A Tasty Morsel – Jerez de la Frontera

The Suckling Lamb’s Rib

Jerez de la Frontera, located in Southern Spain, is known for it’s horse and cattle ranches.  Also famous are the vineyards which produce world reknown sherry.  For Robin Graham, our eloquent guest writer from Tarifa, Jerez de la Frontera is also known for skimpy lamb tapas.  What is this in Spain?  The more upscale the restaurant, the more specialized the tapas, the bigger the hit on your wallet and the skimpier the tapas?

By Robin Graham

When they bring me a single baby lamb’s rib on a little slate platter, my first reaction is to wonder whether someone’s having fun with me. I’ve just spent three euros fifty on this – I was expecting maybe two or three. I’m not above stealing the odd slate platter, you know, when sufficiently outraged by a price/portion ratio. These people don’t know who they’re dealing with.

I’ve done it before. As I type I’m eating some toast from a little round platter I stole from an over-priced jamón (ham) joint in Seville. You’d be surprised at the consistency with which poor, overpriced portions get served on slate platters, so they have become something of a focal point for my attempts at revenge, and they make much nicer souvenirs than fridge magnets.

I leave it this time though. Apart from anything else, the bar tender is watching me closely – I don’t suppose it’s everyone that photographs their costilla before tucking in. I must admit it’s delicious – tender and served in a crispy batter, laced with honey. The four-and-a-half-seconds it takes to eat it are very enjoyable indeed, then I’m at a loose end again.

The surroundings as well are beautifully done, if I’m being fair. Billing itself as a gastrobar, El Reino de León is one of Jerez de la Frontera’s smarter places, and I really should mention that we see some very good-looking food served around us. The crowd is youngish and well-to-do and there’s an enviable selection of fine sherries by the glass if you’re willing to fork up the money.

Jerez – Cathedral Tower

I’d happily recommend it as a contrast to the town’s more down-to-earth tabancos (bars that serve wine from the barrel) and tapas joints. You can expect some very accomplished food here; just don’t expect much bang for your buck – you’re unlikely to find yourself letting your belt out, unbuttoning a button, or burping.

El Reino de León Gastrobar,  Calle Latorre, 8, Jerez de la Frontera

Have you been tempted to steal from a restaurant?

Robin Graham writes about Andalusia, Spain and some other stuff. His stories can be found,with accompanying photography, at http://alotofwind.com/ He’s a private person but, strangely, doesn’t mind being followed : @robinjgraham or liked (on Facebook) : alotofwind.com. Photography at http://robingraham.wix.com/de-la-luz#!portfolio

11 Responses

  1. Paddy Waller says:

    That lamb’s rib did seem a bit lonely…..

  2. Yolanda Solo says:

    I don´t know that I would class it as stealing, but I did walk out of a cafe bar I used to go to every day, after waiting for 20 minutes to pay, with four people behind the bar too busy talking to each other to take my money.

  3. A tickle of a rib, that one.

  4. I have been known to stuff the odd ceramic dessert dish in my handbag – in my defence I thought that they were going to be thrown away. Problem is getting your handbag contents covered in the remains of Crema Catalana!

  5. Flamenco, sherry and motor racing too: so thats flamenco, sherry, motor racing, horses, and lamb tapas! quite a place

  6. Elle Draper says:

    Lambs’ ribs always look measly to me – I’d have been incensed if I’d received that!
    Elle xx

  7. admin says:

    Measely is not good. However, I love lamb. It is difficult in Catalunya to find lamb appetizers.

  8. admin says:

    Yes, definite problem with the Crema Catalana! Good luck with future heists!

  9. admin says:

    Yes, sounds like service in Spain. Most of the time I roll with the delays. I always tell visitors to throw away their watches. Everything is late in Spain!

  1. November 16, 2013

    […] pines. We tuck into a mousse of goat’s cheese and tomato marmalade in some slick place and I resist the temptation to steal the slate platter it comes on. Then a more down-to-earth place with tastier food and then a couple of bars in the El Populo […]

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