Meat feast in the mountains
The village of Tarbena is an interesting place to visit. The drive from the Jalon Valley over the Coll de Rates is spectacular and the village is high in the mountains overlooking Collosa and the coastline stretching down to Benidorm. Like many villages in the Marina Alta it was planted with farmers from Mallorca after the Moors were expelled from Spain at the beginning of the 17th century and it became a hotbed of Communism during the Spanish Civil War. There are two restaurants called Can Pinet in the village, both owned by the same family. The bar restaurant in the Plaza Major is a museum, in fact a veritable shrine to Communism, and well worth visiting, however we chose to have lunch in the restaurant at the top of the village on Calle Constitució.
There is a ceramic plaque on one of the walls that proclaims this Can Pinet is a Valencian Sanctuary and indeed they can be rightly proud of the substantial hearty meals they serve up from the cast iron range in the middle of the restaurant.
There is a menu del día priced at just €10, but we chose to go à la carte.
We started with a fresh salad that included the usual ingredients of lettuce, tomatoes, olives and chunks of tuna but also pieces of cheese compacted with honey and candied fruit, all dripping in Balsamic dressing. Wonderful!
This was followed by two dishes of embutidos, grilled sausages and puddings served in a honey sauce. Delicious!
Finally to complete this meat feast we had large portions of Pork cutlets and shoulder of lamb, complete with baked potatoes.
Only one of our group managed to continue to the dessert stage and have a Crema Catalan.
We had the house red (€6.50) which went well with the meat and brought the cost of this memorable meal to €22 p.p.