Idioma / Language: Spanish

Torrejón el Rubio: a good gluten-free place for bird lovers

Ah! Holidays! We were really eager to start them. In 2019, we decided to use our summer holidays to get to know Spain better. We had our holidays divided into two weeks. The first week, in July, we would go to discover gluten-free restaurants in Salamanca, León, Potes and Fuente Dé, Tolosa and Donosti. But the first stop would not be any of these well-known destinations. No! The first stop would be to discover gluten-free restaurants in Torrejón el Rubio. This is a village in Cáceres, at the foot of the Monfragüe National Park.

This was the reason we were going there! Isa had qualified for a photo contest organized by Lumix. The second round was on the field – everyone with the same equipment and conditions – for a whole day. We had to get to Torrejón el Rubio on Saturday morning. Besides, both of us were opening our new camera!

On Friday evening at six o’clock, I picked up Isa at work and we started the next adventure. This time discovering gluten-free restaurants and bakeries in central and northern Spain. We left too late and couldn’t make the trip in one go. Knowing this, we took it patiently. We had dinner at the McDonalds in Alcalá de Henares and continued on to Talabera de la Reina. There we stopped in a crummy hotel that we will not talk about to avoid hurting our sensibilities.

The next day, badly rested, we left early to do the last km of driving until we reached Torrejón el Rubio. We arrived around 9 am and stopped at Bar Pizarro (Pleiades) for breakfast. We didn’t know it yet, but that would be the only gluten-free restaurant in Torrejón el Rubio we would try. There we had a coffee and an orange juice to recharge our batteries. When I went in to order breakfast I saw that on the wall behind the bar they had a sign with the indicated allergens – we were off to a great start!

With the batteries a little fuller, I accompanied Isa to meet with the Lumix organization and the other participants.

One of the organizers invited me to stay with them, but that was Isa’s adventure and with me there, she wouldn’t have enjoyed it as much. Besides, I needed to rest and close some issues of the work that I had left unfinished… I would take advantage of that day without Isa to do so and be able to enjoy the rest of our vacation with her.

When I was alone, I went back to get the car and went to the apartment I had rented. I had booked a penthouse at Apartamentos Rurales Monfragüe. It was a magnificent place for a well-deserved rest. I was expecting a total disconnection that day.

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When I parked the car, the woman who met me told me that a girl in her family was celiac. Later we talked for a while and I asked her if there was a place to eat gluten-free in Torrejón el Rubio. She told me about Bar Pizarro (Pleiades) and also that you can eat gluten-free at Hospedería Parque Monfragüe. From what I understood, the Hospederías de Extremaduras are luxury hotels similar to the Paradores Nacionales. They are run by the Junta de Extremadura and have a gluten-free menu.

Apart from talking about coeliac disease and gluten-free restaurants in Torrejón el Rubio, she explained everything that this town in Extremadura had to offer. The National Park of Monfragüe offers some excursions to beautiful places. Furthermore, this is a perfect spot for bird watchers. In the Bird Center you will find everything about the birds of the area and you will be able to see live the vultures patrolling the sky of the National Park.

At night, the adventure can continue at the astronomical observatory. And if you prefer to know more about our past there, then you should go to the Rock Art Interpretation Center.

The day had passed in a very relaxed way. I had been able to finish everything I had been working on and also rest from the bad night in Talabera de la Reina. I had no news of Isabel, but on these occasions the “no news, good news” is always good.

I was about to start preparing my dinner when the phone rang. Isabel was excited about the photographic experience she had that day. She told me if I wanted to go to dinner with her and the rest of the participants of the test. I was delighted!

The town is not very big and it would be easy to find them. In fact, when I got to where we had separated in the morning, they were just unloading the van.

We had dinner at the same bar-restaurant where we had breakfast in the morning. At the Bar Pizzarro (Pleyades). The kitchen was informed about our coeliac condition and had prepared the whole dinner without gluten. As usual in Spain, there was starter, main and dessert! The sangria and the summer red wine could not be missing either! As a starter, we ate a plate of rice with meat so that the photographers could recover their energy. As main dish, we had a choice of steak or fish. We chose steak and fries. And for dessert, Isa ordered an ice cream and I ordered a yogurt. It was a very nice evening!

After dinner, she left with the photographers to sleep in a cottage. I went back to the apartment. We met again the next day at the same Bar Pizarro (Pleiades). We returned to my apartment, had a good breakfast from the “just in case shopping” we always carry in the car when we travel. Then we left to continue discovering gluten-free restaurants in our next destination: Salamanca!



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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