The Urge To Steal In Jerez de la Frontera

This is what 3.50 euros will get you in Jerez.


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 bartender 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.

Jerez de la Frontera

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


Robin Graham writes at

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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