Do you know the way to San Jose?

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A couple newly arrived from Britain were stopped recently at the Buganvillas roundabout by the Guardia Civil. They were ordered to empty their car as it was crammed full of their belongings. As they were due to pay us six months rent in advance they had a UK Post Office envelope full of newly printed Euros untouched in a sealed plastic security bag.

One of the Guardia took the envelope of notes and also the mans wallet and went and sat in his squad car.

 

After a while the wallet and envelope were returned and the people sent on their way. When they got to their new home they discovered that 40€ was missing from the wallet and when I tried to pay their rent in at the bank the next day strangely two of the 50€ notes were declared counterfeits, confiscated and my details were taken. When we told the tenants they asked was ‘are the police corrupt in Spain?’

A while ago I wrote about my mission to find the perfect pizza. Previously I voted La Fuente in Bedar as having the tastiest pizza around. I revisited recently and yes using some semolina flour in the dough really does make a difference. The best thing is that it’s a pick’n mix affair with all kinds of delicious combinations available, almost anything really except that crime against pizza; pineapple! I stumbled upon pizza nirvana in San Jose in the Cabo de Gata recently as not one but three 3 different restaurants boast wood fired ovens. I plumped for Il Brigantino on the main drag and wow what a great pizza I had. Being a picky sort the menu was scanned for ages until I ordered the Serrano ham version asking for some fresh rocket too. The pizza arrived cooked to perfection, thin and crispy and literally covered with delicious ham and lashings of rocket. That culprit of a mound of yellowish yucky cheese that would not even know how to spell Mozzarella was also conspicuous by its absence. Ideal for sharing as the pizza was huge and excellent and delicious value for a tenner.

On the outskirts of San Jose is the village of Pozo de los Frailes, where a fabulous eatery called La Gallineta can be found. Fine dining really has come to Almeria Province with this little gem and there is also a great wine list. If it’s a special occasion or just the urge to have taste buds explode in divine pleasure then go no further. Further along the coast in Las Negras the Toresano has an excellent menu del dia available, delicious home made gazpacho, fresh fish, watermelon and a drink all with a sea view for a tenner.

 

I often eat on the hop and so a couple of tapas and a low alcohol beer normally keep the wolf from the door. Apolo bar next to the petrol station in Los Gallardos is great value with an excellent selection available and they also now do grilled whole chicken and other more daring dishes (sauté potatoes with tapas whatever next?) Whenever I visit Velez Rubio then Bar de los Obreros is the best pit-stop and many a client has accompanied me there to try the excellent garlic roasted rabbit, battered cod and well cured Serrano ham.

One anomaly with all the amazing fresh salad and vegetables grown in Almeria is how almost none of it reaches the restaurant table. Normally it’s a plate of protein or carbs with not a green to be seen. When a salad is ordered it’s likely to have the dubious contents of various jars poured on top. One notable exception is La Mesa in Mojacar as the superb value Sunday roast comes with the best vegetable selection to be found in all Christendom. Book early to avoid disappointment!

 

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