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(VIDEO) SER Part One: Interview with Javier Candon


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This week I had a chance to sit down with Javier Candon, one of SER’s owners, to talk about the restaurant’s vision and menu.  Javier shared with me how SER came to fruition and what the restaurant offers visitors.  He also shared some of his future plans and SER’s goals.  Below is the full transcript.

Interview with Javier Candon

Samuel Garza: Javier, thanks for having us here at your restaurant SER, tell us a little bit about SER and how this came about.

Javier Candon:   My pleasure and thank you for having me and cheers/salud.  SER came from an idea after working in many restaurants in the DC area and seeing what is going on in the market.  We thought that there was some potential, a market for traditional Spanish food, but not in a tapas format.

Samuel Garza:  Great, because that brings me to another question.  Because D.C. is full of tapas restaurants, as you well know, I was a you know, a regular at La Tasca; what makes SER so unique away from the tapas menu from Spain.

Javier Candon:  We are simply not a tapas restaurant.  We are a restaurant that serves traditional Spanish food, and as a matter of fact, most of the traditional Spanish dishes cannot be served in the tapas format because they are simply too big to be in that type of format.  For example, one of our more popular dishes is the Cochinillo; which is the roasted suckling pig and it is big,  so we serve a quarter of the pig, but if you wanted to do it in a tapas concept it will need to be small.  And the texture of the meat is completely different if it comes from the ribs or if it comes from the leg.  So we serve a main dish that can serve two to three people.  The size is a quarter of the pig.  This includes ribs and the leg of the pig.

Samuel Garza:  That’s fantastic, because, as you know, I’ve been to Spain many times and when I’d come back to DC or a lot of cities in the US, you get tapas, but tapas is usually something that you get, you know at the bar, with a nice little drink, when they welcome you in.  That’s why I see SER so refreshing. Talk about your success, this has been the talk of the town for about a year.   There have been a lot of rave reviews from many, you know, well established magazines inside DC.  What makes SER so successful?

Javier Candon:  I think it’s because we stand for what we are.  SER means “to be.”  But SER also stands for Simple. Easy. Real.  That is what we want to be.  We are not a fancy restaurant.  We are a simple, easy-going, and real.   You will eat here what your mother or your grandmother would cook for you at home.

Samuel Garza:   I think this is unique and I think that’s an edge or a part of your success because you know, like I said, there are many tapas restaurants, but this sticks out.  So talk to me about your chef, I mean he’s well-known.  Talk a little bit about him and what he brings to SER.

Javier Candon:  Well, Josu is not my chef, we actually own this restaurant together.  Josu, came to this country almost 30 years ago to open one of the most well-known restaurants in the city and one of the best Spanish restaurants outside of Spain.  Josu, is just the best traditional chef that I have ever known.  Together, we want to be a simple, easy, and real restaurant.  We are not reinventing  the wheel.  We are just taking a very good product and cook it with a lot of love and there is nobody like that,  like Josu, to do that kind of work.

Samuel Garza:  That is kind of hard to find, but you have him and that is fantastic.  What makes SER so unique as far as the menu, you know, you talked about the bigger plates but you do have some smaller plates?  Can we talk about those plates, because people need to realize that they can come and have those at Happy Hour?

Javier Candon:   Absolutely, yeah we are a full service restaurant.  We have small plates.  Some people call them tapas and some people call them appetizers.  At the end of the day, we have some of the most traditional items from Spain.  So you can come and have a couple of appetizers and share a pitcher of sangria, or you can have a full meal.

Samuel Garza:   Is Happy Hour seven days a week?

Javier Candon:  Yes, seven days a week from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.  Most of  our appetizer items on the main menu are in the happy hour menu.

Samuel Garza:  That is fantastic.  Now talk to me a little bit about Pajama Sunday.   That sounds like a novel idea.  Share a little bit about that.

Javier Candon:   That is working very well.  You know, on Sunday people wake up after having a big Saturday and they are tired.  Maybe they don’t feel like dressing up.  They just want to jump out of bed and come in their pajamas.  They will get a free mimosa or a bloody Mary when they come in.  However, the most important thing about the pajama menu is that it is made in a way that people don’t need to think too much about what to choose  You have four appetizers,  four main courses, and four desserts.   They are brunch oriented items and they don’t need to go through the entire menu.  They can may make it a quick decision.

