Tuesday, 9 September 2014

L'Esbardu, restaurant review

After the bear walk, it was time for lunch. The restaurant we chose was L'Esbardu; it was on the edge of the town, just past the bridge. In fact, from the terrace, you can watch the river, except we were there in summer and there wasn't that much water.

When we arrived, the terrace was almost full; inside, there were a couple of tables which were occupied. We chose to sit outside under the shade of an orange tree. There were two servers, a waiter and a waitress. However, the waiter was the only one taking food orders.

The waitress attended to us after several minutes, brought us the menu, and took our drink orders. One word of warning here - while waiting, we heard a loud thud, and I mean loud! By some miracle, an orange had fallen off the tree and missed my shiny head by inches, hit the table, and bounced off to the ground.

So, choose your tables carefully - you may not be as lucky as I was!

Anyway, in spite of that incident - or perhaps they were afraid of coming near us! - we were practically ignored! Even frantic hand waving didn't catch anyone's attention. Worse, a group that arrived after us had their orders taken first, and naturally, got their food way before us.

We weren't pleased at all.

It's one thing when you're not served because no-one is available, and quite another when someone who comes after you gets served before. And it wasn't that big a terrace. The waitress attended to us first, so it was her responsibility to make sure that the waiter was aware of us, and if he had been more on the ball, he would have kept abreast of the situation anyway.

Food. The portions were huge! Be warned.

It might not have been the right season to have a pote Asturiano, but Asturia is famous for their fabadas and their potes. As you can see, it's something to help you through the cold winters...

L'Esbardu, restaurant review, Proaza, Asturias
Pote Asturiano
 The standard egg, sausage and chips. €6 for this, not a bad deal at all.

L'Esbardu, restaurant review, Proaza, Asturias
Egg, sausage & chips (child's portion)
 I had to watch my cholesterol level, so I opted for a grilled bonito. Wrong choice, probably. It was more of a meat rather than a fish place. Having said that, the bonito looked fresh, but the problem with cooking fish such as bonito and tuna is that it's hard to get the al dente point. To make it worse, this piece of bonito was at least two fingers thick! 

So, to put it in one word: DRY! Go past the al dente point, and this fish just dries up incredibly. It was so dry I could hardly eat it. I must have left at least half of it on the plate - it was huge anyway.

L'Esbardu, restaurant review, Proaza, Asturias
Grilled bonito
 And this was how the bill came. In a red espadrille. Perhaps that's what esbardu means. I never did find out.
L'Esbardu, restaurant review, Proaza, Asturias
Bill in a shoe

Name of restaurant: L'Espardu
Location: Calle del Puente s/n, 33114 Proaza, Asturias
Tel: 985 76 11 52
Verdict: Conditional recommendation... if it isn't very crowded, and if you're fond of meat.