A donation to the forum removes ads for you, and supports Ivar in his work running it

Advertisement

The big map o the Caminos de Santiago

Pilgrim Menu vs. Menu Del Dia (or regular menu)

vinotinto

Active Member
#1
All:

Perhaps Ivar can weigh in on this, because the example I'll use is based on a restaurant in Santiago that I believe is named Casa Camilo (at least that was the embroidered name on a cloth divider that I photographed).

Anyway, I had an odd but wonderful cuisine occurrence while celebrating the completion of my pilgrimage in Santiago (I spent 3 nights there). One afternoon I ran into a German pilgrim that I lost track of in Leon, and he invited me to have dinner with a group of pilgrims he'd hooked up with (Italians, Germans, and English). We ended up at the Casa Camilo, where we all ordered from the Pilgrim Menu. It was the usual 2-course deal, with somewhat unremarkable fare, and the waiter seemed to rush us a bit and offer little flexibility (to be fair, some of the folks at the table were a bit picky). Overall, I wasn't too impressed with the place, and when I left I sort of wrote it off as an unremarkable establishment. Or so I thought...

Anyway, the next day I went out to dinner with a group of Spanish pilgrims I'd befriended. We ended up at the same restaurant - but with a massive difference. The folks I was with were very knowledgeable about cuisine, and they promised me an amazing meal. Indeed, they were beyond correct - I had one of the best dinners I've ever eaten anywhere. Small plates of shellfish (clams and razor clams) and what appeared to be smelt for starters, and then huge, beautiful platters of whole crab, crab legs, shrimp, and so on. And the white wine - holy moly! In addition, the service was great all the way through. After it was over I literally fell on the floor - superb.

So, my question is: How much are pilgrims missing out by going with the inexpensive Pilgrim Menu (which is pretty much the same all along the Camino) vs. skipping it and ordering the regular fare - even if it costs a bit more? Of course, I suppose my Spanish friends were most responsible for the upgraded food and service, but still... Any tips from the Spanish folks would be appreciated. :)
 
#2
Hallo

Also in cities, try to find restaurants away from the camino, you get to taste the local food. Like every tourist attraction, you get better local food a couple of blocks from the camino. Our goal was to eat the local food as much as possible, nothing rich but enjoy the local flavors.

One of our best experiences was at Ligonde, we stopped there on our way from Portomarin, Since it was only 16 kms from Portomarin, nobody stopped, so my partner and I were alone in this albergue in ligonde and went to the village to order food from a restaurant, this was delivered to the albergue and we had a great time. Good food, nothing complicated. This made up for the awful night we had in Portomarin (next time we will definitely NOT stop in Portomarin).
We ate the menu del dia sometimes and sometimes the menu peregrino.

All this , we never lost a kilo in weight, we stayed the same ;-) :)


Kind Regards
Bharat
 
#3
From drink we can turn to food - excellent!

I think there are three menus being discussed here - the Menu del Dia is something introduced under Franco - they say he legislated - so that restaurants had to provide economical meals for workers. The Menu del Dia is available all over Spain ( and in some Spanish restaurants here in London. ) It consists of a selection of starters, main courses - usually always meat and fish, a dessert and the ridiculously low price of up to 10 euros or so includes bread,water and wine!

The Camino Frances is the only route where I have seen the Menu del Peregrino - and it appears to be a more limited and somewhat cheaper version of the Menu del Dia - I have a printed receipt marked Menu del Peregrino for 6 euros which caused consternation in my local tapas bar here!

They all also have a regular A La Carte Menu just like most other restaurants in the world with more expensive plates including the very good value Platos Combinados.

I also carried out an investigation last night ( :) ) into the types of hierbas available. Ivar is correct Liquor de Hierbas is also called Agua Ardiente - the regular green/yello yummy syrup and also a clear and stronger version. I thought the clear stuff that I've seen farmworker drinking at 7am through billows of smoke was agua ardiente - but it appears to be the generic name. Now I know.

I've never ever been able to understand how they can provide Menus del Dia so cheaply including everything and that wonder now applies even more to Menus del Peregrino!
 
