Don’t expect any culinary sensations in Quintanar. You can eat reasonably well here though. Here are my culinary experiences, not in any particular order. My map is here.
El Almirez (B+), 9 Calle San Juan, elalmirez.eltenedor.rest
This is the best place in town I reckon , one of two Guia Repsol recommendations. It’s modern and bright and they play relaxing music and the service is friendly and efficient.
Unfortunately it was closed on the two evenings I tried to go despite their website saying otherwise (perhaps because Real Madrid and Barcelona were playing in the Champions League on consecutive nights) but I did make it for lunch one day when I had a late start for work.
I had the Menu del Dia for €11 for which I got a hefty salad, a bowl of unnatractive but tasty squid ink black rice and a slice of pineapple, with water and coffee thrown in.
Everything was well prepared and cooked and I’d say it was a B+ experience overall.
Granero (Intermediate B-), 90 Calle San Fernando, restaurantegranero.eltenedor.rest
The second of the two Guia Repsol recommendations in the town, but the first place is better. It’s modern but a bit garish and scruffy. I was only in the tapas bar but they have a restaurant room (never open when I went) which might be nicer.
I came for lunch one day and had the plain and simple Menu del Dia; three courses for a paltry €9. First I opted for the Revuelto de Trighueros y Jamon (scrambled eggs with wild asparagus and ham) which was too salty (C).
Next, Calabacin (pumpkin) stuffed with meat which was quite nice (B).
Finally, a slice of Tarta Manzana (apple pie) which was good too (B).
So the food can be good here but the ambience doesn’t do anything for me, and it’s on the other side of town from the hotel.
I came back one evening but the staff were different and not very welcoming so I didn’t hang about.
Cafeteria Echegaray (Elementary B+), 9 Plaza Miguel Echegaray
A plain ordinary tapas bar in the central square. Not as busy as the bigger place below but the guy running it is nicer in my opinion. It was a good place for me to watch Napoli lose 3-1 at home to Real Madrid in the Champions League.
As I’d never heard of it, I tried a tapa of Carcamusa, a pork stew from Toledo (see coming post) which was okay but nothing amazing (B-).
I followed up with a Pincho Moruno, grilled lamb on a skewer, also good (B-).
Finally the young Queso Manchego with tomato bread was very good (B+) but there was too much of it so it was a bit pricey for me at €8.
Three glasses of the owner’s best local red, a 2013 Syrah called Finca Antigua (B), brought the bill to €27. A good no frills place, I’d go again.
Las Cuevas de Sancho (Elementary B), 1 Calle Princesa, off Plaza Miguel Echegaray
Another plain ordinary tapas bar on a street off the central square. It’s bigger that Cafeteria Echegaray which might explain why it’s busier but the welcome isn’t as friendly.
I had a hefty sandwich, the Especial #3 with pork loin, ham, cheese and grilled green peppers which was very good (B+).
The glass of local red was okay too (B).
I watched Barcelona win 6-1 against Paris Saint-Germain to go through 6-5 on aggregate in a truly amazing game, although the ref didn’t do the French any favours. I’ve never seen Castillians go so crazy for a Catalan win when the winning goal went it!
Hostal San Francisco (Intermediate B), 24 Calle San Francisco
I came here when most of the places were closed on a Monday night. I didn’t get the friendliest of welcomes but I have come to realise that it might be due to the shock of possibly having to speak English. They needn’t worry, I speak fluent restaurant Spanish.
I ate in the restaurant in the back which is relatively plush and modern. The music they played off the radio was terrible though. Everybody Dance Now!
I had the Ensalada Ventresca to begin. The belly tuna was excellent but the tomatoes had been picked a bit too early in the season to be good (A+C=B overall). Their bread was pretty good too (B).
The following croquettes were edible but overdone (C) and the following Chuletas de Cordero, lamb chops, were rather fatty (B) although the red pepper salsa with it was quite good (B+).
The local red given to me was once again Finca Antigua (B).
The proprietor slowly warmed to me when he realised he could communicate with me in Spanish but he positively loved me for asking for a glass of local Anis de la Asturiana to finish (B+) and he left the bottle on the table.
Hotel Castellano (Low Intermediate C), 24 Calle San Francisco, www.hostalsanfrancisco.eu
A basic hotel but essentially ok, except for the thin walls, vibrating pipes and the occasional beetle in the bathtub! Breakfast in the hotel’s bar consists of a coffee and a Madalena cake in a plastic packet (C-). The people running it are okay and the WiFi works. It’s slightly out of town, the central square is about twenty minutes’ walk, but it is next door to a chocolate factory which could be a bonus!
One day I was working in the next village, Miguel Estaban, and one of the teachers kindly drove me back to Quintanar via a supermarket. With the advice of the supermarket manager I got a bottle of (fairly local) 2009 Valdepenas ‘Pata Negra’ which was very good (B+).
So these were my food and drink experiences in Quintanar. Nothing great but not too bad either. Off to neighbouring Manzanares next where I fared slightly better.