Viladrau: gluten-free oats, adrenaline and a good restaurant!
That day we talked a lot and Jordi proposed a collaboration, combining off-road with gastronomy (gluten-free, of course!). Said and done! We set agendas and decided to go to his friend’s restaurant in Viladrau.
The week before the route, we defined everything: I took care of looking for the tracks we would go through and he would take care of bringing gluten-free breakfast. A challenge for those who do not eat gluten-free, since sometimes it is not so easy to find gluten free products! He had planned to bring an oatmeal pancake to eat with turkey, cheese and tuna (canned). I specify “canned tuna” because it is the only fish I can eat. The rest literally kills me.
Although it was not easy, he finally found a package labeled “gluten-free oats.” Although it does not contain gluten, some associations include it in the list of cereals to avoid due to the cross contamination that can be with wheat or other cereals with gluten.
I was excited! It was the first time I ate oats. I felt like I was doing something forbidden… but no! It was gluten free and they had taken precautions at home so there were no other contaminations.
When we found a shadow on the road, we stopped there for breakfast. Mireia (Jordi’s partner), had brought cherries (which I can not eat either because I’m allergic), the oats pancake, turkey, tuna and cheese. They had also brought some pretty funny dishes!
IMPORTANT: in Catalan “oatmeal” is “civada” and “barley” is “ordi”. In Spanish “barley” is “cebada”. I commented to avoid confusion if you go to a restaurant and you saw it written somewhere!
When we finished breakfast, we started recording the video explaining the whole adventure. The idea was to make a route from Sant Fruitós de Bages to Viladrau. Going by road, Viladrau is almost an hour away from Sant Fruitós de Bages. But we were going through the mountain, so we needed at least 4h. Finally, we decided to cut back a bit. Once in Viladrau, we would go to eat at the Restaurant Ágora, at Plaza Mayor No. 3. Meritxell, owner and cook, was waiting for us. She has also some intolerances as you will see in the video at the end of the post.
The tracks we took brought us through really beautiful landscapes. We passed near fields and rivers and crossed some very leafy forests. Everything was quite green and some sections were full of mud, since almost torrential rains had fallen very recently. After a small rush of adrenaline crossing a puddle, after an hour we reached the town.
We went to greet Meritxell and, as it was early and we did not want to eat because the gluten-free oatmeal had left us totally satiated, we went for a walk.
Maybe some of you will know the name of Viladrau having seen it in the Spanish supermarkets. In this village, located in the heart of Montseny, there are springs of natural mineral water that is packaged and marketed under the name of the town. Also in this town is where the bandit “Serrallonga” (who lived during the XVI-XVII centuries) was born.
When we started feeling hungry again, we turned around and walked towards the restaurant. Upon arrival, the waiter brought me the menu of the day and the general menu. When he gave it to me, he told me not to worry about anything, as they could adapt any dish for me. Great! Almost all their dishes are prepared with local ingredients and based on typical Catalan recipes.
The restaurant is very good, as it has the bar at the entrance and the dining room is at the end of a corridor. Everything is separated and in the dining room it is very quiet. In addition, they have a terrace that I am sure it is very comfortable at dinner time or in spring and autumn.
Although we wanted to try everything, the gluten-free oatmeal had left us really sated, so we agreed to order a few entrees to share, and then each a plate.
We started by ordering three “tastets”: a steak tartar – for which we ordered the toast on a side dish to avoid cross contamination -, some patatas bravas – its sauce was gluten free and really good -, and edamame – soy boiled with salt – that was a dish that I had never eaten before.
As a main course, I asked for pork secret with padrón peppers. I loved that much the sauce of the patatas bravas that I ordered a little more to eat with the meat. Jordi and Mireia ordered grilled pork feet and lamb ribs respectively. They also looked very tasty!
To drink, they have gluten-free beer and a craft beer that is labeled “very low gluten content”. Be careful when ordering it.
The food was really good! Also, the attention we received was superb. One important thing is that, if you plan to go, they recommend that you call a few days in advance, so they can have gluten-free bread prepared and, if they would have to adapt any dish, they could also have time to prepare the ingredients.
This is important to do in all the places we go to, since knowing it in advance will always help them to be able to prepare our food better.
When we finished the meat, Meritxell came to tell us that they had white chocolate coulant without gluten. Just like when we went to Morrudo in Zaragoza, we were completely full but when we heard chocolate we could not say no…
When we finished eating, we continued talking about each one’s project and we planned to make a second route together. When Meritxell was free, she came to our table to talk with us and record the final part of the video.
If you click on the image below, you can see the video summary of our first adventure together. After sharing our trip through France, Holland and Belgium, we will publish the next article and video in collaboration with “Fonti 4×4“.
BY CLICKING ON THE GLUTEN FREE RESTAURANTS MAP YOU WILL SEE ALL THE RESTAURANTS WE TALKED ABOUT LOCATED IN THE MAP:
BELOW YOU WILL FIND THE CELIAC TRAVEL CARD:
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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