Archive for the Centro Category

Jerez de la Frontera – Centro – Nightlife

Posted in Andalusia, Cadiz Province, Centro, Jerez, Spain on March 11, 2017 by gannet39

I’ve written several posts on Jerez. You’ll find the index here. Google map here.

There are some beautiful bars and clubs in Jerez. Here are a couple I’ve been to…

Damajuana Cafe Bar, 18 Calle Francos, www.damajuanajerez.com

I’m guessing this was once a rich man’s palace with a large interior courtyard and lots of rooms on several floors, one of which is now a despacho de vinos (barrel room).

Some simply describe it as one of the best bars in town but their website sees it as “a cultural center, with literary acts, jazz and blues concerts, painting, sculpture and photography exhibitions and wine tastings” so if any of those interest you, you should check their site for what’s on.

My friend John and I used it as a starting point for a night out on the town. It was pretty packed but we met lots of friendly people.

Tablao del Bereber, 8-10 Calle de las Cabezas

I’ve been here a couple of times and loved it. It’s a beautiful space with ancient walls (I read that it was once a fortress) and tastefully decorated with antique looking artworks and Arabic lanterns.

Midweek most of the clientele are young guys who come to smoke shisha pipes in the bar area. At the weekend it’s much busier with two rooms of dance music. House, cumbia and ragga seem popular. I’ve made friends with quite a few characters I’ve met here, including one I brought with me.

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Thank you Jerez, I had a great time!

Pics from November 2015.

Jerez de la Frontera – Centro – Eating & Drinking off Plaza Plateros

Posted in Andalusia, Cadiz Province, Centro, Jerez, Plaza Plateros, Spain with tags on March 8, 2017 by gannet39

Plaza Plateros is a very buzzy area with lots of other places other than the one I review below. Tabanco Plateros at 35 Calle Algarve and Gorila Cervecería at 10 Plaza Plateros might be good places to check out too.

My Google map is here. My other posts on Jerez are here.

Rody (Advanced B+), 1 Calle Chapinería, www.rody.es

Recommended by the Moro Sams again, this is a higher end place. The Sams are particularly keen on the croquetas made from leftover Puchero, an Andalusian stew of ham hock, chicken and pig fat and I wouldn’t disagree (B+).

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However they liked the stuffed squid a bit more than I did. Not sure what it was stuffed with exactly and it didn’t really float my boat (B-).

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The local Tierra Blanca white wine they gave me was okay (B-). Imagine my shock when I saw it in a supermarket for €4! I got some posted over to me in the UK because it was so cheap and it still only came to about £7 a bottle.

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Pics from November 2015.

Jerez de la Frontera – Centro – Food, Drink and Flamenco around Plaza Esteve

Posted in Andalusia, Cadiz Province, Centro, Jerez, Plaza Esteve, Spain with tags , , , , , , , on March 7, 2017 by gannet39

Plaza Esteve is just to the north east of Plaza Arenal, in the centre of Jerez. You’ll find the new market here and a number of good places to eat and drink. You’ll find more of my posts on Jerez here and my Google map here.

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I stayed in this area on a second mini-break in April 2016…

Hotel Nova Centro (Low Intermediate B), 13 Calle Arcos, hotelnovacentro.com

A dilapidated hotel located in an old building. It’s cheap, central and friendly. There are other more attractive, and more expensive, hotels on my Google map that I tried but only this place had availability at the time.

Vinoteca Rafael (Elementary B), 6 Calle Arcos

Just over the road from the hotel, this is a sherry shop where all the old boys hang out. You can drink here but also shop from their big selection of local wines and brandies. You can also get Jerez vinegar here.This is the most famous brand.

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La Vinoteria (Elementary B+), 7 Calle Lancería

Another place to buy local alcohols but not drink them, although a friend of the gregarious owner plied me with a sherry he’d brought. I scored a bottle of Cardenal Mendoza (a favourite brandy of mine) in it’s newly designed bottle and case here.

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Tabanco El Pasaje (High Elementary B), 8 Calle Santa María

A Jerez institution and the oldest tabanco in town (since 1925). The word ‘tabanco’ is a blend of ‘estanco’, a state controlled shop, and ‘tabaco’, a product they sell.

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It’s a great place to see live Flamenco although it’s tiny so you’ll have to arrive early to get a good view. One of the last of a dying breed, come for the atmosphere and sherry on tap but not the tapas.

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Teatro Villamarta, Plaza Romero Martínez, www.jerez.es

A place to watch Flamenco, and other shows, in a more formal setting. I haven’t been but I like the building.

