Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Lunching lady in Marbella

In Marbella, like everywhere else, I recommend steering clear of the big squares and their restaurants with the menus available in five different languages. Just around the corner you'll find small streets bustling with the locals in restaurants offering authentic experiences. If you find yourself around Plaza de Los Naranjos in Marbella  I recommend you check out San Lazaro street and Pantaleon street.


We settled for lunch in Taberna Casa Curro located in Pantaleon street. This small restaurant is as traditional as traditional can be - think of those walls devoted to bullfighting legends, the old man with that glass of wine that never seems to leave for home...

Menus in these places are more limited than in those big tourist traps, but they more than make up for that in focusing on local quality produce. Though... the fact there's a menu does not necessarily in any way correlate the availability of any of the things listed on it. So, somwehat amusedly we observed how everone around us seemed to be served more or less the same things.  "Is good! IS GOOD!!!" was the response to every question I tried to ask the waiter, who had the charm and warmth of those women that scrub your skin off is public bath houses in Kazakhstan.


Considering how especially Southern Spain lives off tourism it never ceases to bewilder me how little people speak English around here. In restaurants like this they never do, as we were  (once again) about to discover when ordering the pâté. The reply to our question about what the pate might be mad eof came in the form of pantomime: the washer lady stuck her fists into her armpits and mimed a bird.  Thank God for Google translator: it was partridge. And mighty fine partridge pâté it was, too. It was missing the tart clagginess that for instance so often accompanies pork pâté.


And though the gambas weren't the massive kind, they were incredibly fresh and juicy - all they needed was a sprinkling of sea salt.


Butifarra sounded vaguely familiar. And it was what I remembered - originally Catalonian treat of white sausage gently spiced with cloves. "Luncheon meat" was The Gentleman's verdict. Courtesy of the strangely pale colour, eerily reminiscent of human flesh my associations were some what racier...


And of course I had to sample the house bellota which was so good that only my palate got to enjoy it - my Canon not so much...


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