First there was a menu in English with scrambled eggs and mushrooms and bone of chicken. So we chose that. Then another menu appeared – in German - with mussels in tomato and lump of pork. So we went back to chose one each. Then we noticed that it said 1700 hours on December 23. Odd, we thought, the Spanish eat late but this is very late for lunch and hopelessly early for dinner. We checked. Yes, we should be there at 1700.
So we, along with many many others, headed into the bar/restaurant at 1700 and by half past the first course – ensalada – arrived. A bit like high tea but, wuarra teg, as the Welsh would say, it was pretty prompt. Wine had arrived by the bottle – we were sharing a table of six with other English. The ensalada was a big pile of crisp lettuce, a couple of slices of beefsteak tomato and a dressing – OK and as ever intended to ensure that the need for verdure had been dealt with early on.
The mussels I chose arrived in a bowl with a tomato and green pepper sauce. The mussels were open and covered with a little breadcrumbs before being placed in the oven – for far too long! They tasted OK but had lost any mussel like consistency. Janet's scrambled eggs and mushrooms were a pile of rather grey sliced mushrooms with too little scramble to redress the dreary appearance. They were, she said, sort of OK. For which read barely edible in Janet speak.
Her chicken was a leg (bone) and had the residue of meat left from over-long cooking, Sauté potatoes of indifferent quality (this is Spain where potatoes are patatas brava or nothing). My slab of pork was amazingly tender given the almost total lack of any fat. Two others had it as well and I have no idea which cut it was. My table mate said we were in the land of the black pig and Iberico. Which is true but I fear the black pigs are not much involved in the production of cerdo itself, their meat being more appropriate for curing. Oh and we too had the sauté pots.
A chocolate confection followed which did not taste of chocolate at all and reminded me of Angel Delight.
We drank an ordinary tempranilllo from a good bodega, my call for a Crianza having fallen on deaf ears. But it was 5 euros to the table so who is complaining.
We were then treated to a youngish man with a guitar singing that amazing quarter tone stuff that is essentially described as Flamenco. He was very loud. He then produced a 10 year old girl in Flamenco dress whio proceede to dance the exceedingly sexualised Flamenco dance – to great applause, huge and unedifying interest from the men, much video work and a slightly ill feeling for those of us with different sensibilities. She was very good but... really?