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Casa Marcelo


Rogelio
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Going on holidays to Galicia has always been a matter of faith and thisAugust has been a tough one, the weather has been so awful in this Xacobeo Year that the only things you could do was eating excursions.

In crowdy Santiago de Compostela, being almost impossible to get to the cathedral we advanced our lunch reservation at Casa Marcelo, a restaurant that I have been willing to visit for years.

Mracelo Tejedor, chef and owner has been working before in France where he obtained a Michelin star and is the visible head of Nove a group of 9 young galician cooks including Pepe Vieira and Pepe Solla who are trying to renew the galician gastronomic scene focusing on the products more than in the new tecnichs.

Eating at Casa Marcelo is an act of faith because there is no menu and you can only eat the daily changing tasting menu that at 38€ is a bargain, there is no chance to change if you don’t like a dish. Take it or leave it.

The kitchen is placed in the middle of the rustic dinning room so you are watching the cooks working while you eat and some times they become improvised waiters bringing the dishes to the table as they cook them.

Our menu started with a Squid’s eye that turned to be a spoon containing a puree like squid meat in a soy sauce and bread crums. Simple and delicious tasting like sushy but with a softer texture.

Then a mug appeared containing a zuccini soup with beans and a razor clam. Nice and recomforting in this rainy day.

Following dish was a caramelized pig’s jawl with two staemed king prawns in an annised sauce. Amazing dish simmilar to the one we had at Viridiana with Bux.

Then a loin of Caleiro hake steamed at 60ºC in an Arzua Cheese, Potatoes and pumpkin purée was so good that I had to ask for another portion, delicious.

Last main course was a dack breast roasted over strawberrys, that was good but far away from the previous dishes.

The dessert was a cream milhojas with a pineaple ice cream.comfort food at it’s best.

Tha conversation after the meal lasted until the restaurant was empty and Marcelo came to ask us if we wanted to see the rest of the kitchen and the terrace that he was preparing. He told us that he was very proud to be the first restaurant with no menu awarded with a well deserved michelin star.

The total bill with cofee and three different wines was 50€ each, really amazing QPR.

On the other hand and continuing Vserna’s galician post we had a magnificent Tortilla de patatas (juicy egg Betanzos style) and carne guisada (Beef stew) at La Casilla in the beatiful town of Betanzos for 20€ the couple. Highly recomended.

Rogelio Enríquez aka "Rogelio"
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Galicia happens to be the land of my paternal grandfather so I have a soft spot for it. We were last there in the middle of winter, January, but the weather was beautiful, sunny and crisp. When we reached Pontevedra, the main square had trees with orange blossoms! The restaurants were so inexpensive compared to the rest of Spain. We concentrated on eating seafood. We had the best codfish I've ever had. Unfortunately it jaded me so, that I don't order codfish anymore anywhere else. :sad:

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We had the best codfish I've ever had. Unfortunately it jaded me so, that I don't order codfish anymore anywhere else. :sad:

Except Madrid, of course. Victor's tour of Pescaderias Coruñesas was quite convincing that by and large, even the coastal restaurants get their fish via Madrid. It was almost surreal to see fish coming in from one Galican or Asturian port headed back out to restaurant maybe in a neighboring town. No doubt some fish must short circuit the wholesaler, but the operation in Madrid was impressive.

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In my visit to Ferrol's fish market I was surprised by the few variety of fishes they had comparing with other coastal city's markets, the only things worth buying were the local squids and the amazing barnacles at 15€ a Kilo.

Rogelio Enríquez aka "Rogelio"
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El Ferrol is not a major fishing port, I think. On the other hand, I was in the central Pontevedra covered market recently, a new, impressively equipped building, and the seafood section was something else, with at least 5,000 square feet and more than 100 different stalls and great variety of fish and shellfish. Just the array of skate was worth the visit on its own!

No, Pontevedra restaurants obviously don't get their Galician fish and shellfish from Pescaderías Coruñesas. But those in Gijón and San Sebastián who want top-notch turbot, hake or lobster do!

Also, one of Spain's main frozen fish companies, Pescanova, is headquartered in Redondela near Pontevedra (and near Vigo, Europe's largest fishing port). They have a fleet of more than 100 boats.

Victor de la Serna

elmundovino

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