We’ve just driven from Hebron in north-western Spain, to Padron a very short distance away.
We drive into the centre of town at midday when summer temperatures are souring and are lucky to chance upon a parking lot thats studded with established shade trees.
The centre of town turns out to be smaller than we thought, and we walk quickly into a little maze of narrow pedestrian streets.
After a short 5 minute walk we stumble on a strange ensemble of old buildings…
Imagine a very irregularly-sided small courtyard that has a myriad of tiny alleyways leading into it from every angle and direction… dotted around the courtyard are restaurants, cafe’s, bars and apartments.
Imagine that the courtyard isn’t very big, but that there is a small triangular free-standing building parked in the centre of it, with the areas around it becoming more little alleys.
That’s the best way I can think of to describe the little triangular restaurant we saw as we walked though the small streets.
A slot machine operated toy car on one side ensured that Little Mr. Stopped dead in his tracks, and the sweets machine next to it equally captivated his sister, Kiwi Daughter. They begged but didn’t get.
However, having been firmly trapped into to the marketing ploy of a play-car that rendered our children almost immobile and severely reluctant to move on, Himself and I decided to pick our battles and left them to explore it in hope for a few minutes whilst we checked out the menu-board outside the restaurant a few meters away.
Looks ok… Himself goes inside to ask if they have a table available… they do, and even better, it’s out the back, under a canopy in deep shade on the other side of the building.
We pass though the front of the building, the inside of which consists of a bar area, a few tables, a large screen TV, and then small hallway running the length of the building that lead to the tables outside on one side, the public convenience at one end, and by the bar at the wide end of the building, a door that appeared to be to the kitchen.
It’s clear that in this tiny triangular building this is not much inside space. Still it’s blazing hot and we are delighted with our spot in the shade.
Polite inquiry reveals that the staff speak no English, so Himself’s Spanish is put on full stretch as we tackle menu translation.
I’m severely allergic to mushrooms and want to avoid any translation confusion that might mean that they are enthusiastically included in my meal instead of excluded.
It quickly becomes apparent that the single page menu is probably more basic than we thought, since we are having difficulty finding salad on the menu anyway.
We find that “sasuages” are on the menu and think they should be a kid pleaser, that “papatas fritas” are potatoes fries, identify “pork” as the fairly safe option when I’m worried about meat that might arrive that the table raw enough to walk away on its own if I’m not watching, and finally, spot the Spanish Omelette to complete our order.
So, with our menu detective work duly half deducted and half guessed, at we sat wondering about exactly what we had ordered and feeling a little nervous.
The meat certainly contained more fat than I would have wished for, but I should have remembered that, having seen the abundance of dried sasuages in the supermarket in Portugal and knowing that the Spanish have more than their fair share of local sausage specialties too.
The rest was simple and tasty… the bread was good (but not as good as Portuguese bread in my estimation) and the kids were happy… Result!
We get a scribbled hand written bill and some sign language on my part deduces that they have no business card for me to photograph or take address notes from.
Ah well, the staff were friendly in the limited way that the large language barrier allowed… our stomachs are filled for the time being and we were happy to have taken a break.
The restaurant opposite to where we are sitting… (closed, at least whilst we were there)
Inside ours towards the bar…
The place where we are…
and finally, we head back down the narrow shady streets towards the car…