Salamanca: looking for the stone frog among gluten-free restaurants in the lands of Lazarillo de Tormes
We were arriving at our next destination! Salamanca! This is a city I’ve always been in love with. Studying here would have been an adventure in itself! It’s a clear example of the coexistence of history and modernity. Walking through its university buildings, old streets, porticos and squares that have hosted the protagonists of part of Spain’s history makes you feel part of the origin of a country’s wisdom. There we were! Looking for gluten-free restaurants in Salamanca. There are plenty of them!
On the way from Torrejón el Rubio (Extremadura) Isa booked into the first gluten-free restaurant we would go to. Before that, we would leave the car well parked and check in at the hotel so that we could enjoy the rest of the afternoon. With everything organised, we walked from the hotel to the Jero restaurant on Calle Meléndez 11. I had eaten at this gluten-free restaurant for the first time in 2015 during a trip with my university colleagues. It was a place I wanted to repeat.
At the time of booking, Isa had informed that we are both celiacs. When we were given the table, a packet of gluten-free crackers and a round yellow sticker on the tablecloth were already waiting for us. This would let any waiter know that there was at least one coeliac at that table. Compared to other restaurants such as Foster’s Hollywood or Out of China (Barcelona), this is a rather discreet way of identifying diners.
As usual, we were starving again! We were in the land of Iberian pigs and we couldn’t start our meal any other way.
To start warming up the stomach, we ordered for a table of Iberian cold cuts with gluten-free bread. They brought us two little baguettes of freshly bread. They came out of the bag to bake them. On the one hand I think it’s right because the bread is not wet. On the other hand, it raises other questions about the risks of cross-contamination of this type of gluten-free bread solutions that I shared in this post.
Iberian products are always good! We were delighted with the chorizo, the loin, the salchichón and the Iberian ham they brought us. Also, the bread was very well toasted. A freshly baked, crispy bread, with a little olive oil and a good piece of ham… it was perfect to start a gluten-free meal in Salamanca!
We continued with the typical meals of Spain. Next were the “huevos estrellados con jamón”, also known as “huevos rotos”. This is a very simple dish – not least delicious – that consists of three ingredients: fried eggs (preferably with “puntilla”, that is to say the toasted edges), chips and the third ingredient may vary. We have seen them with young eels, with chorizo, with ham, with foie… here it already depends on the taste of each one. We ordered it with ham. Again… delicious! Also, there were two fried eggs. This time, we wouldn’t have to share the yolk.
I can’t tell you if we like travelling or eating more… because we still have a plate of lamb chops. We were starting to get a little full. I admit that after eating 4 ribs each, some fried potatoes remained on the plate… but not in vain! We had seen a dessert we wanted to try. The chocolate mouse!
This one came in a bowl, filled till the top with cream. It was more creamy than spongy. But what’s the difference? It was chocolate and we really wanted it. Besides, we shared that one. Neither of us had enough room in our stomachs for a whole bowl!
After a feast like this you can only do two things to bring it down: walk around, or take a nap. The decision was quite easy! Isa was still tired of the day before at the Lumix Challenge in Torrejón el Rubio. I was very full and, honestly, I didn’t feel like walking in the burning sun. It was a decision! We’d go to the hotel and take a well-deserved nap. She would take the opportunity to select the photographs that she would present in the second phase of the competition. I would look for other gluten-free restaurants in Salamanca where I could have dinner and eat the next day. Besides, we had to find a place to have breakfast.
We left the hotel at a reasonable hour. It was very hot and we wanted to walk comfortably considering that we were in the center of Spain in the middle of summer. We had designed the circuit in such a way that we could have a look at the different gluten-free restaurants we had selected.
Again, we bordered the Cathedral of Salamanca and walked to the Casa de las Conchas. This is a very emblematic palace from the end of the 15th century, beginning of the 16th century. I suppose that, as it houses a library, perhaps for some it is still the prison of study that once was a university prison.
From there, we continued walking towards the Plaza Mayor. But before that, we took a little detour to see the Casa Paca Restaurant, at Plaza del Peso Nº10. This is a restaurant that, as we read in the information we had found, has a specific menu for coeliacs. A waitress who, instead of answering us, preferred to continue to be distracted by her mobile phone, helped us to decide to find another place to go for dinner.
Finally we arrived at the main square! It was packed with bars, terraces, and places to eat tapas (with and without gluten) – and people, of course! We loved the mixture of its baroque buildings and porticos with the atmosphere of any modern square.
Walking under its arches, Isa noticed the “gluten-free” symbol on one of the doors of the Bar La Tentazión. It was not on the list of gluten-free restaurants in Salamanca that we wanted to try. We went in to ask and they explained to us how they did everything. We had two other options: the first one, which was not so convincing because according to what we had read they did not have gluten-free bread, was Tapas 2.0 Gastrocasa in calle Felipe Espino 10; the other was Tapas 3.0 in calle Sanchez Barbero 9.
This was a good option – which we had not contemplated – to go to dinner.
We left this decision for later and sat down for a while on the stone benches in the centre of the square. It’s great to be able to sit in places like this and observe everything! It was full of children playing, running up and down behind a ball or cycling with their bikes while the waiters dodged them with the trays loaded with cold beers, sangria or glasses of summer red wine. The 18th-century prop gave the image an interesting twist.
Before dinner we wanted to see the Cathedral of Salamanca from the Roman Bridge. We had to undo the way to the hotel and we took the opportunity to see the Tapas 3.0 restaurant. It was closed. The decision was easy then!
After seeing the Cathedral from the bridge and leaving our backpacks at the hotel, we walked back to the main square. We would let ourselves be tempted by the tapas we had seen in the menu of the Bar La Tentazión. Besides, they had a terrace in the main square that acted as a multiplier to improve the result of the plan.
The waitress remembered us and brought us the gluten-free menu. It is important that you indicate that you are celiac when they take note of you because they can make the tapas with and without gluten.
This time we were going to have a couple of tapas so we could get a good rest. We had eaten a lot during lunch. Despite we had walked a lot in Salamanca, we had to balance the dinner with the lunch.
We started with some patatas bravas with salsa brava and aioli sauce. Later, in Tolosa, a waitress would baptize them as “bravioli”. What a great name! And how good they were! They brought them cut in a very similar way to those at La Sandvitxería, in Sabadell.
Then they brought us a steak tar-tar. I love this dish. Plus, I like it because it varies depending on where you order it. In this restaurant they brought it with pickled onions and mayonnaise from Provence. I’ve never had it like this before. It was very good. Besides, the meat was veal with designation of origin. It was cut into larger pieces too. It was a good choice. Besides, it’s a fresh dish that contrasts with the heat of the patatas bravas.
A dinner like this, enjoying the Plaza Mayor of Salamanca at night, could not be taken without a good summer red. Moreover, in the background you could hear the Tuna singing in another terrace.
Suddenly, the lights of the square came on illuminating the old buildings that surround it. We got chills when everyone applauded. Without hesitation, we joined in the ovation!
To top off the dinner, we ordered a very curious dessert. It was called “sour apple foam with petazetas.” Yeah, yeah, the old petazetas. The ones that popped in your mouth when you ate them. It was an interesting way to end the day in Salamanca.
After dinner, we sat in the restaurant for a while longer, enjoying the view of the square and planning the next day. We already knew where we would have breakfast. We also decided to eat lunch in the city. We wanted to try more gluten-free restaurants in Salamanca.
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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