Si Tapas, the excellent Spanish restaurant tucked away in a quieter corner of Uptown, recently opened an outpost at the Dallas Farmers Market. Though the menu has been curtailed to accommodate a food court environment, the quality hasn't faltered.
During our visit, we sampled a meat and cheese plate ($18), patatas con chorizo ($6.75) and angulas al ajillo ($8; eel in garlic sauce). The charcuterie meet the same excellent standards as the main restaurant, with the paper-thin jamón serrano (ham) and salchichón Vic (salami) offering rich flavors without being too salty. Of the cheeses, manchego stands out the most — semi-soft, smooth and nutty. The fried potatoes are wonderfully crispy on the outside and tender inside, and they’re coated in smoky chorizo fat imparted by the bits of sausage they’re cooked with. Don’t be afraid to try the eel — these baby sea critters have a texture almost like pasta, and the chili garlic sauce they’re swimming in is great when sopped up with bread.
Si Tapas feels out of place compared to other restaurants that have set up shop in the Farmers Market. The seating in front of the stall is minimal — just three bar stools and one table for four. The small space and aroma of popcorn from across the hall may not compel you to settle in with a bunch of plates and a bottle of wine (of which Si Tapas has a lovely selection), but this food deserves your full attention. We ran into some friends who said they didn’t really think of tapas as a good fit in this environment. As we dined, several passers-by commented on how much they liked the Uptown restaurant, but they didn’t stop in for a bite.
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Perhaps patrons should think of tapas differently. While tapas evoke the image of a shared meal, they have a history in Spain as dishes that you would stand and move about while you ate. This grab-and-go stall nods to those roots. Each item on the menu appears to have been selected with the idea that you could enjoy it as a dish for one. You won’t find accompaniments like olives or roasted peppers here; instead, all dishes are the right size for an individual to order as a snack or light meal. To aid portability, items are served in disposable containers, and you can get your wine in a plastic cup if you’d prefer to wander while you imbibe.
If you're craving a bite while strolling through the Farmers Market, the savory Spanish delicacies at Si Tapas are worth a visit. Step outside the box and enhance the rest of your shopping by noshing on chorizo and wine.
Si Tapas at Dallas Famers Market, 920 S. Harwood