A bowl of paella (of either seafood or meat variety) and glass of wine at Malaga will run you $20, and spaces do run out. Call ahead.