Delicious Pulpo á Feira
Good afternoon, friends!
On my last holidays I spent a week in Galicia.
One of the gastronomic specialties of this Spanish community is the Pulpo á Feira, a dish of octopus pieces seasoned with olive oil and salt and, optionally, a spicy sauce. If you want something to accompany it, you'll have to ask for it. 🐙
You'll find this dish at pretty much every Spanish restaurant in Galicia, no matter if you're in the larger cities such as Vigo, A Coruña, Lugo and Ourense... or in small towns such as Melide.
Beware, when outside of Galicia I don't advice you to ask for Pulpo a la Gallega, most likely they'll serve you a disappointing ripoff version of the Galician dish. Sometimes they give you Potatoes with Squid and charge you just as much. 🤣
Anyway, it was in Melide that I found a hidden gem.
The restaurant had plenty of other dishes but since almost everyone asks for the house specialty, they set up an exclusive spot with a dedicated cook for preparing the octopus. The rest of the food was being prepared in the kitchen.
As long as I the restaurant was open, this lady worked non-stop. She was prepping, cooking, cutting and serving octopus from dawn to dusk.
I noticed she worked more than the rest of the kitchen workers combined. 😲
She almost seemed to be working in autopilot. 😆
Sometimes the restaurant owner would help her for a while. Judging from their body language, I felt like they are husband and wife. When he got some free time, he would always be there helping to get the dishes out as fast as possible.
I wasn't the only one impressed with their fast service and cooking skills. The guy in front of me was also taking photos.
The name of the place is A Garnacha and it was, by far, the best restaurant of the whole town. I have tried a few others but none of them was as good as this one. From the food's taste to the ambient and decoration, the place was 5 star.
At the entrance there were two decorative pieces which were both lovely and funny. The first one was a statue of an octopus playing bagpipe. Having eight arms must make it a lot simpler! 😆
Next to it there was this old looking pot, also advertising the name of the place.
From the street you'd never guess this was such a good place, it had nothing special about it, the looks were just like any other spot in the town...
The strange billboard with the dishes almost made it look like a fast food burger place... and nothing could be further from the truth. Like the old saying goes: never judge a book by its cover.
On hot summer days you can even opt to having lunch outside.
There was a group of four people waiting by the entrance. Maybe they were waiting for a free table inside? Or perhaps they had already finished and were simply chatting before going home...
On this particular day it was sunny but not very hot, so there was only a brave couple sitting on the tables outside. It was a lot more comfortable and cosy inside.
This restaurant is situated in the main street of Melide, just a couple of meters away from the centre which makes it very easy to find.
Inside there was a full crowd. Not a free table in sight. As you can see, the tables are quite large. In the good Spanish tradition, unless you go with a large group you'll be eating side by side with total strangers.
This is a bit awkward and confusing for foreigners but hey, once in Rome do as the Romans do. Right?
The ladies sitting next to me didn't go for the Pulpo. Instead, they asked for Codfish and Fried Chicken. From the way they were devouring it, both dishes seemed to be great.
The decoration was quite cool but since the food was so delicious and the ambient so friendly, not one was looking at it. Everyone was having a blast, chatting, drinking and feasting like lords.
At night, the streets get a lot quieter but the restaurants keep serving until very late, so if you're in the mood for dinner instead of lunch, you have plenty of options.
Melide is a small but vibrant town. I was surprised to see so many people in such a small place. As expected, most of the tourists were walking to Santiago de Compostela, which is only 55 kms away.
If you're ever in the neighbourhood, pay a quick visit to this town.
|Cameras||Panasonic Lumix DC-TZ90|
Samsung Galaxy A70
|Photos||16 (Edited with GIMP)|
|Animation||18 Frames (Edited with GIMP)|