Sevilla is an eating town. Within my first two days, I had eaten in three different ice cream shops (shout out to La Fiorentina for chocolate with chili and blueberry and La Helameda for somehow the best vanilla in existence) and consumed countless pringa sandwiches (what happens when you mash all the porks together, put it in bread and eat it with a hangover). I ate snails for my first time in Spain; alas, Sevillan snails are not the friendly French kind with butter and specialized eating utensils. Alas, Sevillan snails are tiny, utensil-less and have faces that stare at you mournfully as you try to figure out how the hell you eat them. Additional bonus at each meal: the waiters all call you ‘guapa’ (gorgeous or handsome) then ignore you (*sob*).

But somehow, there is an exception to this culture of constant consumption. At 4am as per usual, my fellow travelers and I felt a bit peckish. Of course, in a country that stays up til 9am and beyond, we would be able to find a 24-hour pizza establishment or even resort to the golden arches. And yet…nothing.  In the center of town, surrounded by drunken Spaniards, every restaurant had shuttered its doors and left us in the heat.

This is how we went down a serious rabbit hole. But in Wonderland, Alice had tea and cakes and we had but flaming shots and liters of sangria. Where were our flaming shot crumpets and sangria cookies!!?? The first wise man we consulted told us he came from the moon and on the moon he ate only cheese. (Note: This actually happened. Alcohol is a hell of a drug. Or, alternatively, possible drugs are a hell of a drugs.) All of a sudden a waiter from the bar I ate lunch at appeared; he too had nothing to offer but shots on the house because I, guapa, was a good friend of his after we interacted for approximately five minutes. The bonds of food!

At last, angels in bachelorette party tutus gigglingly guided us to the lone light in the darkness: DONER KEBAB. This sanctuary is known to many a traveler; piles of questionable meat shaved from a giant rotating stick and packed into sawdusty pita that can taste like the finest cuisine when in the appropriate state of mind. In some places it abounds, but that night in Sevilla only one stood strong.

If the other girls were angels, the quiet Moroccan steadfastly carving meat from a giant kebab was a goddess. And to this beacon of wisdom we posed the question: Pór qué? Why no other food options? And she breathed in and out and slowly answered: Because no one in Spain wants to work this late.

The Wisdom of the Doner Kebab Goddess was last modified: July 25th, 2016 by Claire Rivkin