Oaxaca mural

Oaxaca mural

Monday, September 7, 2015

Burgos - Culinary Disaster

Regular readers of my blog know that I frequently write about my dining experiences while I travel.  You may have noticed that I have written nothing about the food here in Burgos.  Although I have enjoyed visiting the fantastic historical sites in this city, I would not recommend Burgos for its food.

The local specialty here is "morcilla" (blood sausage).  It may very well be delicious, but I cannot get past my revulsion at those slices of black sausage.  I am also at a disadvantage in Spain because I do not like shell fish.  Even in the inland cities of Spain, shrimp, squid and other "mariscos" are prominently featured on the menus.  However, I have always been able to find dishes more to my liking.

As a traveler I know enough to avoid the restaurants in Europe that cater to the tourist trade.  However in the Old Town of Burgos that is virtually impossible.  On Friday, my first day in Burgos, I went to a little restaurant near the cathedral and ordered the menu of the day.  The garlic soup wasn't bad, but the pork tenderloin wasn't anything special.

I love Spanish "tapas"... at least the ones not made with shellfish... so Friday evening I decided to have my supper at one of the "tapas bars".  The Old Town is filled with "tapas bars", but they were jammed with people, and I didn't feel like pushing my way into the crowd.  When I finally found a place that wasn't so crowded, I should have known that it was because the "tapas" were not as good.  The "patatas bravas" (potatoes with a spicy sauce) and the ham croquettes were mediocre, and the sangria was too sweet.

On Saturday, I went to another restaurant near the cathedral called BonFin.  Again I ordered the menu of the day.  I started with "menestra", a type of vegetable stew which I like.  This however was a plate of overly salty, over-cooked slop.  My main course of "bacalao' (codfish) wasn't very good.  That evening I had a seriously upset stomach.  Fortunately I felt better the next morning.

On Sunday, after my long walk back from La Cartuja, I was passing through the modern commercial district of the city, and found an elegant looking restaurant.  There was no English menu posted on the street.  (That's a good sign.)  I went inside.  The clientele seemed to be well-to-do, local families out for Sunday dinner.  (Another good sign.)  Well, my "gazpacho" was good, as was the dessert, but my main course of lamb was more fat than meat.  The meal was definitely not worth 45 euros.

It's rather sad that my best meal of the day has been the breakfast buffet at the hotel.  I chow down on Spanish ham, "tortilla española", manchego cheese, "churros" and chocolate-filled croissants.

We will see what culinary adventures (or misadventures) await me in León. 

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