6 Finger Licking Restaurants in Gijón
11 May, 2016
Gijón lacks the touristy sheen of some other Spanish cities, but it is well worth visiting. And, not only for its cute little Plaza Mayor which stands out in sharp contrast to the grandiose, monumental Universidad Laboral, located virtually on the outskirts, or for its broad, pleasant esplanade or the Cerro de Santa Catalina park, crowned with a sculpture by Eduardo Chillida, Eulogy to the Horizon.
A 10-minute walk from the centre has its reward – the “Best Fabada in the World 2015”, an award they won from among 80 competing restaurants from all over Spain. Made of large La Granja beans orf abes,they are tender from almost five hours of simmering away in their gravy of 100% Iberian bellota (acorn-reared) morcilla (blood sausage), chorizo (cured pork sausage), lacón (shoulder of pork), panceta (streaky bacon) and tocino (fatty bacon). A long flavour with a spicy highlight and not at all rich, as they do not stir-fry. Also served up are squid-ink calamari, which leave you stunned, delicious Emmental and cauliflower croquettes and fresh fish and seafood which attract local pilgrims to the cider hall.
A winery offering both Asturian and international cuisine as Mariano Mier, their chef, just loves travelling (he has visited some 50 countries). His Gwao Bao – a sandwich made of Taiwanese steamed bread, with Astur-Celta-breed Gochu pork jowl, peanuts and cilantro – won the Madrid Fusión 2016 Spanish Tapas Championship, while his Okonomiyaki – an omelette with five vegetables and seven spices – was a finalist in 2015. El Quinto, which devotes thematic menus to several countries, was also a finalist in the Asturias 2016 Pinchos Contest, at which they entered their Ahi Poke Hawaiian salad, made of marinated tuna fish tartare, sesame oil, soy, sriracha sauce and spring onion.
Learn all there is to know about cider. Situated in Lavandera, 10 kilometres from Gijón, a glance at their cider press reveals how apples are pressed – a 0.75-litre bottle is equivalent to a kilo of apples – and how they let the must ferment for 4 to 6 months in 40,000-litre wooden and stainless steel casks in a tunnel originally built to transport coal. The restaurant features produce from their market garden – onions stuffed with codfish or meat and arbeyinos (peas) served up with poached egg, cucharina (teaspoon) stews (fabada, pote…) and such dishes as T-bone ox, codfish omelette and diced nuggets.
For those who like good fish, you’ve come to the right place. It is selected daily by José Luis Camacho, the life and soul of El Candil, who is obsessed with offering quality at a reasonable price. In addition to the fish dishes on the menu (sea bass, sea bream, alfonsino, sole…), he always has salmon he himself smokes in oak sawdust, as well as quality meats, stews such as fabada, chickpeas and green vegetables. At this downtown restaurant, which opens from Monday to Saturday, they offer products in season, while wines can be ordered from their continually augmented wine list by the glass, in half-litre jugs or by the bottle.
La Bolera is one of the best grillrooms in Spain. Its manager, Cuco, is an expert on beef and he applies his expertise as a geneticist and chef when offering dishes of Black Angus, German and Dutch Frisian, German Simmental, brown Swiss, Dutch Holstein and others. The dishes that come off his Cuban Marabú charcoal grill is capable of moving his diners– the 350 to 400-gram T-bone steaks are wolfed down in a trice, garnish included (the chips and red peppers are framers). Other noteworthy dishes include the codfish, capon and field-mushroom rice, and leeks stuffed with Iberian ham and cheese.
A great accommodation option in Gijón is this functional, modern, bright, affordable 3-star hotel located in a central but quiet pedestrian precinct, a three-minute walk from the Plaza Mayor, on the San Lorenzo beachfront and marina. Customers have breakfast in their café-bar, while the lunch menu on workdays features stews (€6.90 for a single dish and €9.90 for two, both including dessert, bread, a beverage and coffee). The à la carte has pasta, sandwiches, pizza, hamburger and mixed grills which are never more than €8, and they are takeaways, too. Free high-speed wi-fi is included, while parking is optional.
Get going on your getaway to Gijón – check out your Vueling here.
Text and photos by Ferran Imedio de Gastronomistas.com
11 May, 2016