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De Tapeo in Montejaque PDF

De Tapeo in MontejaqueA guide to the bars and restaurants of the queen of the pueblos blancos.

As you drive up towards the tiny village of Montejaque, nestling in the shelter of El Hacho, the mountain that dominates the top end of the Guadiaro valley, little do you imagine that this pueblo blanco of a mere 1000 inhabitants, boasts 15 bars and restaurants distributed around its narrow streets.

Approaching Montejaque up the Avenida de Knittlingen, named after the German partner town of Montejaque and nearby Benaoján, you first come across Bar 31, which is open most of the day. Round the corner on the road out towards Sevilla are two more, Mesón El Serrano on the left and opposite, Mesón Las Campanitas. All three are popular with locals and have good reputations for wholesome, home-cooked tapas and meals.

Rejoining the main street, Avenida de Andalucía, which leads up to the original Arab settlement, you find Restaurante El Altillo and Bar La Reja on the right. Both offer tapas and full meals. Up a side-street, C/ Pablo Ruiz Picasso, just past the disused Guardia Civil barracks, is Bar La Cuesta, which some say is the best place for tapas in the village.

For me, however, the best bars for tapeando (sounds much nicer than a pub crawl, doesn’t it?) are concentrated in and around the village square, Plaza de la Constitución, and the narrow alleys of the old village.

Just before the square, on C/ Nueva, is one of the best, El Patio de Frasquito Pedro. With its spacious internal terrace, this place, owned and run by Pepe and Eli, offers the lot: drinks, tapas, raciones and an à la carte menu at sensible prices. El Patio is popular with foreigners and locals alike.

Dive down the hill opposite and you will come across the delightfully located Restaurante Casitas de la Sierra. It is closed at present, but is due to re-open soon.

Further up the main street on the right is Bar La Bodega, which is mainly populated by younger folk. No tapas here, unfortunately.

Next stop, up an alley by the La Caixa bank, is Bar Bodeguita Don Adrián, owned by Alonso, who also supplies embutidos (sausages, cold meats, etc) to the trade. Decorated with flamenco and bullfighting memorabilia, this little bodega offers quality tapas using the afore-mentioned embutidos, tasty cheeses and other local products. Only open from Friday to Sunday.

In the pretty square, unfortunately spoilt by parked cars, are three establishments, each quite different from the other. The aptly named Bar El Rincón, nestling in one corner, is run by Antonio and Anita, who offer tapas and raciones. Fluent German is spoken here, since the couple lived and worked in Knittlingen for many years.

Next door is the Hotel Elefante Amarillo and its adjacent bar and restaurant. Currently run by Yorkshireman Chris Risbey, the drinks and eats are very good value.

Tucked in just off the square to the left is a bar with no name, Bar Perujo officially, run by Andrés and his wife Paqui. This is a real locals bar, but one of my favourites. This is the place to share a drink and a natter with the plumber, the electrician or even the local policía municipal. The drinks and tapas are cheap and, an added bonus, they have the Spanish papers to read.

Montexaquez Oliva is something else. It looks more like a delicatessen selling fine local products. It is, but it’s also a great bar run by arquitect, estate agent and builder, Juan. Only open from Thursday to Sunday evenings, here you get a drink and a tapa for just un euro!

Finally, my favourite bar of all, which also has no name outside. Known locally as Bar Armando, the licensee is Pepa, who took over from her father 20 years ago. She runs the kitchen , while husband Armando, a builder by day, runs the bar. Armando is a big Real Madrid fan, but when they lose, he is quite happy to acknowledge that the other team was better. Take the two Champions League games with Liverpool in 2008, when the crack Spanish side were taken apart by the Merseysiders (5-1 on aggregate). He could tell us exactly where the Madrid coach had got his tactics wrong. With cheap drinks, and tapas at only 20 céntimos, you simply can’t go wrong here.

So, that’s my round-up of the bar scene in Montejaque. Whether you go on a pub crawl or tapeando, you’ll have a great time! Salud!

© Paul Whitelock

revised and updated 5 November 2010

Tags: Montejaque, pueblo blanco, El Hacho, Guadiaro, Avenida de Knittlingen, German partner town, Benaoján, Bar 31, Mesón El Serrano, Mesón Las Campanitas, tapas, Avenida de Andalucía, Restaurante El Altillo, Bar La Reja, Bar La Cuesta, tapeando, Plaza de la Constitución, El Patio de Frasquito Pedro, El Patio, raciones, Bar Bodeguita Don Adrián, embutidos, bodega, Bar El Rincón, Hotel Elefante Amarillo, Bar Perujo, policía municipal, Montexaquez Oliva, Bar Armando, Salud!, paul whitelock,