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El Gallo Azul (Intermediate B?), 2 Calle Larga

The Blue Cockerel is a good spot for people watching. The circular building is quite famous in Jerez and features on postcards.

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You can eat tapas on the ground floor and there’s a restaurant upstairs. I’ve only had a beer here so I can’t comment on the food but I’m sure it’s fine.

Restaurante Cafetería la Vega (High Elementary B+), 0 Plaza Esteve (sic)

This café seems to be a prime meeting place for the older generation of Jerezanos. It’s also recommended by the Sams from Moro in London as a good place for breakfast.

I’ve been twice and liked it. The first time I had a Mollete con Jamon Iberico y Tomate which was good (B) but as it was February it probably wasn’t the best time to eat fresh tomatoes. My bad. Molletes are an Andalusian bread roll that are usually toasted.

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The café also has a rep for Churros so I tried them the next time and they were very good (B+). If you sit upstairs on the internal balcony you can get a good view of the Churrero making them. It’s a mesmerising procedure to watch.

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Fresh orange juice and café con leche is good here too. A prime breakfast spot.

As I mentioned earlier, the modern market, Mercado de Abastos, is in Plaza Esteve. It’s not spectacular but it’s worth a visit.

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Some unusual produce I saw included Tagarninas, a kind of plant whose spiny roots are eaten in these parts (please see my coming post on Eating & Drinking North of the Centre).

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I also saw some of the tiny shrimp used for the regional speciality Tortillas de Camarones where they are mixed into a batter made of chickpea flour (apparently a Genoese influence), deep fried and eaten whole.

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Click on the Jerez link for more posts on this fantastic town.

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Pics posted in Nov 2015 and Feb 2017.

Jerez de la Frontera – Centro – Eating & Drinking off Plaza del Arenal

Posted in Andalusia, Cadiz Province, Centro, Jerez, Plaza Arenal, Spain with tags , , , on March 5, 2017 by gannet39

Plaza Arenal is the central square in Jerez. There’s not much to see, other than this statue, but there are plenty of good places to eat and drink on the streets off it.

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I’ve written a few other posts on eating and drinking in other areas of Jerez which you’ll find here. My Google map is here.

This is my favourite place in Jerez, I came here three times in two days in April 2016.

Albores (High Intermediate B+), 12 Calle Consistorio, www.restaurantealbores.com

Alba, a popular female name, means the first light of day. The equivalent in English would be Dawn.

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It can also mean the principle or origin of a concept. For chef Julian Olivares the concept is about blending seasonal, traditional and international cuisine, and he does it very well. Click on the menus to enlarge.

 

This isn’t just my favourite place, hordes of locals seem to like it too, so it might be an idea to reserve at busy times, such as Sunday lunch, or arrive early. They’re open all day every day so you just have to get there before the Spanish do.

You can sit outside on their street terrace under the orange trees or in the bright modern interior. On my first two visits I sat outside for tapas and once inside for Sunday lunch.

On the first occasion I had the Barriga de Atun (A), a seared tuna steak served with jam and grilled veg and a small baked potato with salmorejo (a gazpacho made with bread), served with a salsa of cream and soya sauce. (A).

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Also a half portion of grilled squid (B+).

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On my next visit with my buddy John we had a half portion (media racion) of the Croquetas de Gambas, Espincas y Pistachos (A).

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Also a media of the Salmon Marinado; smoked salmon marinated with lime and vanilla which sounds wrong but was actually very good (A).

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We also shared a media of the Carrillada Iberica al Oloroso con Puré de Calabaza, beef cheeks in aged Sherry with a puree of pumpkin (A).

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This all went well with a couple of glasses of ‘Barbazul’, a decent local red (B). The bill came to a good value €32.

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On the third visit I came by myself for a blowout Sunday lunch having missed breakfast due to partying with John till 6am. I kicked things off with some decent Jamon Iberico de Bellota (B) that came with some slightly soggy Pan con Tomate toasted bread with tomato pulp (B-).

I followed up with their great croquetas again, served slightly differently this time with some mayo (A).

 

For the main, one of my favourite meat dishes, the hearty Rabo de Toro Estofado con Vino Tinto (B+).

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I splashed out €25 on a bottle of ‘Taberner’ (B+) a 2011 Syrah from Bodega Huerta de Albala in the Tierra de Cadiz DO. They also make the afore-mentioned Barbazul but this is higher up their range.

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Next some sheep’s cheese with almonds; Queso Manchego de Oveja y Almendras (B+).

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Profiteroles con Salsa de Chocolate y Pistachos (B).

