Grilled Octopus at Detroit’s Only Spanish Tapas Restaurant — Cooking In America

(festive music) – La Feria is the only
Spanish tapas in Detroit, and I believe in the whole Michigan. (festive music) In Seville, La Feria is a
festivity where it’s a week long and they go April 1. All the women dress in Flamenco dresses and all we do is drink,
dance, and eat for one week. As soon I move here, in April, I started my first party, like, “okay, I wanna do La Feria”. Everybody’s welcome. – [Sheldon] Everybody’s coming. – So in the end was, I
don’t know, 25 people, 30 people in our house.
– [Sheldon] In your house. – My business partner one year was like, Okay, we need to open a restaurant and you need to start cooking because the food is amazing. Everybody love the food. This is bombas. So this potato, and inside,
ground beef with some spices. (upbeat jazz music) so bombas, this is, people love this. That was for the special and
we have to put it in the menu because people was asking
for bombas every time. This is brava sauce. It’s spicy. We made our homemade alioli and some parsley for color and that’s it.
– And that’s it. – It’s the bombas. – Where’d you learn to cook? – In my mom’s kitchen. – You’re always on the
side of mom and grandma? – Yeah, always. And because we had a lot,
we always help my mom. (upbeat jazz music) This is a Spanish paprika, olive oil and that’s it. Pulpo a la Gallega. – [Sheldon] So when is
tapas typically eaten? In Spain, all the time. Before lunch, people go
to the bar and have tapas, or during dinner, before dinner, or you can have for dinner or lunch. – I love Spanish culture.
– Any time. We ate a lot in Spain. – I love that. – [Pilar] The special of this squid, Pulpo a la Parilla. Grilled octopus. You saw this, 45 minutes, a
good time to cook the octopus. We call this Pepe el Granja It’s mold of red peppers,
green peppers, onion. With the mussels here. We’re gonna use some white wine. – [Sheldon] Those mussels
are picking up the garlic, sweetness of the white wine. – [Pilar] Mejillones del Dia. – [Sheldon] Mussels of the Day. (Upbeat jazz music) – [Sheldon] Cheers. – Thanks for coming. – And your mother said, “Water is for shower?”
– Water is for shower. I never drink water. – [Sheldon] I’m gonna use that one. – [Pilar] The beauty
of tapas like sharing. You have more plates so you can order two or three tapas. You hungry, you get the little one. We have customer in the beginning, like, they tell me, but I have to share. Well, you don’t have to share, but it’s all about sharing. – The best of, well, eating, because you get to have a
little bit of everything. – [Pilar] Let’s start with the bombas. – Crispy texture outside, then hit the spice with a garlicky aioli, gives it that pop of flavor. – This Pulpo a la Gallega. – Nice and tender. I love the simplicity of it all, but each ingredient shines through. – It’s the beauty about
Mediterranean food. So it’s simple but it’s so tasty. Everything is fresh. – You didn’t grow up in Detroit. – I did not grow up in Detroit, no. I’m from Spain. I have a big family and I tell my husband, Okay, I want to marry you, I want to live three years here and in three years we
have to go back to Spain. So every time I tell
my husband, it’s like, you tell me three years. Twenty years later, I’m still here. I think in Spain, the economy is really bad so we never found the
time to go back to Spain. The first year I was crying pretty much every single day at home thinking, ‘what am I doing here’, you know? My business partner told me, we need to open a restaurant. – But you’re not classically
trained as a chef. – In Spain, I was painting ceramics. There was a contest in Detroit and that year it was
like 264 people applied. We win $50,000 to open. – That’s amazing. – It’s unbelievable. – I want you to try the
special of this squid. Pulpo a la Parilla. The peppers give that crunch and texture. Delicious. Super delicious. You’d think that the amount of garlic and shallots in there
would be overpowering, but it’s like the perfect
balance with the white wine. Sardines. – Sardines. – I was so happy to see
sardines on the menu. – We but the whole body of
the sardine with the head. I notice, I hear, they
don’t like the head, like, the sardine has the head. – Fishes come with heads. – Exactly. Fishes come with heads. I’m sorry. – [Sheldon] Was this
marinated in anything? – [Pilar] Yeah, we marinate
in beer for six hours. – Amazing. You can taste the beer,
but it adds flavor to it. Perfect mix with the
fattiness of the fish. How was this area just that
short time ago when you opened? – The last five years, we came, there was a lot to fix and a lot going on. And people, I have friends who’s like, ‘why Detroit?’ I was like, why not? Detroit’s a big city, and great city and they need people to
do something for Detroit. Everybody helps each other. It’s not a competition, because, yeah, we need– – Yes, to build up the city. – [Pilar] We need to build the city. – [Sheldon] It’s amazing that you have your own little pocket selling food from your upbringing right in the middle of Detroit. (upbeat polka) – [Cook] This is pierogi. Potato for pierogi. Make dough. (upbeat polka)

46 thoughts on “Grilled Octopus at Detroit’s Only Spanish Tapas Restaurant — Cooking In America

  1. Fantastic story and a wonderful looking restaurant. And this is the very best food of an incredible series. Sheldon does it again.

  2. Wow… when someone living in DETROIT can't go back home because the economy where they're from is too weak, that's really saying something!

  3. I love this restaurant!!! It's so fun and walking distance from the Detroit Symphony Orchestra! Go out for tapas and a symphony!!

  4. Thanks Sheldon for suggesting this restaurant. We tried it some weeks back and grilled octopus was the highlight. We enjoyed the Tapas and dessert. Here is a short video I made of our visit:

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