On our first full day in Alicante we meander the 12 or so blocks to the El Cortes de Ingles supermarket to stock the basic supplies for breakfast and snacks at the flat. Then we make the 8 block walk to Mercado Centro to see what it has to offer. Like many mercado's we have seen in Southern Europe and Central/South America it has an array of produce, meats, fish, poultry and flowers. The Mercado is very clean and organized. An advantage I see here over many of the South American markets is the abundant use of ice and refrigeration. We were once told by a local in Las Playas, Ecuador that their fisherman's market does not use ice because that would imply that the fish is not fresh. Somehow I still feel more confident with ice and refrigeration.
One of our walking routes takes us past Cerveceria Sento, a hole-in-the-wall place that does an incredible business with the locals and occasionally tourists if they are lucky enough to squeeze in. After having the men behind the counter happily call to us for several days I added Cerveceria Sento to the "must do" list. Finally early one evening we are walking by and there are a few stools open so we take advantage. It has the necessary tapas bar, jamon's hanging on the wall with their small pails to catch any drippings and 15 stools inside. After the all the stools and standing room inside fills up, the patrons just spill onto the street with the staff serving them through the open window. It is a spirited, fun atmosphere and great time.
In many places in the world in restaurants a glass of wine costs 1.5 to 2 times the cost of a beer. Not here! I take great delight when the check comes and my vino tinto or vino blanco is less than William's cerveza. A glass of good local wine is usually 2.25 - 2.50€ while a pint of beer is 3-3.50€.