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The Rionegro Restaurant.

Discussion in 'Via de la Plata' started by Peregrinopaul, Sep 5, 2017.

  1. Peregrinopaul

    Peregrinopaul Active Member

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    I had just rolled into Rionegro. The only accommodation is the very fine albergue, and when I went in, there was a group of pilgrims sitting around the table who turned out to be Irish. It was very late in the day and I was famished. When I asked where I could get some food, they all enthusiastically pointed in unison, indicating the restaurant across the road. Off I went and I was greeted by the owner, a lady, who sat me down at one of the 20 or so totally empty tables. She then explained, I think, that the cook had gone home, but she'd get him back, and proceeded to do just that over her mobile phone. I didn't think that this was very promising, but I ordered a vino tinto, and we waited.

    A few minutes later, in rushed this quite extraordinary man, looking a bit like a leprechaun, in bright green shorts and extravagant Hawaiian shirt, with a wild mop of unruly hair. After a few words with the lady, he made an immediate start on my Menu del Dia, in full view of me, at the far end of the restaurant. I was given soup, which only took a few minutes to reheat, then he began the main course and I realised he was putting on a real performance for my benefit. An operatic CD was playing, and he began to sing along in a loud, very passable tenor voice while he prepared the main course. This involved hilarious theatrical flourishes as though he were a magician performing a trick. The sliced pork with potatoes and vegetables was very much to my taste, and when I requested a refill of vino tinto, he produced a large carafe of the stuff, complete with a blue ribbon tied around it. A delicious sweet and coffee followed, and I indicated that I'd like to sit outside and have a smoke. He beamed at this, and insisted on carrying both the coffee, and still virtually-full carafe of wine to a table in the street, opposite the albergue, where he proceeded to sit down opposite me, produced his own pack and offered me one. At this point we were joined by the Irish contingent, who must have been watching the antics from the albergue. We all, including the chef, polished off the wine, followed by shots of whiskey from a large flask which he produced, (again with a dramatic flourish) from his pocket. He chatted amiably in an accent that completely defeated all of us, but that didn't seem to matter. Come 11pm, (one of the Irish guys had the albergue key in his pocket), I thought it time to call a halt, and asked for “la cuenta”. “Diez euros” says he, and he cleared the table, locked up the restaurant, and wandered off up the street.
     
  2. SabineP

    SabineP Veteran Member Donating Member

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    Instant smile! Thank you. :)
     
  3. Rick M

    Rick M Active Member

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    What a fantastic story.

    I too, have been on the receiving end of such outrageously fine treatment at the hands of a stranger. I have too seldom been on the giving end, but perhaps I can learn to find such opportunities when they present themselves. To me, such gestures are the very essence of the best in human behavior. We all need our faith in humanity restored every once in a while, and this is one terrific example.
     
  4. grayland

    grayland Moderator Staff Member Donating Member

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    A story to lighten up the long hot days.
    I walked the first part of the VdlP virtually alone with always empty albergues that were usually just left open and unlocked.
    The restaurants and bars were happy to see me and I had some great experiences from both owners and locals. It was mid-August and I think they were humoring what they thought was a crazy person.
     
  5. KinkyOne

    KinkyOne Veteran Member

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    I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
    At the time I walked Sanabres (2015) I only had info to obtain key to the albergue at the other restaurant (Bar Palacio) to the right from the church as you enter. After paying for the albergue and the key was handed over the lady asked me if I want to have dinner and I agreed. Couple of hours later and after the dinner (which wasn't bad at all but quite mediocre) I went for a beer to the other restaurant called "Me gusta comer" across the street from albergue and immediately I was sorry I have had dinner in the other one. The owner was like a character from a comics, full of energy, knowledge and unbelievably welcoming. Yes, he's a smoker too as I am and he charged only 3 beers instead of 4 that I had drank. On behalf of nice conversation he said. I was the only pilgrim in the albergue that night so maybe that was the reason also. He told me his wife is a hospitalera (the cleaning lady to say the least) for the albergue.

