Two days into the trip and I'm already complaining about the lack of good food. Well happily that has changed and inspired me with new hope.
After a rather dull series of lectures and finally getting into our rooms, a group of us set out to find some lunch. A few of the American guys saw a McDonalds and said jokingly, "there's lunch!" Not funny. Not even as a joke. It amazes me why people eat that when there are plenty of other good things around. Right next to the McDonalds was an all you can eat salad bar for €8,45. They had found their goldmine. Unfortunately it was fools gold to me and one other person and I decided we would be better off driving to el Bulli and eating whatever was growing mold in the trash cans outside. Just kidding. But we did decline the invitation to a salad bar and instead found ourselves walking the streets trying to find a place to eat. We found a small restaurant/bar just a few minutes away.
The menu was €10,00 for three items. Not designated into courses, but rather picked from a small piece of paper with two sections and only a handful of choices. I started with the gazpacho Andaluza and then had the bacalaoditos. The gazpacho was creamy and had chunks of vegetables in it ( cucumber, green and red pepper, tomato, onion.) It was a gazpacho that would appeal to both those who like a smoother gazpacho and those who enjoy a more salsa-like consistency. It was quite a good gapzacho, nothing to complain about. It could have used a little spiciness, but the crunch of the vegetables was quite nice.
The second course I thought would be something made with salt cod. Instead they brought out a plate that had three small fried fish on it. They were about the size of larger smelts, possibly anchovies. These were accompanied by a side of potatoes and a salad. The fish was delicious. They were fried to perfection and the meat was tender and flaky. The potatoes were good except they were soaked in too much grease (probably olive oil.) The salad was nice only because the balsamic they used was clearly a good balsamic since the consistency was thick and syrupy and it was fairly sweet.
|They lost their heads!|
After the fish came dessert. We got the apple tart which we were told was completely natural and fresh. The apple arrived and the first thing I noticed was that there was a stem from the apple baked into the pie: a sign that real people had touched this dish. The crust was flaky as well (although not as good as the pie crust my mom makes), but tt was a little too sweet for my taste. I managed to choke down the whole thing though.
|You can see the stem to the left on the pie|
Following the dessert course the owner/manager offered us dessert drinks. These are called chupitos. They are poured in a shot glass and you sip them. We got an anise flavored one called patxaram and some sweet coffee-ish drink called crema de arojo. I tried both and didn't particularly like either, just too much sweet in a row, from the tart and then the chupitos.
|Patxaram on the left, cream de arojo on the right|
Final Grade: B+, definitely the best meal I’ve had in Spain thus far. It was homey and had a certain rusticity that was quite appealing. They even didn't charge us for the chupitos!