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Of the many PX’s on offer Daniel my waiter recommended the Oxford 1.970 Pedro Ximenez Solera from Bodega Dios Baco (B+). Later I picked up bottle to take home for €16.

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To finish things off it would have been rude not to have one of their selection of fine brandies. I began with one I hadn’t had before; the Renacimiento Solera Gran Reserva by Garvey (B).

Here Daniel is demonstrating how to serve it properly, with a warmed glass. Some people say the alcohol is being lost in the fumes but personally I think the smell adds to the taste.

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Daniel’s favourite is the Lepanto Gran Reserva so I thought I should try that as well (B+).

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With a couple of bottles of water and a 10% tip the final bill came to €70 which was great value for what I had. You might be able to get food and drink of this quality in London but you’d probably pay three times as much for it.

Bar Juanito (Intermediate B+), 8-10 Calle de Pescadería Vieja, www.bar-juanito.com

Slightly hard to find, Juanito is down a side alley off Plaza del Arenal the main square. A mainstay in Jerez for more than sixty years, it’s feted by all the guides (Frommers, Lonely Planet, friends of friends etc) seemingly more than anywhere else in town.

I sat outside in the atmospheric alley and prepared to feast as this was my first time in Spain for a few months.

To begin, a complementary tapa of boiled cauliflower in vinegar and oil, which sounds terrible but was actually really nice (B+).

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Next Alcachofas Juanito; artichokes with oil, water, garlic, onion, breadcrumbs and parsley. This dish is a past winner of the National Tapa Competition and they were one of the best ways I’ve ever had artichokes (A).

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I nearly swooned over the Albondigas al Oloroso, or meatballs in oloroso sherry sauce (A+), I really must make them at home as I have the sherry.

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Then Mollejas Salteados, aka sautéed sweetbreads. I ordered these as I’d developed a bit of a thing for sweetbreads (thymus glands) in Argentina a few months previously. Sadly though they were cut up too small and were dry and over fried (C). I should have had them ‘al Jerez’ as Frommers suggested but couldn’t see them on the menu.

 

All this washed down with some nutty ‘Alfonso’ Oloroso sherry (B+).

Juanito is a bit pricier than elsewhere but it’s worth it.

La Cruz Blanca (Intermediate B+), 16 Calle Consistorio, www.restaurantelacruzblanca.com

Another locally famous tapas bar but perhaps with a more modern attitude than Juanito.

I wasn’t too impressed with their free tapas of Tuna and Potato salad and another plate with some kind of boiled pork. They tasted tired and flavourless (C+) as if they’d been made a while ago, and they filled me up too much.

 

It’s impossible to argue with a Tosta de Queso de Cabra con Cebolla Caramelazida, Miel y Nueces (toasted French bread with goat’s cheese, caramelized onion, honey and walnuts) as it’s just too delicious (A).

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I’d ordered the Miniburguer de Ternera con Queso de Cabra y Cebolla Caramelazida (mini veal burger served with chips) without looking at the menu properly and realized I’d overdosed on the goat’s cheese and caramelized onion! It was still good though (B+).

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A good place but I couldn’t eat any more due to them giving me too much free stuff!

I returned to give them another go on a rainy Monday in April 2016 and I’m glad I did. I had the excellent Croquetas de Puerro, Gambas y Algas Wakame (A).

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Then the Huevos Rotos con Foie y Boletus, or lightly fried eggs with foie gras and cep mushooms, which was very oily but again delicious (A-).

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With these glasses of the decent local whites Castillo de San Diego made from Palomino grapes by Bodega Barbadillo (B), and a Entrechuelos Chardonnay from Bodega Miguel Domecq (B).

Mesón del Asador (Intermediate B+), 2 Calle Remedios www.mesondelasador.com

I came to this grill house on the recommendation of a friend of a friend who suggested I have the Rabo de Toro (stewed oxtail) which is an Andalusian classic. It was very good (B+) if too ugly to picture.

It went well with a bottle of Marqués de Cáceres, a popular brand of Rioja (B).

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All the recipes I’ve linked to are in Spanish. Just put them through Google translate to understand them. They don’t necessarily represent exactly what I ate but are the most similar I could find on the web in terms of ingredients.

To finish I had the famous Jerez dessert Tocinillo de Cielo, which is similar to flan except that it just uses egg yolks rather than the whole egg. It was good but tooth-rottingly sweet (B-).

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A glass of PX with it was the only way to go. The wine (B) was called Caletero from Bodegas Almocadén, another local maker.

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Pics posted Nov 2015 and Feb 2017.

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