El Garruchal Restaurant

El Garruchal restaurantEating out in Spain’s Murcia Region is always enjoyable, but sometimes, just sometimes, a delightful lunch ends with a welcome surprise – for a Scotman. Our lunch at the El Garruchal restaurant near La Tercia was one of these rare occasions…

We had passed El Garruchal a couple of times – the restaurant sits astride a medium-high pass as you climb up the road from the acres of fruit fields to the panorama of terraced Sierra del Carrascoy range beyond – but didn’t go in until about 3 weeks back – just 2 days before leaving to return to UK.

It was a beautiful crystal clear sunny morning, a bit cool (for Spain) because of a strong wind, but we decided to head out for lunch – to El Garruchal, only 4 or 5 Km drive. I wish we’d done this earlier (we spent about 14 weeks in La Tercia in 2008).

It was about 1.30pm when we arrived. The only section of the restaurant open was around the bar, and most tables were occupied. We found a table free near the door, and sat down. No menus or blackboard in sight, but our host soon came over and ran through the menu “del dia” – which surprisingly, had several choices at each course.

No menus = no idea of prices, but this was the best value we’ve had anywhere – 2x 3-course lunches, including drinks (large bottles of water and orange), fresh salad, bread and coffee. Friendly service, in spite of the host’s limited English and our even more limited Spanish, and when I ask for “la cuenta” the waiter said 18 euros!! I’m not good with Spanish numbers, and I thought I must have been mistaken. So I asked the waiter to write down the amount. He wrote €18 – just as I’d heard!

(We’d paid €70 just a week or so earlier for Sunday lunch at El Retiro – overlooking the salt mountains at the port at San Pedro del Pinatar – nice enough, but not worth the price)

To give you an idea, Isabel had:

  • 1 Litre Bottle of water
  • Chicken soup
  • Crusty bread
  • Fresh Salad (shared)
  • Steak & chips
  • Creme Caramel (ubiquitous! but much better than we get in UK)
  • Coffee (“poco cafe-mucho leche, por favor”)

I had:

  • 1 litre (yes!) orange juice (nectar)
  • Fish soup (excellent, tasty, with freshly caught tuna steak in the middle of it!)
  • Crusty Bread
  • Fresh Salad (shared)
  • Steak & chips
  • Chocolatey-fruity desert (can’t remember what it was called)
  • Coffee

All generous servings, well cooked and presented.

Go there. Try it. We can’t recommend it highly enough…

You’ll find El Garruchal about 6.5 Km along the mountain road from La Tercia village towards San Jose de la Montana. From La Tercia Golf Resort:

  • head through La Tercia village
  • at the T-junction, turn left
  • at the cross-roads, turn right
  • continue toward the mountains
  • El Garruchal is on the left as you reach the 1st mountain pass

Ken

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