#4
I also meant to mention that a fabulous new Recipe Book which used to only be availabel in Spanish has now been translated into English for the first time. It is called

1080 Recipes by Simone and Ines Ortega - and it does contain 1080 recpies!

Available from Amazon.
 

vinotinto

Active Member
#5
JohnnieWalker said:
Ivar is correct Liquor de Hierbas is also called Agua Ardiente - the regular green/yello yummy syrup and also a clear and stronger version. I thought the clear stuff that I've seen farmworker drinking at 7am through billows of smoke was agua ardiente - but it appears to be the generic name. Now I know
Nicely done! I wanted to get a gift set of orujo at the Santiago Parador, but I wasn't sure if there would be an import issue of some sort. Wonder where I can find that stuff in the States...it's gotta be available here somewhere... :idea:
 

Arn

Moderator
Staff member
#6
Vinotinto,

Here is a good site for the states and one for a retailer in Spain that ships to the USA:

http://www.civusa.com/
Orujo (500 ml) N/V Rias Baixas Limited $25.00 "Copper still distillation of grape must. Original, Herb or Cafe"

Country: Spain Notes: Barcelona. Wine retailer. The sales tax has been removed from listed prices. Web Address: http://www.vilaviniteca.es Internet: Price list online Update Frequency: Our copy of their list is dated 08-Nov-2007. Local Sales Tax: 16%. Services: Retail
Wholesale
World Wide Delivery
Wine Club
6094 listings now showing for this retailer.
General Terms: No minimum order.
Delivery charges apply. Address: C/ Agullers, 7, 08003 Barcelona Contact: Tel: 93 268 32 27
Fax: 93 268 31 59
MARTIN CODAX orujo albariño AGUARDIENTES, Bottle
 

vinotinto

Active Member
#9
JohnnieWalker said:
1080 Recipes by Simone and Ines Ortega - and it does contain 1080 recpies!
Is it portable enough for a pilgrim to bring on the Camino? Indeed, with all the kitchens and communal meal potential on the Way, it would be nice to get a couple recommendations for portable pilgrim-suitable cookbooks... :arrow:
 
#11
Hi, Vinotinto.

you always can choose between the Menu and the Carta. The menu may cost up to 12 euros and the carta ... depending on what you ask for.

The menu can include some local specialities, as the "Caldo Gallego" in Galicia, but the real rich spanish gastronomy is always in the Carta. For example, is not easy to find the octopus in a menu.

The menu del peregrino usually is pilgrim-oriented, usually you can find pasta, what you usually need as gasoline to walk the next day. In my experience, the menu del peregrino use to be more expensive and/or worse than the menu del dia. But the spanish are use to compare the different menus, so we don't take the first we see, so the one who offer some meal that be enjoy more.

La carta, for us, is limited to celebrate any special day or similar, because it's not difficult to choose a quite good menu.

Buen Camino,

Javier Martin
Madrid, Spain.
 

vinotinto

Active Member
#12
Javier Martin said:
what you usually need as gasoline to walk the next day
Oh, yes. When I first began the Camino, I couldn't finish an entire pilgrim meal. But after awhile, I had no problem wolfing it down...and I still lost weight. :arrow:
 
#13
Hello there.For anyone walking to Santiago via France you should know that throughout France you can eat a good lunch for not much money at local restaurants.Look for the Formula which is the menu of the day.I live in La Vienne region of France and our local village bar/restaurant is typical.For Ten Euros Fifty here you get a five course meal complete with a half litre of wine and bread.An example of the kind of meal would be soup,meat and salad,main course such as lamb stew,cheese and dessert.The wine will be good local wine and fresh bread.
The cost will vary between 9 to 12 euros throughout France.Most restaurants will offer more expensive meals if you wish but the cheaper meals will be of a good quality and very well cooked.There is a tradition in France of providing this kind of food for the workers.You will find that everyone uses these restaurants-farm labourers,bank staff,doctors etc.
If you are in the big towns and cities ignore the flashy tourist rip-off places and do as the French do and look for the genuine restaurants where the food will be cheaper and better.
 

vinotinto

Active Member
#14
rafferty said:
For anyone walking to Santiago via France you should know that throughout France you can eat a good lunch for not much money at local restaurants
Just out of curiosity, how would you compare French Camino food to Spanish Camino food?
 
