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DonWalsh x

General Restaurant Advice for Spain

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Yep, in Portugal too.

You can get what you'd call a good square meal, with wine, for 15-20 euros - something simple and fresh but boring - but if you wanted something memorable or different, actually worth the experience, you'd at least have to pony up an extra 10 euros. And to eat well reckon on at least 40 euros per person. Really well for 50 euros. Superbly for 75-100 euros, with a generous portion of shellfish beforehand and better wines.

Come on though - it's still cheap! At least before the dollar nose-dived.

(I have to say I quite resent the idea that you can come to Western Europe, where food is worshipped and a lot of trouble is taken so that it reaches you in its freshest and most agreeable forms, given the extremely demanding nature of the people here, and still expect it to be inexpensive. If there are still bargains to be had in Europe, they are farther to the East, where the fish, at least, isn't so good.)

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Víctor, don't you think that it's still possible to have some good daily menus at lunch between 15-20€? Not easy, but possible.

For instance, in Asturianos you could do fairly well having some fabes to start with, followed by veal cheeks.

If fabada plus veal cheeks plus a little modest wine plus dessert and coffee are still under 20 euros, then I'd heartily recommend it. But Asturianos is in Madrid, not in the tourist trap down there... :wacko:


Victor de la Serna

elmundovino

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Oops, the thread title led me to confusion. Yes, Asturianos is in Madrid.

Just guessing here, but in towns where some commercial fishing activity exist, looking for the local Cofradía de Pescadores could produce good results in that price range. At least, it does in northern Spain.


PedroEspinosa (aka pedro)

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And to eat well reckon on at least 40 euros per person.  Really well for 50 euros.  Superbly for 75-100 euros, with a generous portion of shellfish beforehand and better wines. Come on though - it's still cheap! At least before the dollar nose-dived. (I have to say I quite resent the idea that you can come to Western Europe, where food is worshipped and a lot of trouble is taken so that it reaches you in its freshest and  most agreeable forms, given the extremely demanding nature of the people here, and still expect it to be inexpensive. If there are still bargains to be had in Europe, they are farther to the East, where the fish, at least, isn't so good.)

40 Euros (and above) per person is out of our financial range !

80 Euros is around $100 and IMHO too much for one meal.

We're NOT looking "fancy" meals or "fancy" restaurant... just good local food.

When we were in Jamaica, we had a choice of dining at a fancy restaurant, with a beautiful view, at around $50 per person...

Instead we ate at a local Jamaican "jerk" (BBQ-Chicken/pork/beef) restaurant and thought that was a fantastic meal !!! Also Curried-Goat and white rice and local Red-Stripe beer !

I can get very fresh seafood because we live near the coast.

BTW: We are NOT from Western Europe :smile:

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Next month I am going to be moving to Spain to work on an Organic Farm. I just joined this program called WWOOF ( http://www.wwoof.org ). There are 108 different farms across Spain that are looking for workers to help them do whatever needs to be done i.e. planting, harvesting, building etc... Anyway, I've only been to the Costa Brava Area and I was wondering if anyone had any recomendations as for the best areas from october through april... Thanks.


"Only the tougne tells the truth..."-F.A.

revallo@gmail.com

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Without knowing more about what are your preferences, it's really hard to make any suggestions not risking sending you to a place you wouldn't like:

-Weather in Spain during those months varies from region to region from very warm to freezing.

-Do you want to be in the proximity (less than 50 miles) of a big city? That would narrow down the candidates.

-Coast, mountain, country side?

- ...

How did you find the Costa Brava? Did you manage to visit El Bulli and an accomodation close to it? If I remember well, you were in quite a hurry last time around.


PedroEspinosa (aka pedro)

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I'd be interested in hearing more about WWOOF - I have several horticulture students here in Japan interested in participating.

I'm inclined to suggest that you pick the farm and the hosts that look best-managed and most interesting to you, rather than concentrating on the region - I guess (but don't know) that not all host farms are equally rewarding for participants!

