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October 1999


Teatro serves Spanish cuisine.

Teatro Balanstrasse 23, Munich Tel: (089) 48 00 42 84 Hours: Daily 16-1 While the Spanish staff at Teatro may giggle at the way Münchners order tapas en masse rather than sparingly, Teatro owners are laughing all the way to the bank. The wildly popular and incredibly “in” tapa bar is packed every night of the week with a handful of curious tapa virgins, those with a taste for Spanish appetizers and the company of Munich singles. You might say the attention is well deserved, depending on what you are looking for. Quiet or intimate it is not — frantic it is. The décor is unlike any other in Munich. Three slide projectors provide the ever-changing artwork by casting images of Spain’s landscape on the bare walls. Close-ups of bushels of olives or lemons, of grapevines or the stucco arches of Spanish villas fill the bar. Before diving into the nibble feast that tapas are, be sure to order one of Teatro’s cocktails. The Cuba Libre is highly recommended, as the rum used is delightfully mellow. The extraordinary variety of 30 tapas that line the bar is almost overwhelming. Unless you arrive early, the seats at the bar are likely to be taken, making the delectables difficult if not impossible to inspect, depending on the tolerance of those seated there. Good cold choices are the spicy chorizo sausage with beans or the zucchini salad, which is crisp and slightly lemony. Though restaurant eggplant is often overcooked, Teatro’s is topped with cheese and baked to perfection. The chicken wings are not spicy like the American version, but instead generously coated with a red sauce tasting of molasses and sweet chili powder. Not recommended are the scampi, which are served swimming in a pungent oil, making them hopelessly messy. Breaded and deep-fried crab claws are tasty enough, but are obviously imitation crab — probably found in the freezer section of the local supermarket. The house paella, a spanish rice and seafood specialty that is usually delicately spiced with saffron, is watery and bland with nothing but a strong fishy taste. Good service is hard to come by in Munich and Teatro could definitely improve on that front. One can forgive slow service and undelivered orders when a restaurant is as crowded as this one, but when the waiter defiantly challenges your pointing out a forgotten tapa then I say “Adios, Teatro.” Food 7, Service 5, Atmosphere 8.

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