Santiago de Compostela/Rias Baixas/W. Asturias
Not too much on these areas posted. Def. hitting Marcelo in Santiago de Compostela but this is a tourist town so would greatly appreciate any suggestions on what not to miss and what to avoid on the more casual end of the spectrum. Also, spending a couple days along the coast in S. Galicia and then driving up to Asturias for a few days--will be mainly be betw Luarca and Oviedo but are planning to head east for 1 day tow Picos de Europa. We eat it all--thanks!
Last time I was in Asturias in the area near the Picos I stayed in the Parador in Cangas de Onis, so that I could attend the cheese market on Sunday. Ther Parador was fine like most, but also like most an overpriced and underwhelming restaurant. However, in the village I especially liked the sideria El Molino de la Pedrera.
About 15 minutes away in Arriondas are two Michelin restaurants I also liked very much. Casa Marcial, from Nacho Manzano was great because both traditional and new wave menus are offered. El Corral del Indianu was also very inventive and worthwhile. If choosing only one I would say Casa Marcial.
BTW, if you sign up on the paradores web site they send you many special deals. I have also stayed many times at the Parador in Cambados when visiting for the August Albarino festival. If you visit Cambados I would suggest staying there.
Marcelo is good and low key. Not to be missed is the Mercado in Santiago. Lots of abuelas (grandmothers) who make their own cheese, tortilla (the real thing, w/tuna, merluza w/raisins), Orujo (Spanish grappa, from either grapes or apples depending on the region). Didn't have too much luck in LA Coruna (sadly) but has great tapas in both Ourense + Pontevedra. As for Asturias, I was hiking w/vegetarian Brits and they've never heard of food.
Go to Cabrales in Asturias, for cabrales of course and it's a lovely area. I would definitely have Fabada in Asturias. I didn't love beans until i got to Spain. Also Cidra in Asturias.
Hope you enjoy Asturias. My fav Asturian foodie items are:
Beans with clams (fabes con almejas). Pic:
The Asturian recipes to cook the ugly, but delicious, goosefish (pixin
A sweet dessert: rice with milk (arroz con leche
Cabrales blue cheese with country bread & a cup of good red wine from Rioja or Ribera de Duero
Few glasses of well poured cider in a "chigre" (Asturian cider bar
I recommend "Casa Conrado" in downtown Oviedo.
IMO, those posh & pricey small snacks in middle of a huge dish will pass soon. Since 1980, the only solid contribution to Spain's cuisine has been the 'pastel de kabrarroka' by Arzak.
The smart popular cooking, the result of many essays during centuries, will remain forever.