Restaurante Túnel de Hada, Spain

Restaurante Túnel de Hada is located in the hotel and spa of the same name, in Jerte, Spain. The Jerte Valley itself is famous for its cherry trees and you’ll find that influence in the food prepared for you at the restaurant. Seating is divided into several areas which offers a bit of privacy/romance, which was much appreciated during my stay. Here’s a view into the spot where our table was situated.

Those ancient walls lend ambiance and gravitas to the setting. The meal began with a sort of palette cleanser, a sorbet of sorts that I find very difficult to describe. It was tasty and functional and here’s a look at the presentation.

Note the flat and hollow-ware. Very tasteful, understated, and always set upon the table with grace and care. Staff here are top notch. Well, the next course was a single, large ravioli-type pocket of pasta which was served in a bowl and then the waitress poured over a warm, creamy garlic soup. A truly simple, yet striking combination of flavors. Here it is in the combined state.

Then came the main courses. One was duck with a dense cherry sauce seen here.

Very vibrant that dish! The other was pork with the thinest slices of potato layered in, as seen next.

Both of these dishes were superb. The cherries are the most local ingredient and were integrated nicely without being overbearing. This is something I like very much about Spain. Each region, even within a region, you find specific foods that are native and used creatively. Thus, while traveling along you experience a great many treats as opposed to one long, homogenized theme. Back to Túnel de Hada. It was time for dessert. We opted for the cherry sorbet and apple tort.

Again, check out that presentation. These people work hard at getting everything right, every detail, only to have me mow it down. Respectfully, of course. If you find yourself traversing the Jerte Valley, you would be well served to enjoy a meal here. (Please note, these photos were from a visit conducted during April 2010. I only recently realized I had not previously posted them. In other words, the menu may have changed.)

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Published in: on May 30, 2011 at 10:05 pm  Leave a Comment  
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La Tapa del Mundo, Madrid

For all the tapas shops in Madrid, I found this one odd. They advertise tasty bits from all over the world.

You’ll find the usual Spanish fare here, but also stuff from Mexico, India, and so on. Wicked combination of cooking if ever I’ve seen one. And there’s more! Drinks from around the world as evidenced by the next sign.

Wow, you could spend a couple of days traveling the world without leaving your seat. Just keep trying something different with each serving. That’s the joy of travel, experiencing the things you don’t normally do in your native location.

Published in: on October 10, 2010 at 12:11 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Airport Chow, Madrid

Typical airport food can be awful. I don’t know, maybe it’s the security x-ray machine that ruins it. However, I must say that at the end of my recent journey through Spain, I found decent eats at the Madrid airpot. This was outside the secure area, but still in the terminal. I returned the rental car, went inside, and there was a cafeteria-style operation. They had pre-made sandwiches, salads, and even champagne. Opting for one of each, here’s how it turned out.

Despite being pre-assembled, those sandwiches were darn good. The salad was all fresh ingredients and tasty. The champagne, well, what better way to celebrate an awesome venture through a foreign land than popping the cork on a bottle of bubbly? So, it’s all good, especially when you go looking for it, even in the airport food court. Enjoy the journey.

Published in: on October 4, 2010 at 1:41 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Posada Casa Vieja, Spain

Posada Casa Vieja, located in Turégano (not far from Segovia) stands on an old village square that will take you back centuries. The photo below hangs on the wall in the dining room, along with several others taken during the early days of photography through the 1920′s or so.

The posada itself is the building on the left with the three balconied windows on the upper level. Not much has changed in the past couple of hundred years as you can see from the next photo.

We happened upon this place in search of a good supper. (Sadly, supper the night before was awful and I needed culinary redemption to preserve my faith in Spanish cooking.) I saw local families loitering near this place and decided to pop in and see what was on offer. Upon entering the building you’re in the taberna, which is a welcoming spot for drinks and small fare.

The fellow behind the bar is the owner (third generation at this point) and he works hard keeping his customers happy, as does his waitstaff who left no need unfulfilled. So, we take a seat in the dining room where those photos are hanging.

After ordering, I scope out the photos which show village life back in the day in black and white glory. Things were not easy back then but the people have risen to the challenge. Then the food arrives. After a couple of salads, a sea bass filet comes.

Sorry about the shaky photography. There was wine, too. Then a bit or roast baby pig.

That dish is famous in this part of Spain. Don’t pass it up. Tasty, crispy, very good! After the meal, I learned my waitress was originally from Poland but now living in Spain with her husband and baby on the way. The owner and I also had a nice chat about my other favorite restaurant in Aruba, Casa Vieja, which is a Colombian joint. He laughed at that and my rudimentary Spanish. Then we were on our way for a good night’s sleep before trekking on through the hills and dales of España the next day.

Published in: on July 10, 2010 at 12:47 pm  Leave a Comment  
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