Food Savior / Salvador de Comida

La versión español está después de la versión inglés.

AS LONG AS we’re talking about food (yesterday’s post), I thought I’d take you with us to Mesón Salvador. The restaurant was named for the original owner, current owner José’s father, Salvador. Salvador translates to “Savior,” hence the title of this post. We started out there today for coffee and stuck around for a paella lunch.

Another day, we both enjoyed flamenquín (slices of jamón serrano wrapped in pork loin, coated with egg and breadcrumbs, and deep-fried). It was first created in Córdoba Province, and I just learned that the name (which means “little Flemish”) derives from its golden color that resembled the blond hair of the Flemish assistants who came to Spain with the Emperor Charles V. Aren’t you thrilled to know that?

We didn’t have dessert today (since we both had ice cream last night). But we haven’t gone without dessert on other recent visits to Mesón Salvador. One perfect evening this week, while waiting for our dinner to arrive, Sergio told us we needed to take a peek in the kitchen. Chef Miguel was putting the finishing touches on a tray of milhojas (layers of cream between layers of pastry). The word translates, appropriately, to “A Thousand Leaves.” The cream this time was flavored with berries (fruit of the forest). We felt obligated to share a big slab, just to be polite.

Another night, I had their baked cheesecake, which I think I’ve mentioned is as good as (and maybe better than) the New York–style cheesecake I love. Then there was “Grandma’s Cake.” Nothing like MY grandma used to make, but so, so good.

I thought I had downloaded our milhojas dessert photo but I promptly lost it. So Lolo kindly removed a platter from the dessert case the next morning.

Don’t worry. Lolo didn’t breathe on the milhojas. The tray was much further from his face than it appears in the photo, which reminds me of a T-shirt I once bought for someone I love. It was similar to the message often printed on side-view mirrors in cars. “Objects under this shirt are larger than they appear.” She got a kick out of it, but I don’t think she ever wore it.

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MIENTRAS HABLAMOS DE comida (la publicación de ayer), pensé en llevarte con nosotros a Mesón Salvador. El restaurante lleva el nombre del propietario original, el padre del dueño José, Salvador. Hoy comenzamos a tomar café y nos quedamos a comer paella.

Otro día, ambos disfrutamos el flamenquín. Se creó por primera vez en la provincia de Córdoba, y acabo de enterarme de que el nombre deriva de su color dorado que se parecía al cabello rubio de los asistentes flamencos que vinieron a España con el Emperador Carlos V. ¿No te emociona saber eso?

Hoy no comimos postre (ya que los dos tuvimos helado anoche). Pero no hemos pasado sin postre en otras visitas recientes a Mesón Salvador. Una noche perfecta esta semana, mientras esperaba que llegara nuestra cena, Sergio nos dijo que necesitábamos echar un vistazo en la cocina. El chef Miguel estaba dando los últimos toques a una bandeja de milhojas (capas de crema entre capas de masa). La crema esta vez fue aromatizada con bayas (fruto del bosque). Nos sentimos obligados a compartir una gran losa, solo para ser educados.

Otra noche, tuve su tarta de queso horneado, que creo que he mencionado es tan bueno (y tal vez mejor que) la tarta de queso al estilo de Nueva York que amo. Luego estaba “Tarta de la abuela”. Nada como mi abuela solía hacer, pero muy, muy bueno.

Pensé que había descargado nuestra foto de postre de milhojas, pero la perdí rápidamente. Así que Lolo sacó amablemente un plato a la mañana siguiente.

No te preocupes. Lolo no respiraba en las milhojas. El plato estaba mucho más lejos de su cara de lo que parece en la foto, lo que me recuerda a una camiseta que una vez compré para alguien que amo. Era similar al mensaje que a menudo se imprime en los espejos laterales de los automóviles. “Los objetos debajo de esta camisa son más grandes de lo que parecen”. Le gustó mucho, pero no creo que lo haya usado nunca.

Paella
Flamenquin
Baked cheesecake / Tarta de queso horneado
Grandma’s cake / Tarta de la abuela
Lolo and the milhojas / Lolo y las milhojas

Stone Fountain / Fuente de Piedra

La versión español está después de la versión inglés.

