Oct. 13 2015 03:31 PM
Pata Negra
Photo by Jenny Montgomery

Speaking as someone who lived in Pacific Beach for years, and did my fair share of eye rolling, there is one treasure that keeps me visiting time after time, even all the way from the depths of North County, where I now live.

Pata Negra (1657 Garnet Ave.) is a little tienda selling food, wine and other tasty Spanish goods. It's next door to its sister restaurant, Costa Brava, another Pacific Beach gem. Iberophiles will love exploring the shelves of this little gourmet market, and will delight in treats you can typically only find on the shelves in Spanish grocery stores. I go to Pata Negra go get Nocilla, Spainís version of Nutella. Does it taste better? I don't know, but after studying in Madrid, I'm loyal to its nutty charm.

Even if you're not familiar with Spanish food, you will have a great time discovering imported tastes from the land of flamenco. Beautiful olive oils share space with tinned anchovies, white asparagus and sweet turrón candy. And you don't have to be an immature frat boy to snicker at the queso tetilla, literally "tit cheese," a creamy Galician cheese shaped like a woman's breast. Order a chunk to go with its incredible sliced chorizo or thin, salty sheets of jamón.

Get those eyes out of the back of your head and make the trip to Pacific Beach. You'll be saying muchas gracias.


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