Skip to main content

EL RACO D'EN MIQUEL, PONT DE MOLINS, SPAIN: RESTAURANT REVIEW

We go to Spain to shop about twice a year. It's a southern France thing. Lots of stuff is cheaper in Spain - clay pots, for instance. And cigarettes. Everyone who smokes and has a car capable of making the run buys their cigarettes in Spain. You can also find stuff in Spain that you can't easily find in France - sherry, Hellman's Mayonnaise, and rioja come to mind. So, twice a year...road trip to La Junquera, a paradise of malls, groceries, and liquor stores. And food courts. And Spanish food court food is...yes...food court food.

We all have our own takes on what constitutes a good meal while on the road. For some, Cracker Barrel works just fine. Waffle House, too. (My European friends will just have to imagine what one finds in a Waffle House. I'm not going to try to explain.) Others prize out-of-the-way diners that serve juicy burgers, fresh-cut fries, and homemade cherry pie with hand-dipped ice cream. I admit to being of the latter persuasion. I also admit to having failed to have figured out how to find exceptional road food while traveling here in France. Regular readers will know that bad meals here are few and far between. But a road food meal is judged differently than a pleasant interlude in a local cafe. And when it comes to Spain, I just have too little experience.

We started our latest shopping excursion in Figueres to check out a huge pottery outlet there. It's a bit further south into Spain than La Junquera  but worth the trip. Good prices on clay pots and saucers. When we headed north, we came across El Raco D'En Miquel along the old highway that parallels the toll road. As lunchtime approached, we decided to give El Raco a try.

We  arrived just at noon and, although a sign said that the restaurant was open from 8h00 to 22h00, we were informed that lunch service did not begin until 12h30. That made sense as the wood fire was just being laid under the grill. Would we like an aperitif while we waited? So we nursed beers until a waitress with no French or English arrived and, through a series of pantomimes suitable for the kiddies, explained our luncheon choices. (At La Junquera, everyone speaks French and English in addition to Spanish. Fifteen minutes further south? Not so much.)

The menu was diverse and interesting. I started with a salad chevre chaud (hot, fresh goat cheese). Tasty. The girls both chose grilled asparagus topped with slices of grilled ham and tomato. An interesting take, perfect when asparagus is in season, and well executed. For the main, I had a piece of grilled sausage, interestingly spiced. Liz had grilled rabbit, a large and meaty quarter. And Cathey had a heaping plate of crispy fried sardines. With simple desserts, a jug of rioja for the girls, and another beer for me, the total came to under 40€, the meal formula at 11.50€ that included the wine and one beer, plus the three beers while we waited.

Fine, hearty road fare. You can read more of my restaurant reviews HERE.










Comments

Popular posts from this blog

FRENCH VISA AND HEALTH INSURANCE FOR AMERICANS

The most expensive item in an American family's budget may be health insurance. But many Americans have no understanding of the true cost of their insurance because it's included in their employment package. Folks simply don't think about how much their employer may be reducing their salaries when factoring in insurance costs.

Before I retired, my employer paid for my health insurance but I had to pay to insure my wife. The cost, taken out of my every paycheck, came to about $6,000 annually. And even with insurance, there were co-pays and other out of pocket expenses. We were reasonably healthy (and still are, knock wood), but we each take a few common prescription medications - for blood pressure and cholesterol and the like, nothing exotic or costly. Even so, with regular visits to the doctor, periodic lab work, the drugs, and the occasional illness or injury, we normally spent an additional several thousand dollars annually in the States over and above the cost of the i…

LE TAJ MAHAL, BEZIERS: RESTAURANT QUICK TAKE

Full Disclosure: I first heard the term 'The Raj' several years ago. The term did not appear in American history books. I never lived in any metro area with a significant Asian-Indian population. And I would guess that I was about 35 years old before I ate in an Indian restaurant.

So what the hell do I know? (If you prefer video to the written word, you can watch my review of Le Taj Mahal on my YouTube channel HERE.)

My sister-in-law now lives in the same village in the south of France that we do. For some reason not fully defined, she searched online for the best Indian restaurants in France. Le Taj Mahal in Beziers appeared on the list. We went because that's what we do, go to restaurants that look that they might serve good food. We're glad that we did.

First of all, the folks in the restaurant were very accommodating. We arrived at noon only to discover that they wouldn't be opening until 12:30. In recognition of the heat of the day, we were invited in, the a…

WINE TASTING FOR PLEBS

I don't know a darn thing about wine. So I warn you. Don't listen to a word that I say. Why? I'm an American, born in the Northeast USofA, not exactly a hotbed of boutique wine making even today when the folks in places like the Finger Lakes of upstate New York have been trying to establish their creds for generations. All that I knew of wine as I was growing up came from my experiences with my grandmother's concord grape wine. Oddly enough, straight out of the barrel in the basement it wasn't too sweet. If you liked sweet wine, though, Nana didn't mind. She'd just add a dab of maple syrup to the carafe and shake it a bit.

See what I mean? Don't listen to a word that I say.

Like many of my fellow English-speaking expats, I have come to enjoy sampling the great variety of wines available to us in here Occitanie. We live in the midst of a terroir that is transforming itself from a region known for sheer quantity to a region dotted  with an ever-increasin…