AFTER ALL THE walking and fresh air Wednesday, we of course had to have lunch. I had researched the restaurants in the small town of Fuente de Piedra, and found one that was highly rated. The restaurant is on Plaza de La Constitución. The town and the plaza were quite tired and in need of a facelift on our previous visits. This time, all was freshly painted with lots of renovations going on.

We found La Taberna de Joaquín (Joaquín’s Tavern) and were greeted warmly and enthusiastically, treated like family, and fed like royalty. (And, no, I did not eat nor drink, everything pictured.) By the time we left, we felt like old, dear friends. On our departure, we received warm hugs, and I asked the man his name. “Joaquín,” he laughed. I laughed and said, “What a lucky coincidence! That’s the name of the restaurant!” Joaquín alone is worth the one-hour drive.

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DESPUÉS DE TODA la caminata y el aire fresco el miércoles, por supuesto tuvimos que almorzar. Había investigado los restaurantes en el pequeño pueblo de Fuente de Piedra y encontré uno que estaba altamente calificado. El restaurante está en la plaza de la Constitución. El pueblo y la plaza estaban bastante cansados y necesitaban un cambio de cara en nuestras visitas anteriores. Esta vez, todo estaba recién pintado con muchas renovaciones en marcha.

Encontramos la Taberna de Joaquín y fueron recibidos cálidamente y con entusiasmo, tratados como familia, y alimentados como miembros de la realeza. (Y, no, no comí ni bebí, todo lo que se muestra en las imagenes). Cuando nos fuimos, nos sentimos viejos amigos. A nuestra partida, recibimos cálidos abrazos y le pregunté al hombre su nombre. “Joaquín”, se rió. Me reí y dije, “¡Qué suerte de coincidencia! ¡Ese es el nombre del restaurante!” Joaquín solo vale la pena una hora en coche.

With my head buried in my food. / Con mi cabeza enterrada en mi comida.
Fried eggplant (aubergine) with molasses (treacle). / Berenjenas con miel de caña.
Eggs with dried cod and prawns. / Revuelto con bacalao y langostinos.
The plaza’s stone fountain, under renovation. / La fuente de piedra de la plaza, en renovación.

San Geraldo’s Flamenquín

San Geraldo did it again. He fed me and then he fed the cats — not the same food. But, we are all content, lazy, and ready for some sleep. (The cats, unfortunately, will be running around the house once the lights are out… I hope I won’t).

We’ve enjoyed a local dish called Flamenquín in a variety of restaurants around town. I know you’re wondering, so I’ll tell you: Flamenquín means “little Fleming,” which apparently refers to the golden color that resembled the blond hair of the Flemings who came to Spain in the 1500s along with Charles V. There now you can rest easy.

DEEP-FRYING IN OLIVE OIL… YES, THERE WAS A LOT OF CLEAN-UP.

Traditionally, flamenquín is pork loin wrapped around ham, coated with bread crumbs and egg, and then deep-fried. But, it’s not uncommon to find ham and cheese wrapped in chicken instead. Downstairs, Dos de Mayo serves their own version of “mini” flamenquíns. Several blocks away, Café Santa Marta serves a not uncommon version that is more than a foot long and quite phallic. San Geraldo decided to see if he could produce his own version with chicken at home. Not only did he produce it, he improved on it. His flamenquín included large pimentos, which added a nice little kick to the filling. I think he used his cookbook, “The New Spanish Table.”

LOOKING JUST LIKE THEY’RE SUPPOSED TO.

It obviously won’t be found in “The Zone Diet” cookbook, but at least it’s fried in olive oil; it could be worse. Anyway, we had salad for lunch today, and a healthy lunch and dinner yesterday (well except for the ice cream at 11:00 p.m.), and no dessert tonight. And I do live with a saint. I’m sure we’ll be forgiven.

I CUT THIS IN HALF ALL BY MYSELF. AND I SAY I DON’T COOK!

Among San Geraldo’s many talents in the kitchen is his ability to use as many dishes, pots and pans, and serving pieces as possible, and to leave a trail behind on every surface. I usually walk into the kitchen after a meal and gasp. Tonight, he was especially creative (seven dinner plates, two large soup bowls, one cereal bowl; plus pots, pans, silverware for five, tongs, and more). But clean-up didn’t take much time; it’s my one skill in the kitchen. Besides, I’m no longer living on Kraft Macaroni and Cheese or frozen pizza. I will not complain.