Sep 082017
 
BAR BALLESTA,      BENIDOLEIG       966404860

 ★★★☆☆ 

Hearty country fare

Bar Ballesta is typical of many bar/restaurants around rural Spain; a combination of shiny tiled floor , lots of chrome furniture and fittings, bright strip lighting but not a lot of soft furnishing.  Thus, efficient and clean, but not very atmospheric.

 

 

On Fridays Ballesta offers a menu del día that is limited to puchero, a well known Spanish dish consisting of a soup with noodles followed by a casserole of pelota, pork, chicken, sausage and lots of vegetables and potatoes. Hearty country fare but more suited for the winter than the heat of early September.

 

 

 

 

 

The menu del día costs a modest €9.00 and includes bread with alioli, the puchero, a half bottle of wine and coffee. One of our number decided to go off piste and enjoyed a dish of prawns cooked in garlic (€7) and a main course of fresh sepia or cuttlefish (€9.50), both delicious.

Our host decided to trade up with the wines and we enjoyed a Vinopoló Sauvignon blanc from Alicante and Peña Tejo from Utiel Requena both just €6 each.

 

In fact the total cost p.p. including brandies was just €15, remarkably good value.

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May 312013
 

  EL TEMPLE    BENIDOLEIG   966404632

 ★★★★☆ 

Holy Moly! Chicken with chocolate!

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Benidoleig is probably best known for its caves, but hidden in the backstreets of the upper town on Calle Jacinto Benavente, close by the village church, is El Temple. The restaurant is cosy, decorated with oriental artefacts and has a small patio in the back for al fresco dining. 

The menu del día is priced at a remarkable €9.50 for three courses and a drink and on Sundays they have a very interesting Tapas menu for just €12.00.

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There was a choice of four starters – entremesas, mixed salad, soup or a very tasty duck foie gras with a raspberry sauce. Some of our group decided to go à la carte and chose a foie gras encrusted in nuts and seeds (€7.50) and served with ginger bread that did not really work together. Another member had mini hamburgers (€6.25) and was very satisfied with his choice.

 

The wines selected to accompany our lunch were Castillo de Aza, a Verdejo from Rueda and Dominio de la Vega, a red from Utiel Requena, both good quality and reasonably priced at €7.75 and €8.50 respectively.

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For the main course most of us were intrigued by the  roast chicken with chocolate sauce and an interesting dish it proved to be. The other possibilities were fish hamburgers with a tartare sauce or macarrones gratinados with Gorgonzola and walnut sauce. This chef is not scared to try new combinations and hats off to him!

 

Including desserts our most enjoyable lunch amounted to €22.96 p.p.

 

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