Friday, October 24, 2014

Tapas at El Gato Azul in Prescott AZ

At Prescott Pines Inn Bed and Breakfast, guests are always looking for suggestions on places to dine.

Prescott has plenty of wonderful dining options, often leaving the unaware person left feeling daunted. We certainly have our favorites around town, and one of them is El Gato Azul, yup, the blue cat!

It’s known as Prescott’s quirky, cozy, friendly place and so far, they have lived up to this reputation. Live music every Thursday, Friday & Sunday, and if you are lucky, you might catch Barry (chef & owner) belt out a tune or two!

Lunch, dinner & tapas are El Gato Azul's specialty. So what are tapas you ask? Well, this is what they aren’t:
  • Tapas are not a particular type of food. Anything can be tapas - paella, croquettes, ham and cheese on toast, truly anything. As long as it is small and served with your drink it is tapas. It doesn't even have to be Spanish.
  • Tapas are not a starter. If you start eating tapas, you finish eating tapas, and you don't stop until you're full. (Ok, that’s my rule).
  • Tapas are not a collection of small dishes brought out on a platter and eaten as a main course, although I eat multiple tapas as my main meal.

A tapa is invariably a small dish of something edible. It may be a smaller version (normally a quarter version) of something else on the menu or it may be sold exclusively as tapas.

When I first started eating tapas at El Gato Azul, I kept pretty close to the same thing every time. Fortunately, I have branched out into other offerings. I now encourage myself to try something different every time, and I must say, it’s been fun. So what are my favorites?
  • Sticky Chicken – marinated, grilled chicken skewers tossed in a Hoisin Sesame Sauce
  • Gambas Espinaca – Shrimp, Spinach & spicy cream sauce (thanks Barry for this)
  • Saffron Croquettes – rice, goat cheese and fresh herbs with Pico d’ Gallo (my newest try)
  • Baked Brie “Nachos” – pita triangles, topped with warmed brie, apricot drizzle, pickled red onion and a balsamic drizzle (quite possibly my favorite).

I could just keep going down the menu…however, I must say that it would be a shame if you left without having the Green Chile Mac & Cheese, while not a tapas, you can make it one by sharing it with others at your table, mmmmmm good!

El Gato Azul is located at 316 W. Goodwin St., just west of Prescott's Courthouse Plaza. Reservations are accepted, however, my experience is that they are required if you want to get a seat without waiting for quite some time. The inside seating area is small, however, there is a wonderful covered patio seating area (my preference), which is heated when the weather cools down here in Prescott.

Happy eating!

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