Asador El Maestro – Hidden Spanish Gem

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I am not a food and restaurant critic but if I were places like this exquisite hidden gem would make my job a worthwhile exploration of the Spanish countryside.
Nestled in the mountains near Almeria is a small traditional town, untouched by tourism and deftly nurtured with Spanish tradition and love.

Asador El Maestro has been recently renamed and the lowly olive press has grown a new lease of life under enthusiastic management. The subtle blending of old and new is apparent upon entering the olive press. The original features remain which makes for a museum style dining experience. Surrounded by well worn antiquities and carefully crafted tools for manufacturing aromatic and delicious virgin olive oil you would not be mistaken for wondering where the menu has arisen from.

A delightful cacophony of Spanish cuisine envelopes your taste buds before you have even ordered. The menu is in Spanish and the staff speak little to no English, meaning that if you are put off by surprises or prefer to be in an English embracing restaurant this is not for you. However, if you are seeking the traditional, untouched, untainted Spanish cuisine as it has been served for centuries, this hidden gem of a kitchen is where you need to be.

The road to this restaurant is befitting of its nature. You feel that arrival upon a horse would be more appropriate. As you wind your way through the mountains, reaching headier and headier heights, you will become aware of the sparse nature of the populations. As you approach Sierro an ancient bridge is the one track crossing which transports you from civilisation to Spanish life that time has forgotten to drag along for the ride.

Parking is ample as you can stow your vehicle on any of the small cobbled ramblas style streets. You may only approach this restaurant by foot. Tucked beside a small babbling brook, the children play games in the street, the elders gather in the square under the shade of the orange trees and idle their time away, laughing and sharing life. The small restaurant is no different inside, there are quite evidentially a gaggle of regulars whom are not so convinced by the arrival of strangers. The staff exude friendliness far more accommodating than anticipated and go to every length to ensure that your experience is as beautiful as the surroundings.

Salads, starters, main courses, meat courses, fish courses, desserts and coffees were plentiful in choice with some of the menu having an English translation underneath.
Alcohol to compliment each meal, as an aperitif or post meal liquor. Their wine knowledge would be the envy of any well qualified sommelier.

We began with dried and cured meats from the village served with fruits, tomatoes and breads. The olives were locally collected and preserved. A delightful combination that felt as Spanish as you could be. I warn you not to over consume the delicious freshly leven bread however, as the courses are ample in portion and you will definitely not be leaving hungry.
For our main courses I had grilled octopus and Mr K had rib eye steak and we ordered patatas bravas in accompaniment between us. In all honesty I rarely find octopus so delicious as in the regions of Spain or Portugal. I have certainly not managed to recreate the dish in my own home, despite many attempts. The paprika based source complimented the slightly salted octopus which was beautifully tender in the middle with a slightly barbecued edging. Mr K had a delightfully prepared steak which had been rubbed in rock salt before cooking which enhanced the richness of the seams of fat running through the cut. Both dishes were served with gram flour tempura Jerusalem artichokes so we hardly needed the patatas bravas after all.

I truly could not fault any element of this meal. Having worked in customer service since age 12, I appreciate good service and despite the lack of English this was second to none. Fortunately I speak Spanish but even without a knowledge of the language they are so happy to please that I think you would find the experience simply divine.
We finished by sharing a small copa of the local liquor and an espresso each. The coffee was perfectly served, not too hot, not burnt, not bitter but perfect.
Mr K had a couple of beers, I had a litre of water and the grand total was a mere 75 euros. 35 euros each for possibly one of the most exquisite meals I have ever had the pleasure to savour. I was truly in awe of the majesty of simplicity and flavours, a true reflection of the region and the grandeur of the cuisine.

 

 

I am not a food and restaurant critic but if I were places like this exquisite hidden gem would make my job a worthwhile exploration of the Spanish countryside.
Nestled in the mountains near Almeria is a small traditional town, untouched by tourism and deftly nurtured with Spanish tradition and love.

Asador El Maestro has been recently renamed and the lowly olive press has grown a new lease of life under enthusiastic management. The subtle blending of old and new is apparent upon entering the olive press. The original features remain which makes for a museum style dining experience. Surrounded by well worn antiquities and carefully crafted tools for manufacturing aromatic and delicious virgin olive oil you would not be mistaken for wondering where the menu has arisen from.

A delightful cacophony of Spanish cuisine envelopes your taste buds before you have even ordered. The menu is in Spanish and the staff speak little to no English, meaning that if you are put off by surprises or prefer to be in an English embracing restaurant this is not for you. However, if you are seeking the traditional, untouched, untainted Spanish cuisine as it has been served for centuries, this hidden gem of a kitchen is where you need to be.

The road to this restaurant is befitting of its nature. You feel that arrival upon a horse would be more appropriate. As you wind your way through the mountains, reaching headier and headier heights, you will become aware of the sparse nature of the populations. As you approach Sierro an ancient bridge is the one track crossing which transports you from civilisation to Spanish life that time has forgotten to drag along for the ride.

Parking is ample as you can stow your vehicle on any of the small cobbled ramblas style streets. You may only approach this restaurant by foot. Tucked beside a small babbling brook, the children play games in the street, the elders gather in the square under the shade of the orange trees and idle their time away, laughing and sharing life. The small restaurant is no different inside, there are quite evidentially a gaggle of regulars whom are not so convinced by the arrival of strangers. The staff exude friendliness far more accommodating than anticipated and go to every length to ensure that your experience is as beautiful as the surroundings.

Salads, starters, main courses, meat courses, fish courses, desserts and coffees were plentiful in choice with some of the menu having an English translation underneath.
Alcohol to compliment each meal, as an aperitif or post meal liquor. Their wine knowledge would be the envy of any well qualified sommelier.

We began with dried and cured meats from the village served with fruits, tomatoes and breads. The olives were locally collected and preserved. A delightful combination that felt as Spanish as you could be. I warn you not to over consume the delicious freshly leven bread however, as the courses are ample in portion and you will definitely not be leaving hungry.
For our main courses I had grilled octopus and Mr K had rib eye steak and we ordered patatas bravas in accompaniment between us. In all honesty I rarely find octopus so delicious as in the regions of Spain or Portugal. I have certainly not managed to recreate the dish in my own home, despite many attempts. The paprika based source complimented the slightly salted octopus which was beautifully tender in the middle with a slightly barbecued edging. Mr K had a delightfully prepared steak which had been rubbed in rock salt before cooking which enhanced the richness of the seams of fat running through the cut. Both dishes were served with gram flour tempura Jerusalem artichokes so we hardly needed the patatas bravas after all.

I truly could not fault any element of this meal. Having worked in customer service since age 12, I appreciate good service and despite the lack of English this was second to none. Fortunately I speak Spanish but even without a knowledge of the language they are so happy to please that I think you would find the experience simply divine.
We finished by sharing a small copa of the local liquor and an espresso each. The coffee was perfectly served, not too hot, not burnt, not bitter but perfect.
Mr K had a couple of beers, I had a litre of water and the grand total was a mere 75 euros. 35 euros each for possibly one of the most exquisite meals I have ever had the pleasure to savour. I was truly in awe of the majesty of simplicity and flavours, a true reflection of the region and the grandeur of the cuisine.