It's hard to make great paella. It's NOT hard to make good paella, though. So why did we wind up with slop at Can Carlus?
We weren't expecting great paella at Can Carlus -- a restaurant with a big menu can't devote the time or burner space necessary to produce great paella with the characteristic crunchy caramelized bottom layer. But what we got was gluey glop with some difficult-to-identify extra ingredients added in.
And though I can be a bit fussy about food, I've never seen my husband turn away any combination of seafood and rice (he'll gladly eat rice-a-roni with some clams thrown in). But we both left this food on the table and went out for ice cream.
Our appetizers were awful as well. I had some red shrimp - small local shrimp quickly cooked in oil and garlic and served in the shell. Mine were so dry and tasteless I wonder if they had been frozen.
But my husband's Caprese Salad was worse -- (yes an Italian dish was on the menu). My husband loves Caprese (basically sliced tomatoes and mozzerella) -- and this wasn't the first time he had it in Spain. When he ordered it in Valencia, he got fresh tomatoes with fabulous fresh burrata cheese. At Can Carlus he got generic Spanish table cheese with flavorless tomatoes.
Our meal was cooked by someone who didn't seem to care about the quality of the food he serves. The food we had in Spain was usually good, and sometimes great. There is no excuse for serving food this bad.
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