#15
Hi Vinotinto,As I said I actually live in France but I travel a lot into Spain.I actually prefer French food in general.Having said that I do enjoy good Spanish food also.I think it is generally accepted that the French cooking is perhaps the best in the world.This goes for the basic traditional peasant cuisine as much as for the fancy stuff.I mentioned that there is a tradition of providing cheap lunches for the workers in France.In fact the workers pay has this built into their salary as an allowance.The typical French worker spends an hour at least over lunch and expects good food.Therefore the standard is uniformally high.If an establishment were to serve up poor food the workers would soon go elsewhere.I would say that Spain is much more hit and miss when it comes to food.It can be great but also the quality can be very poor.I have lived in France for three years and have never had a bad meal yet.I have had many poor meals in Spain.
When on the Camino I quickly learned to avoid the perigrinos restaurants in Spain preferring to seek out the workers restaurants where possible.Much better quality for about the same price.
I expect someone will reply saying that they had good food in the perigrinos restaurants.I did occasionally but I also had some awful rubbish the worst being at a restaurant in Camponayaraya where I ended up with severe foodpoisoning.
 

Arn

Moderator
Staff member
#16
Rafferty,

You're spot on when it comes to French cooking...having been assigned to the embassy in Paris, but getting most of my experience from outside the city proper! I think is also has to do with what you drink with the food (another thread, I believe).

Oh my taste buds are in full attack mode!

I can't wait for my first exposure to "real" Spanish offerings...and the wines go without mentioning.

Arn
 

vinotinto

Active Member
#17
rafferty said:
I would say that Spain is much more hit and miss when it comes to food.
Yes, I agree. I had some great meals on the Camino in Spain, but they were usually in restaurants that were on the higher end, and not from the pilgrim menu. As for pilgrim menu meals, I had some good ones (including one in a place where I never expected to find good food), many that were good enough, and some truly terrible repasts (including one where they bushwhacked me for extra money for the vino after dinner, and one where the fish was so bony I thought it was an evolutionary missing link).

rafferty said:
I think it is generally accepted that the French cooking is perhaps the best in the world
Oui, oui - no argument from me there. My one Camino meal in France (St. Jean) was great, but I've also eaten well in Paris, Bordeaux, and Bayonne, so I can dig it. Even the Cugan stogies in France seemed to be better quality than in Spain.

Arn said:
Spanish offerings...and the wines go without mentioning
Oh, vino is always worth mentioning! :wink: This is where Spain will shine - their wines are on-par with French ones, but at a fraction of the cost. :arrow:
 

sillydoll

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002 CF: 2004 from Paris: 2006 VF: 2007 CF: 2009 Aragones, Ingles, Finisterre: 2011 X 2 on CF: 2013 'Caracoles': 2014 CF and Ingles 'Caracoles":2015 Logrono-Burgos (Hospitalero San Anton): 2016 La Douay to Aosta/San Gimignano to Rome:
#18
Since 2002, Restaurant Magazine has spearheaded a Top 50 Restaurants in the World list - chosen by by a panel of over 600 pernickety chefs, food critics, restaurateurs and experts in the food industry.
Since its inception, a Spanish restaurant has been consistently in the top three and is the only restaurant to have won the award three times. Second best has gone to Heston Blumenthal's retaurant, The Fat Duck in the village of Bray in England.
This is how they have scored over the past 6 years.

2002: El Bulli, Spain - Gordon Ramsay, UK
2003: The French Laundry, USA - El Bulli, Spain
2004: The French Laundry, USA - The Fat Duck, UK (3rd - El Bulli, Spain)
2005: The Fat Duck, UK - E Bulli, Spain
2006: El Bulli, Spain - The Fat Duck, UK
2007: El Bulli, Spain - The Fat Duck, UK

El Bulli (the Little Bulldog), situated on a cliff overlooking a secluded bay about two hours north of Barcelona on the Costa Brava in Spain has become a pilgrimage destination for foodies from all over the world. Only open from April to September and booked out a year in advance, El Bulli receives a million reservation requests annually but can only accommodate up to 8 000 diners each summer - it is already fully booked for 2008. (The owner-chef spends the other six months of the year in his laboratory workshop in Barcelona, concocting his extraordinary combinations of foods). There are about 30 items on the degustation menu which will cost about $300 per person.
Catalonian dishwasher-turned-chef, Ferran Adria, has being exalted as Spain’s Salvador Dali of gastronomy and “one of the most innovative men of the new millennium”, according to Time magazine, April 2005.
So, who would have thought that a Spanish and an English restaurant have been rated the best two in the world - ahead of all best French restaurants.
 