Samuel Garza:  That is something I will definitely need to try soon.  That leads me to ask, what’s next for SER.  You have been so successful at La Tasca and now you’ve been successful here.  What will we see next from Javier Candon?

Javier Candon:  You never know.   You may get a surprise, but at the moment, it has only been one year with SER and there are a lot of things that we need to improve.  There are a lot of areas that we need to focus on.  At the moment, it is to continue to work on SER and make it even better.  I’m obviously focusing on creating new ideas at SER that will bring us to the next stage.

Samuel Garza:  Well, we are looking forward to ordering some food, and thank you for your time.  Salud!

Javier Candon:  Salud!


Stay tuned for SER Part Two:  The Food

Coming on June 29, 2016.  


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(VIDEO) TWO DAYS IN SAN SEBASTIAN


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Of course I couldn’t cover everything I did in San Sebastian in the video, but here are some other things to see and do during  your visit.

Ondarreta

Ondarreta is the western part of San Sebastian.  Here are some recommenations:

  1. Playa de Ondarreta (the beach).
  2. Palacio Miramar.
  3. The Ondarreta Gardens (near the beach).

Parte Vieja/Old Town

The old town was where I spent most of my time due to the fact that this are is filled with restaurants, bars, historical sites, and museums.  Here are some recommendations:

  1. Castillo de La Mota.
  2. Plaza de la Constitucion. (Constitutional Palace).
  3. San Vincente Church.
  4. Santa Maria Church.
  5. The Naval Museum.
  6. The Aquarium

Centro/Center

  1. The Victoria Eugenia Theatre.
  2. Bar San Marcial.
  3. La Espiga.
  4. Bar Antonio.

Gros

  1. Kursaal Congressional Palace.
  2. Pintxos Pote (Thursday Nights).
  3. Plaza Biteri.

 

More recommended Places to Eat Pinxtos 

The Center

Bar Iturrioz, Bar Antonio

Parte Vieja – Old Part

Sport, Goiz-Argi, Borda Berri, Txepetxa, La Vina

Gros

Bergara, Bodeguilla Donostiarra

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(VIDEO) SER Part Two: The Food


Fab Food



 SER:  “to be” simple. easy. real.

This post is the second part of SER.  If you missed part one, you can see it here at SER Part One:  Interview with Javier Candon.


Join me as I explore SER in search of Fab Food.  I will show you SER’s trendy look and then dive straight into a three course meal that will make your mouth water.

Starter:  Brochette de Pollo

Main Course:  Grilled Grouper and Cordero a la Plancha (Lamb leg fillet).

Dessert:  Goxua (cold layered dessert, strawberries, cream, sponge cake, custard)  & Arroz con leche Asturiano (Caramelized rice pudding Asturian style).

Drinks:  Pingao 2014/Tempranillo/Rioja/Spain

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1110 North Glebe Road/ Arlington, VA/USA
www.ser-restaurant.com

Special thanks to Ryan Leon, Javier Candon, and SER’s staff for an amazing experience.


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(VIDEO) Fab Food: The Hamilton

Fab Food

 

 


If you live in D.C. or plan on visiting, make sure The Hamilton is on your list.  You will not be disappointed.

Hours of Operations

(Closed December 25)

Monday – Thursday

Lunch:  11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Dinner: 5:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m.

Late-Night: 11:00 p.m. – 1:00 a.m.

Friday

Lunch:  11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Dinner:  5:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m.

Late-Night:  midnight – 2:00 a.m.

Saturday & Sunday

Brunch:  8:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Dinner:  4:00 p.m. – 11:00 p.m.

Late-Night:  11:00 p.m. – 1:00 a.m. (Saturday 2:00 a.m.)

For more information, visit their website at www.thehamiltondc.com


 

Special thanks to The Hamilton staff for their professionalism and access to their awesome establishment.

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[Video] One Night in Perigueux

Where to Eat Restaurant o2 (Facebook Page) 2 r Lanmary/24000 Perigueux, France How to get to Perigueux From Paris: I took the train from Saint-Lazare station in Paris and arrived three hours later in Perigueux. From Bordeaux: Bordeaux is one 1/2 hour train ride from Perigueux. ©2016 World Travelers Today