El Matador Social is a great little lounge in the heart of Lower Lonsdale.  It’s owned by the same people that run another popular hotspot in Lower Lonsdale called The District.  This is the second time I’ve visited this fine establishment and the second time I’ve been thoroughly impressed with the atmosphere and the food.  Their Spanish taps are amazing and having tried almost every single thing on the menu, I’ve yet to have something I didn’t like.  The size of the space really adds to the overall experience and I recommend getting there a bit later in the evening when things are picking up:

cozy x 5

cozy x 5

Things started off with their complimentary spicy olives:

Delish little grenades of salt

Delish little grenades of salt

For Round 1 of tapas we decided to get a mix of the cold and the hot options and it was a roller coaster of amazing smells and flavours from here onwards.  Of course a decent bottle of white wine was necessary to accompany the onslaught of dishes and we decided on something from Stork’s Tower:

Necessary liquids

First up on the wave of tapas was the smoked salmon devilled eggs:

I could order these by the dozen!

After inhaling these four amazing angel eggs, we also ordered and consumed the crab tapas but apparently ate them so fast I couldn’t even get a picture (yes, they were THAT good).  Next up was a hot option, the baked chorizo:

I could bathe in the mustard

I could bathe in the mustard

Thinking it would be hard to top the chorizo dish, the carne picada (smoked pork) was up next on our path of tapas destruction and hit the mark:

like woah!

like woah!

After cleaning our palette with smoked pork, we decided on some patatas bravas, the best way to describe these things is poutine meets steroids minus the cheese:

hashbrown heaven

hashbrown heaven

One would think you’d be full after the journey so far, but no, we kept treking forward eagerly anticipating the arrival of our final two dishes.  Second to last was the spicy shrimp in sherry, keyword: spicy

call 911!

call 911!

Everything good has to come to an end, and the final dish were the shallot and crimini stuffed mushrooms – what a great dish to finish off an amazing lineup of tapas:

I wanted to motorboat these

I wanted to motorboat these

Overall this place is a gem of an establishment – it’s like being downtown without having to be downtown (win-win) and the bonus is that’s is located in what I consider one of the best neighbourhoods in the lower mainland.  Here’s hoping to a long and prosperous El Matador Social existence, so if you haven’t tried this place, make sure you get out there and give it a go! Easily 5 out of 5 on the foodzilla meter!

da bomb

da bomb

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