Idioma / Language: Spanish

Salamanca: gluten-free breakfast and tapas surrounded by history

There’s nothing better than being on vacation and waking up in another city! Although it wasn’t the first time Isa and I visited that city, we always end up discovering new things. That day we were going to try two gluten-free restaurants in Salamanca. Then we would go to Leon.

This time, while walking to the gluten-free cafeteria where we would have breakfast, we stopped in front of one of the doors of the Cathedral.   

What?? An astronaut in an 18th century cathedral? This one was placed there during the 1992 restoration. From what we’ve read, this restoration was part of a temporary exhibition called “The Ages of Man”. The stonemason Miguel Romero added a series of nods to the contemporary era.

We found the astronaut miniature by chance and it occupied part of our conversation as we walked to the university area. Our destination was The Corner cafeteria, a “slow coffee and food shop” on 56 Arapiles Street.

Although at that time (July 2019) few students were left, it was noticeable that there was a very strong connection with their clients. All the young people who came into the cafeteria seemed to get along great with the waiters, and the atmosphere was so close and the music so relaxed that it felt really great to be there! When it was our turn, the waiter addressed me in English. The nuclear white of my skin and the hat I sometimes wear in the summer creates confusion to some people.

We were hungry but didn’t know what to order. The sign on the wall next to the cashier had some indications with the gluten-free symbol.

The waiter explained to us very well what gluten-free options they had. We started with the salty ones. My favorite! With a focaccia bread they could prepare different options: 6 classics and 8 specials. I decided to stick with one of the classics. It’s called “Ibérico” and it’s a focaccia split in half with spread fresh tomato, goat cheese and ham.

Freshly toasted it was delicious. The crispy, warm bread, the cold tomato, the strong goat cheese taste and the ham provided a very interesting explosion of flavors. The orange juice was delicious. And there was so much juice!

As for the sweet options, they had several types of gluten-free muffins: there were neutral, with chocolate chips, and filled. The fillings were the ones that interested us the most: they were filled with chocolate, strawberry, dulce de leche or red fruits. This was Isa’s breakfast: two filled muffins. One with chocolate and one with dulce de leche, which she loves since she returned from Argentina.

The filling was great! It looked like they had made a hole inside the muffin with an apple corer. The chocolate-filled muffin was served hot. It was much fluffier than the dulce de leche, which was a little harder and had a more pronounced muffin flavor. The best thing was that, when you bite into a piece with dulce de leche, the injection of sugar was amazing.

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After breakfast, we had two options: we could either go to León and eat there; or walk around for the rest of the morning and leave after having lunch in one of the other gluten-free restaurants in Salamanca that we had found. After reviewing the options, we decided to stay in Salamanca.

We walked slowly through the historical centre of Salamanca all morning. The Casa de las Conchas, the University, the Plaza Mayor, the Cathedral… we had decided to eat early to get to our next destination at a reasonable time. Between 1 and 2 o’clock in the afternoon, we went to the next gluten-free restaurant.

We had decided to go to the Cuzco Bodega at 5 Juan del Rey Street. Very close to the Plaza Mayor! Walking around makes us hungry and we really wanted to try the gluten-free tapas offered in that restaurant. We sat down in one of the tables next to the window and started reading the menu. There were so many gluten-free options! Even though we knew we couldn’t do it, we wanted to try them all! Luckily it was tapas (small portions) and we were able to try several. All the gluten-free options were very well indicated on the menu. 

We started with an Iberian pork tenderloin with a Pedro Ximenez reduction. O-M-G!! It was delicious! It’s been a year since we were there and even now my mouth is watering thinking about how well we ate. As expected, the sirloin was very tender and melted in my mouth. Also, the PX reduction was very well done.

Although they didn’t bring us gluten-free bread as such, with all of these tapas, we ate a couple of packs of gluten-free crackers. The fact that there was no bread wasn’t such bad news. We could eat more tapas! After the tapa of Iberian pork fillet in Pedro Ximénez sauce, we continued with another one of Iberian pork fillet in goat cheese. Just as good!

Then we move on to a simpler one, but no less good. We love the sheep’s cheese and the little triangles we were served were great for adding a little more contrast in temperature and flavor to the food.

We were still hungry but we didn’t want to eat much either. We had to do many things when we arrived in León and we didn’t want to fall asleep in bed because we had eaten too much.

With this in mind, we decided to move on to desserts. We ordered a cheese mousse with quince. They brought it to us topped with some nuts on a bed of honey. Again… wow! It was delicious. Plus, it had a super fluffy texture. The kind that makes a little noise when you take a spoonful. As usual, we split up the dessert, so it didn’t last much. 

After lunch, we walked back to the car. Before that, we went to say goodbye to the lucky frog. For those of you who don’t know what it is, it’s an ornamental detail on the façade of the University of Salamanca. We could say that this small stone amphibian has become an icon of the city! Especially because of the luck that brings to those who see it first among a group. So you know! Apart from the astronaut at the Cathedral, you have to find the frog at the University!

You can see the pictures of the trip here.

BY CLICKING ON THE MAP OF GLUTEN FREE RESTAURANTS YOU FILL SEE ALL RESTAURANTS WE DESCRIBED IN THIS POST LOCATED IN THE MAP OF GLUTEN-FREE PLACES:

AND HERE WE LEAVE THE CELIAC TRAVEL CARD IN SPANISH:

P.S.: Please keep in mind that in this blog I share my trips, anecdotes and experiences about gluten free travel around the world. It is possible that, in any of my trips, I go to some restaurant not trained by the associations where the risk of being contaminated with gluten exists. I kindly ask you to also take into account that the list of references can change. Please, always double check before eating in the restaurants we recommend. Thank you very much!

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