vinotinto

Active Member
#19
sillydoll said:
So, who would have thought that a Spanish and an English restaurant have been rated the best two in the world - ahead of all best French restaurants.
Yeah, but I bet they don't have pilgrim menus...heck, they probably wouldn't even let pilgrims in the front door... :wink: And on the same list, France has 12 restaurants listed, vs Spain's 6 (not to mention France taking the number 3 and number 6 spots).

So despite my soft spot for all things Spanish, I'm not sure I'd mess with the French when it comes to food, m'lady...mon dieu! Merde! But at least South Africa has the #47 spot sewn up - perhaps I'll have to voortrek my way down there someday for a bite... :lol: :arrow:
 
#20
For places where real people eat I will take France any day.As for the cost of French wine,just go in to a supermarket in France and in Spain and compare the prices and you will discover that they are pretty much the same.The French are not daft though they keep the best wines for themselves.
I was in Scotland recently and was absolutely amazed at the mark up on a bottle of wine.For something I can buy off a shelf in France for about 3euros(very nice red wine) they were asking £6.50 in Scotland.When you order the same wine in a British restaurant they will charge £12 and more.Even malt whisky(Islay malts being the very best) costs less in France than in Scotland.
 

vinotinto

Active Member
#21
rafferty said:
As for the cost of French wine,just go in to a supermarket in France and in Spain and compare the prices and you will discover that they are pretty much the same
I can dig that. But it's marked up more at the French restaurants than the Spanish ones. At cafes in Spain and France, I tended to go with a coffee w/milk and a glass of wine for an afternoon break/evening nightcap. That combo cost me twice as much in Paris/Bordeaux/Bayonne as it did in the Spanish cafes/bars. Perhaps I'd get better deals if I ventured out into the French countryside vs. the big cities?

And like Scotland, the US has big markups on wine - but more so for French vin than Spanish vino. I'm grateful for that, at least... :wink:

rafferty said:
The French are not daft though they keep the best wines for themselves.
So the question is, how do we get it away from them?!! :arrow:
 
#22
Hi Vinotinto,This is obviously a topic close to your heart.The main reason I think that there is still some difference is that the Spanish economy is still behind Britain and for that matter France.For instance the average French salary is about half that of a British salary and The Spanish salary is even less again.However the Spanish economy is catching up fast so make hay while the sun shines.
I used to be able to live like a lord when travelling in Spain but not anymore.You will notice In Spain that everywhere looks like a building site.New roads,housing ,factories etc,in fact the whole infrastructure is being built new or improved which is enabling Spain to compete on a worldwide scale.
As for how to get a good deal on French wine.Do what we all do and at the beginning of the season go to the wine manufacturers and buy your wine direct,Get it in barrels or have it bottled for yourself(after a great deal of sampling of course).Brings the cost way,way down.That explains how you can get a free or very cheap bottle of wine thrown in with your lunch.Virtually everyone I know has a wine cellar or store usually containing several dozen if not hundreds of bottles.
I had lunch in out village restaurant on Friday and four cops came in for their lunch.They took off their guns and put them behind the bar,sat down and spent more than an hour eating and chatting and downing their half litre of wine each.Civilised or what.
 

vinotinto

Active Member
#23
rafferty said:
As for how to get a good deal on French wine.Do what we all do and at the beginning of the season go to the wine manufacturers and buy your wine direct,Get it in barrels or have it bottled for yourself(after a great deal of sampling of course).Brings the cost way,way down.That explains how you can get a free or very cheap bottle of wine thrown in with your lunch.Virtually everyone I know has a wine cellar or store usually containing several dozen if not hundreds of bottles.
I had lunch in out village restaurant on Friday and four cops came in for their lunch.They took off their guns and put them behind the bar,sat down and spent more than an hour eating and chatting and downing their half litre of wine each.Civilised or what.
Man, sometimes I hate being so far away from Europe... :cry:
 

Richo

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances, 2014; Via Podiensis 2017, Camino Frances planned for 2018.
#24
From drink we can turn to food - excellent!