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As others have suggested, the particular farm may be more important than the region and the best region may well depend on your other interests. I will add that it can get cold in parts of Spain. Much of central Spain is dry and the winter is not as bone chilling for that. Than again the dessert is not where the farms usually are. Galicia is not one of the best known regions but it can be very temperate in winter due to the Gulf Stream. I recall the January we drove ahead of a blinding snowstorm that caused considerable damage back in Burgos and I think as far as Madrid, but as we reached Galicia we drove out of the storm into a place where there was ripe fruit on the orange trees and trees were in bloom. It seemed like Shangri-la by comparison to what we left behind for the TV news to cover. All of Spain's coast seems rather temperate however and I don't expect there are many farms in the high mountain ranges.


Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

My mailbox is full. You may contact me via worldtable.com.

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I hope you turn this into a blog of wonder, because the idea of being young and working on a farm is so wonderful.

Also, keep your eyes and ears open, and be a scout for a chef here in California, who does "farm dinners and tours."

Since 1999, he's been going around the country, visiting organic farms and orchards, and bringing thousands of people to tour them and feast on the farm.

I would love to hook you up. I would love to see your blog.

Feel free to e-mail me (tana@tanabutler.com) with questions...we need to network.

How did you find this group? So wonderful!

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Sorry, one more thing....I checked out WWOOF in Japan and in New Zealand a year or two back, and spotted some inconsistencies, which surprised me because WWOOF makes a big thing about maintaining standards worldwide. The problems have since been fixed, suggesting that they are on the ball, and I've heard that WWOOF is especially strong in Europe.

Right, and don't forget to have a great time!


Edited by helenjp (log)

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There are quite a few in the Granada area... I am really leaning toward a warm winter.

Pedro- Yes, last time we talked I was in the Costa Brava area and I was trying to eat at El Bulli, I figured a solo diner could get in pretty easily with cancellations etc... But after 3 days of "No I'm very sorry Revallo, it is very very difficult..." I just took a Taxi up to the restaurant in my chef coat and went in to the kitchen and just pretended like I worked there. I started stacking dishes and eventually they caught on because my Spanish is basically non existant. Albert Raurich (Exec. Chef) came out and was asking me what I was doing and if we had an appointment. I gave him my story and told him I would do anything to work for him. i.e. dishes, scrub floors, clean the beach in front of the restaurant etc... he just laughed at me, and said no way but I asked him to ask Ferran. When he came back he looked at me and was smiling as he shook his head and told me I had 4 days. 2 of which were spent in the Mise kitchen and 2 in main/pastry kitchen. It was the time of my life and I can not wait to go back in April.

Thanks for the advice everyone... I agree with the individual farm being the deciding factor, There are a few that even make wine and cheese.... those are at the top of my list. Thanks again and I will keep every one informed.


"Only the tougne tells the truth..."-F.A.

revallo@gmail.com

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There are quite a few in the Granada area... I am really leaning toward a warm winter.

Revallo, Granada is a great place to stay, but do not expect a warm winter at all, unless the farm is near the coast, i.e., no more than 20 miles away.

In fact, I don´t think Pedro is very accurate when he says that "Weather in Spain during those months (october to april) varies from region to region from very warm to freezing". I would say "from nice (coasts and most places near the sea) to 5/10 degrees below freezing (december-february in wide areas of central Spain)".

Sorry if I do not answer in a couple of weeks: travelling to the province of Girona; let us see if there is any restaurant there which is worth the visit... :unsure::smile:

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Jesús, I'm not going to start a flame war on Spanish weather. Let me remind you, however, that the Canary Islands, Ceuta, Melilla (and the Costa del Sol) are still part of the country :wink: .

Good luck on Girona, and do tell us if you find any restaurant there worth the visit. Odds are against you :raz::biggrin: .


