Brighton has a rich food and drink heritage, as vibrant and opened minded as the culture. You are genuinely spoilt for choice, add to that, Brighton has more pubs per person than most places in Britain – choosing is not easy.
I am in Brighton for one night and need to make a decision, I went Spanish and headed for Casa Don Carlos in the Brighton Lanes – without a reservation.
If you don’t know The Lanes in Brighton, imagine a Mediterranean medieval town, with lots of narrow maze like streets…in a British architectural style. It’s rather cool and every other outlet seems to be a boozer, cafe or restaurant.
After a little bit orientation using Google maps (getting lost), I found it, in a fairy-light lit thoroughfare. Plain white walls, tables outside with red and white checked tablecloths, you’d forgive yourself for not feeling like you are in Spain. This feeling increases when you go inside and the lights are bright, the place is tightly packed with tables, all full with people and a real buzz.
We were met by front of house quickly and they had a table for two, within elbow distance of its neighbours. The main and specials menu arrives, including the wine.
I did expect to have have the wine served in a terracotta jug and did notice my neighbour enjoying Sangria from one, but the wine list is by the bottle – the house wines starting at £15.95, I’d say a little more than I was expecting, given the environment; I went for the red.
The general rule of thumb is go for 3 dishes each, we’d selected 5 when the waitress said that would be enough, so we ordered a 6th anyway…on top of olives with bread and aioli.
- Patatas Bravas – obvs
- Gambas al Ajillo – Peeled king prawns with Garlic and Chilli
- Pulpo a la Gallega – Marinated octopus Galician style (north west Spain, that bit above Portugal)
- Pollo al Ajillo – Chicken in garlic and wine
- Pincho Moruno – Marinated pork skewers with paprika and garlic
- Chorizo Don Carlos – I’ve learned that this is a famous local dish, flambéed chorizo sausage
All the dishes were large for Tapas, two were stand out amazing, three were very good and one was iffy. The Pollo al Ajillo was superb, chicken thighs on the bone roasted in the sauce, imagine the best chicken gravy in the world, concentrated – bread to dip at is a must.
The flambéed chorizo was fun and a head turner at the table, but also tasted superb, perfectly cooked with that little added charring.
With the exception of the marinated pork, which was a little tough and dry, the rest were very good indeed. I would go as far as saying, it was some of the best Tapas I’ve every had…quite a claim, and probably why the place was so busy.
We weren’t in there too long, so it’s short and sweet and the bill was just over £62 with a tip, so not too bad, especially as we over ordered. You should go here and order 5 dishes, forget the pork…
I paid the bill to keep it real.
PRICE: £ £
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