I think there are three menus being discussed here - the Menu del Dia is something introduced under Franco - they say he legislated - so that restaurants had to provide economical meals for workers. The Menu del Dia is available all over Spain ( and in some Spanish restaurants here in London. ) It consists of a selection of starters, main courses - usually always meat and fish, a dessert and the ridiculously low price of up to 10 euros or so includes bread,water and wine!

The Camino Frances is the only route where I have seen the Menu del Peregrino - and it appears to be a more limited and somewhat cheaper version of the Menu del Dia - I have a printed receipt marked Menu del Peregrino for 6 euros which caused consternation in my local tapas bar here!

They all also have a regular A La Carte Menu just like most other restaurants in the world with more expensive plates including the very good value Platos Combinados.

I also carried out an investigation last night ( :) ) into the types of hierbas available. Ivar is correct Liquor de Hierbas is also called Agua Ardiente - the regular green/yello yummy syrup and also a clear and stronger version. I thought the clear stuff that I've seen farmworker drinking at 7am through billows of smoke was agua ardiente - but it appears to be the generic name. Now I know.

I've never ever been able to understand how they can provide Menus del Dia so cheaply including everything and that wonder now applies even more to Menus del Peregrino!
I asked the waiter for a liqueur after dinner at the Parador in Leon many years ago and he brought me something called "Agua Claro", which was as the name suggests a clear liquor - Rubbing alcohol would be better than this stuff. Since he seemed so proud of it I felt I couldn't leave it, so ended up pouring it into my friend's (empty) teapot!
 
M

Metropolly

Guest
#25
Thanks for resurrecting this thread - it's a subject that bugged me so much on the Norte. Determined to try every local speciality I could get my greedy, sticky hands on, I bothered every restaurant I ever found open at lunchtime for their menu del dia. Money was no object, and I'd try to order extras whenever I could - just to show willing, you know. But nine times out of ten, they just gave me the menu peregrino, despite my many and increasingly desperate pleas to the contrary. By the end I was almost weeping with the injustice of being smilingly offered a yoghurt while all around me were tucking into leche fritto. As they presented me with my 'look it's only five euro' bill, I ground my teeth at all those pilgrims who had gone there before me demanding cheaper and cheaper food, setting this terrible standard for all who walked in with a rucksack and a bad whiff about them, for ever more. The saddest thing of all is that the menu del dia is actually already very cheap and incredibly good value
 

oursonpolaire

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
2002, Toulouse/Aragon 2005, Cami S Jaume/Aragon 2007/9, Mont Saint Michel/Norte/Vadiniense 2011, Norte/Primitivo 2013, Norte/Primitivo 2014. Norte 2015, Cami S Jaume/Castellano-Aragonese 2016
#26
I have long been a fan of the menu de dia since I discovered it. One of my Spanish friends says that it is the only good thing which Franco did for the planet. It is best on off-the-Camino restaurants, even just a few streets away, and brings you into Spain of the Spanish. I would generally describe it as good home cooking and have rarely been served anything but that. Sometimes you can get the most astonishing high quality food and I still reel from the best chorizo in my life, served as the first course in a restaurant in Berducedo on the Primitivo.
 



A few items available from the Camino Forum Store



Advertisement

Booking.com

Latest posts

Most downloaded Resources

Forum Rules

Forum Rules

Camino Forum Store

Camino Forum Store

Casa Ivar Newsletter

Forum Donation

Forum Donation
For those with no forum account, it is possible to donate here as well. Thank you for your support! Ivar

Follow Casa Ivar on Instagram

When is the best time to walk?

  • January

    Votes: 11 1.4%
  • February

    Votes: 5 0.6%
  • March

    Votes: 35 4.4%
  • April

    Votes: 114 14.5%
  • May

    Votes: 192 24.4%
  • June

    Votes: 55 7.0%
  • July

    Votes: 15 1.9%
  • August

    Votes: 12 1.5%
  • September

    Votes: 236 30.0%
  • October

    Votes: 96 12.2%
  • November

    Votes: 11 1.4%
  • December

    Votes: 5 0.6%
Top