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the best Spanish food in Dublin: Viva

Happy Thursday! You’re nearing the end of the week! How are you feeling? Are you taking time to check-in with yourself and give yourself the care, love, and attention you need? If not, it’s perfectly okay to set aside time for yourself to do whatever you want/need to do during ‘me time.’ Maybe your thing is yoga, meditation, running, reading, tending to a pallet garden you built, sewing some pillowcases for your home decor, making a dress to match your homemade mask, paddle boarding, bringing old furniture back to life, woodworking, tooling around with some new tools, or even playing animal crossing with family and friends, but whatever you want to do during your assigned ‘me time,’ make sure you’re doing it and giving yourself a break.

If you didn’t get a chance to read yesterday’s post - “my Irish love, Cork: Live at the Marquee with Daryl Hall and John Oates” - you can click here to read my 300th unique blog post to date while singing along to the musical stylings of the most successful musical duo of all time. Otherwise, if you’re all caught up, let’s head back to Dublin! I admit, I’m absolutely dying (dramatic) to write about my trip to Venice, Italy, but as I was going through my travel journal, I realized that I needed to pop back in to Dublin first as there’s an amazinggg restaurant I need to note!

When I lived in Rathmines, I didn’t have any sort of transportation besides my two feet. Everywhere I went was either by walking, the LUAS**, or an occasional taxi (and for bigger trips, the train or the bus). When I would make the trek to Trinity’s main campus from my flat on Mondays and Fridays, I would pass by this amazingly cute little Spanish tapas restaurant called Viva that sat on an alleyway corner just over the canal bridge in Portobello. A couple friends from Trinity and I had all agreed to see Avengers: Endgame together when it came out at the Rathmines Omniplex just down the street from my flat, so as a pre-Endgame celebratory dinner, we all met up at Viva for some tapas!

The restaurant itself was cozy inside (with a few small tables setup outside on the sidewalk), and the service was phenomenal. I ordered the Pan Catalán (like bruschetta), the Champiñones Pil pil (pan-fried mushroom caps with garlic and chili oil), and the Berenjena Gratinada (baked aubergine/eggplant, chestnut mushrooms, garlic, and onion covered with melted cheese and a balsamic glaze - truly the highlight of the meal). My friends also got some tapas and some paella, and we all made a point of sharing (though there, admittedly, were times I did not want to share it was so delicious).

Have you ever felt territorial over your food because it was so good? I wish I could say I was a total saint who always wanted to share with others and never second-guessed her altruistic instincts, but I am a human being, so although my instinct is altruism, sometimes I just do not want to share when there is a mouthwateringly delicious dish set before me. If you can think of a dish like that - one where you hate sharing - please let me know. I love to cook and am looking for new things to try out in the kitchen! Subscribe in the e-mail submission box below and reach out, follow me on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, and reach out to me on the “contact” page. I’m so happy you're here and that I’ve been receiving a lot of really incredible stories, questions, and feedback from a community all over the globe! Other people’s stories that I’ve gotten to read via e-mail, text, tweet, DM bring me such smiles, and I am so grateful for all of it! I hope I get to hear all about whatever stories you’ve been thinking about as we’ve been on this virtual journey together! Also, I've said it before and I'll say it again, if you have any restaurants/eateries/pubs/coffee shops/ice cream joints/theatres/lookout spots you would recommend in other countries or even in your current home town or city, I'm absolutely 100% all ears!! I couldn’t do this without you! So THANK YOU! From the bottom of my heart, truly, thank you.



** the LUAS is the tram/light rail system in Dublin that you can pop on and pop off to get where you're going a bit more quickly.

P.S. - If you want to catch up from the beginning on this series of travel adventures, here's a cheat sheet to the posts (in order in which they were published):

1. Won't you join me?

2. grateful for starbucks and sandymount strand

3. Once Upon a December in the National Gallery

4. plant a smooch for that gift of gab

5. may the 4th be with you: Dingle style

6. cinco de mayo: the best Mexican food in Dublin

7. pizza in roma

8. mussolini’s window and the philosophers’ metro stop

9. father to a murdered son, husband to a murdered wife

10. it's the vatican, not the vatican't

11. spoiler alert: i did not lose my hand

12. more pizza and gelato and Neptune, oh my

13. craft beer, romper season, and volcano magic

14. bus singalongs and the okey dokey karaoke origin story

15. the beginning of the journey to the land of outlander

16. the boy who lived and the musical rapper

17. oh i just can't wait to be kingggg

18. fudge and haggis, quite the dynamic duo

19. the banshee labyrinth... or, my first time trying buckfast

20. the world's most magical toilet

21. gwyneth paltrow's (improv) sliding doors

22. scottish sombreros and jam, thank you

23. bob seger, a cèilidh, and arthur's seat

24. the next maxim cover girl!! 25. you can vote now!!

26. kindness at… the airport??

27. conversations with strangers and #basic meals

28. aren't gas stations amazing?!

29. not just mac's... supermac's

30. American vs. European Cell Phone Providers

31. brown bread ice cream

32. Black Lives Matter

33. technology and theatre

34. a love of Dublin pizza: Manifesto

35. a love of Dublin pizza: Dublin Pizza Company

36. a love of Dublin pizza: with my dad

37. Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness

38. thank you! round 2!

39. a love of Dublin pizza: and every other pizza

40. ahh-oooooh werewolves of london

41. a special london edition nerd alert

42. defying gravity is a WICKED good time

43. that wanker Van Morrison

44. The Cursed Child at the Palace Theatre

45. LA girls love London green juice

46. Super Bowl LII Champs at Wembley

47. champagne fizz and fruity cocktails

48. How-to: DIY Pallet Garden

49. dublin tattoo magic

50. juneteenth

51. thank you! Maxim round 4!

52. dublin bog bodies

53. dún laoghaire ice cream

54. local celeb sighting

55. 13.1 in Dublin

56. thank you! Maxim round 5!

57. every girl likes a bad boy

58. poolbeg lighthouse

59. conflict, bias, and propaganda in belfast

60. bow to your lord mayor


62. Maxim Cover Girl Quarter-Finals!

63. gulliver's travels in belfast

64. all aboard the HMS Caroline

65. all aboard the RMS Titanic

66. you know nothing, jon snow

67. cave-born shadow babies

68. afraid of heights?

69. giants and their egos

70. the Kingsroad

71. sunsets in Donegal

72. derry dining chains

73. Maxim Cover Girl Semi-Finals!

74. Spontaneity is Key

75. Dear Nana

75. blasket island centre

76. Nana's blue tin cookies

77. a dance lesson in Dublin

78. dublin to Royal Portrush

79. Shane Lowry's Open Championship

80. maxim and Belfast Chinese food

81. Irish beachy wild women

82. my Irish love, Cork

83. my Irish love, Cork: hot chocolate

84. my Irish love, Cork: knit life

85. my Irish love, Cork: English Market

86. my Irish love, Cork: Blackrock Castle

87. one year ago today

88. pastis and the French Riviera

89. French Alps swim session

90. French weddings

91. Saucisson and delicious olives

92. wine and mustard at Château Virant

93. beers, brats, and salt mine showers

94. salted white dresses and blue satin sashes

95. salt mines and bowling alleys

96. science tea and pure comedy

97. 31 lessons for 31 years

98. youtube, a chalk horse, and stonehenge

99. Yamamori: the best Japanese food in Dublin

100. 100th post of quarantine!

101. my Irish love, Cork: Crawford Art Gallery

102. my Irish love, Cork: Ardeaglais Naomh Fionnbarra

103. my Irish love, Cork: Live at the Marquee with Daryl Hall and John Oates

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