I'm not sure I agreee either, Pobbs! Had some wonderful meals in Spanish restaurants. I appreciate what you're saying about stews being reliable - some of the zarzuelas and fabadas asturias have been my favourite Spanish meals eaten out - not to mention the ubiquitous paella, but I have to rate Spanish food as among my favourite cuisines. I like the simple honesty of Spanish food. Nothing is pretentious, and nothing is superfluous - no fancy sauces that have no real connection to the other ingredients on the plate, for example. I actually think that it's French restaurant food that's going through some sort of a decline at the moment. I've eaten some appalling meals in France in the last 10 years or so. I've put it down to a degree of complacency. I speak as an absolute Francophile - France is my favourite country, the French are my favourite people and French food is probably my favourite food. I have, of course, eaten some wonderful meals in France recently as well, but it's not as easy to get a great meal in France as it once was.