The Eixample and Extramurs are residential areas organised on a grid system which lie respectively to the south and west of the medieval old town and its winding streets. Eixample is known as ‘the rich widening’ as opposed to Extramurs which is ‘the poor widening’.
The Eixample is the area to the east of the train station, running along either side of Gran Via de los Germaines and its extension Gran Via del Marques de Turia. It has three sub-districts, Gran Via, El Pla del Remei and Ruzafa.
In El Pla del Remei, the subdistrict north of Gran Via, you can find the stunningly beautiful Mercado de Colon on Calle Jorge de Juan. It was designed by Francisco Mora Berenguer who studied at the Barcelona School of Architecture and you can see the influences of Catalan architects such as Gaudi and Montaner in the structure.
It’s no longer a fully functioning market but was restored in 2003 to house a cafe, a Camarena restaurant in the basement and a few small businesses.
I finally ate at Camarena’s place in May 2017…
Habitual (Advanced B), basement of the Mercado de Colon, 19 Calle Jorge Juan
Efficient service as ever, but the restaurant doesn’t have much atmosphere and feels a bit formal. I had the Bunelo Cremoso y Crujiente de Bacalao con Emulsion de Miso (a codfish croquette with an emulsion of miso sauce), Croqueta al Pesto de Albahaca (basil pesto croquette).
Also the Merluza a la Llama, Caponata de Verudras, Emulsion de Tomate y Habanero (flame-greilled hake with a veg caponata in an emulsion of tomato and chilli).
Also the Esparragos Verdes en Tempura, Ras El Hanout y Crema de Yogur Griego (green asparagus in tempura with greek yogurt cream and ras el hanout) which was tasty but the half portion was huge so it wore a bit thin after a while.
With a bottle of La Ola del Melillero, a PX and Moscatel blend, the final bill came to €51.
As you may know already I’m a big fan of Ricard Camarena and have raved about three of his other establishments elsewhere on this blog (see the Russafa and Mercat Central posts) but this experience wasn’t quite as good (all Bs) which was a little disappointing.
I’ll always love this building though.