PedroEspinosa (aka pedro)

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Jesús, I'm not going to start a flame war on Spanish weather. Let me remind you, however, that the Canary Islands, Ceuta, Melilla (and the Costa del Sol) are still part of the country  :wink: .

Good luck on Girona, and do tell us if you find any restaurant there worth the visit. Odds are against you  :raz:  :biggrin: .

Back after holidays, I`m ready for war, Pedro, :cool: And when I finish to digest :wink: all that extremely plentiful dinner at El Bulli, I'll try to report about it and about the one at Can Roca.

Just for the sake of war, :rolleyes: : there was no need of reminding me anything, but ¿"very warm" in those places from october to april? Well, I would not say that...

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so I will be staying in Barcelona for one month and then traveling around for the other month to San Sebastion, Bilboa and a few other places and have a long list of places to eat at but the thing I was wondering if anyone has every done any stage work in Barcelona ( I am a chef) and if they have what was the procedure you used to get the stage. I have never done stage work outside of North America so I am aliitle curious. My Spanish is ok and I am still taking classes to get it more fluent. Any suggestions would be appretiated.

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Guys I need some real help here. I am a lowly country boy from Indiana and am headed to Spain to see my friend who is playing basketball in Gijon Spain. I went last year with a friend to Germany to see him and had a great time. However this year I will be traveling alone and am on a mission to eat my way around Spain and possibly Southern France. I am a young cook/chef that has been a sous chef on Iron Chef America (battle carrots) and am trying to find my place in the kitchen. I would love to spend a few days working at a restaurant in Spain if at all possible. That is why I have come here. I know of no one over there other then my friend. Please lead me to the best restaurants that are around me and any tips that you can offer. I would love to eat at Azark. What are the possibilites? Again any help at all would be amazing!!! TIA

Prost!

Blake

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Try to eat at Mugaritz which is also in San Sebastian. Andoni Aduriz is the chef and probably the nicest person on the planet.

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There are a few nice michelin starred restaurants around Gijón. Take a look to Casa Gerardo, La Alezna and a bit further away Casa Marcial or El Corral del Indianu. All of them doing very interesting modern cooking with deep asturian roots.


Rogelio Enríquez aka "Rogelio"

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If you are in the mood for something completely delicious but a tad bit more...um...rustic (to put it politely), get in a car and figure out how to get to Pendones, possibly the only ugly little town in Spain, way up in the mountains (an hour away from Gijon...and from everything). Go to the only restaurant in Pendones. Order the cabrito and/or the fabes con jabalí.

Trust me. I THINK it's Casa Isabel, phone 985 613 725 (and if you go on a weekend, call for reservations in advance, you'd be freakin' shocked how many people will drive way the hell up there to eat at this place), if that's not right I'll change it. All I remember is it's the only restaurant in Pendones, the damn trip makes me carsick every time I go there (probably doesn't help that I've only gone there on huge hangovers, which is what happens when you travel with Eric_Malson!), and it's ohhhhhh so worth it.

Just don't count on being hungry for three days thereafter.

K


Basil endive parmesan shrimp live

Lobster hamster worchester muenster

Caviar radicchio snow pea scampi

Roquefort meat squirt blue beef red alert

Pork hocs side flank cantaloupe sheep shanks

Provolone flatbread goat's head soup

Gruyere cheese angelhair please

And a vichyssoise and a cabbage and a crawfish claws.

--"Johnny Saucep'n," by Moxy Früvous

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well after spending two months in Spain I am finally back home in Vancouver. I just wanted to thank forum members for advice on places to go eat. This forum has a great amount of information and was a great reference point.

Thank you.

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You're wellcome William, we're looking forward to read your impressions.


Rogelio Enríquez aka "Rogelio"

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I'd love to hear more about your visit if you feel inspired to share it. :smile:

We are getting ready to take a trip over there.


“Don't kid yourself, Jimmy. If a cow ever got the chance, he'd eat you and everyone you care about!”

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