I like the idea of tapas because I get to try several dishes. What I don’t like about tapas is sharing. Call me selfish, but when it comes to food I just flat out don’t like to share. Over the past few years I’ve gotten better at sharing with my wife but when it comes to anyone else it pains me to do it. Obviously, that attitude goes against the tapas concept where the food is central to socializing. So, eating at Jaleo with ten friends had me a little worried. Would I lash out at friends for grabbing the last stuffed date? Would I have to consciously eat faster so I get my share of dishes? Will friends be courteous enough to not hog the gambas? Those were some of the paranoid thoughts floating around in my head.
After our party was seated we all kind of agreed to just get our own dishes and those that wanted to share could. Crisis avoided! Everyone ended up getting 2-4 dishes each and many people shared. My wife and I shared our dishes and I even let others try some of my food. While there were few dishes that blew me away, most were very good. The fried bacon wrapped dates were my favorite (it seems like that’s always the case at every tapas joint) and the steamed mussels were flavorful and laying in a rich broth that we sopped up with a few loafs of bread. The roasted onions with blue cheese were a hit with it’s sweet and nutty flavors and the serrano ham with cantaloupe dish was a light and delicious addition.
There were so many other dishes ordered amongst our party of 11 that I can’t remember all of them, although most people were pleased with their food. And, of course, we had to try the sangria. We went through several carafes of white and red (I preferred the red). We finished dinner by getting a couple desserts — a chocolate mousse dish and flan. I only tried the mousse, which was rich, smooth, creamy, and not too heavy. The people who tried the flan said it was decent but not the best they’ve ever had.
The price of the meal wasn’t that bad. With tip, it came out to about $55 per person. Not bad at all for a satisfying meal with friends.
480 7th St NW
Washington, DC 20004