    Beautiful report @Peregrinopaul and I would sincerely recommend short stage from Olleros de Tera (14,8km) to enjoy some swimming in the embalse or at the municipal beach on the river in Rionegro del Puente and to "splurge" (hardly the right expression for the prices) at Me gusta comer. Anyway I'll sure do that next time on Sanabres :)
     
  6. VNwalking

    VNwalking Veteran Member

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    yaying and natefaith like this.
  7. sharon w

    sharon w Active Member

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    We had a wonderful meal at Me Gusta Comer for only 10€. 4 courses plus wine, water and liqueurs. I thoroughly recommend eating here. It was delicious and beautifully presented.
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2017
  8. Peregrinopaul

    Peregrinopaul Active Member

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    Well, ...I inadvertently reversed the "hierarchy" at the "Me Gusta Comer", and I'm ashamed to say that I had forgotten its name. I will be passing through again with a friend next year, and I will tell him his fame is rightly spreading across the world!
    I'm curious, KinkyOne. Was it the Galician accent, because my rudimentary Spanish couldn't cope at all. You obviously managed a full conversation.
     
    HedaP, yaying and sharon w like this.
  9. KinkyOne

    KinkyOne Veteran Member

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    I'am not perfect, but I'm always myself!!!
    Eh, not really a full conversation but over a cigarette and a beer much can be discussed even if you don speak fluent Spanish. But he speaks very fast, that was my problem also. When talking to a smart person (s)he can find the right word when you are searching for in your vocabulary.

    Happened to me on Invierno with the (born Portuguese) owner of As Vinas Pension in A Pobra de Brollon that over orujo blanco and beer and coffee we spoke for three hours into the night about European history and politics. So I guess everything is possible :D
     
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  10. Peregrinopaul

    Peregrinopaul Active Member

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    I'like to mention as an addendum,. I ordered a Pizza at that place on the main street in Silleda. I happily consumed the lot, along with vino tinto and coffee, asked for the bill, smiling at the waiter with satisfaction, then discovered I had no money in my pocket. He listened patiently but puzzled to my embarrassing attempts at explanation and insisted “No problema!” and indicated that he was happy for me to come back and pay …sometime. Which of course I did 30 minutes later.

    No doubt members have lots of stories about their experiences in Spanish restaurants that illustrate the kindness and yes, tolerance and even respect that Spanish people show towards pilgrims.
     
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  11. Magwood

    Magwood Veteran Member

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    My dinner at Me Gusta Comer was the best on any camino. The combination of international pilgrim company, the charm of the hosts and the delicious food made for a perfect camino occasion. The Spanish couple who arrived early were so impressed they ate lunch and returned later for dinner.

    When I picked up the key from the 'other' restaurant, they were very pushy about reserving dinner there, which I politely declined. I soon understood why.

    Thanks @Peregrinopaul for reviving a fond memory.
     
    HedaP, yaying, sharon w and 3 others like this.
  12. alansykes

    alansykes Veteran Member Donating Member

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    It's a great restaurant and Teo is a great chef and great company. His pastel de atun starter was absolutely delicious, and everything is beautifully presented as well as tasty.

    The warmth of his welcome quite thawed me out on a snowy day last November, especially as I was the only person in the restaurant. Normally in rural Spain I tend to keep quiet about politics, but we were on a similar wavelength, so I was at last able to query the semi-state funeral given to the person who almost bankrupted Valencia, and to ask about the curious number of Franco-era street names in Tábarra, to which his reply was "oh, son todos fascistas allí". His orujos (three different colours) were interesting as well. The 10€ price was extraordinary.
     
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  13. ConnachtRambler

    ConnachtRambler Member

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    I had forgotten the name Rionegro but your description of the restaurant brought it all back to me. We also had a memorable meal there in October 2014, although my notes just say that we had our best meal to date and that the sign above the door read "Asociación Gastronómica"
     
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  14. peregrina2000

    peregrina2000 Moderator Staff Member Donating Member Donating Member

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    I guess I have really missed out! The first time I walked through Rionegro, I didn't sleep there, and the second time I guess I wasn't paying attention. I don't remember the meal I had, but it must have been at the "other bar." What I do remember though was the absolutely refreshing river nearby, great for foot soaking and watching the local fishermen and women. And I also remember the rat (dead, thankfully) in the drawer of the albergue but that is best left unmentioned. :p

    Buen camino, Laurie
     
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  15. mla1

    mla1 Active Member Donating Member

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    Also - I thought it was fantastic that the hospitallera was absolutely silent on her relationship to the restaurant and made sure that we knew we had another option for eating. She was so fair that we were shocked to see her working in the back of the kitchen in Me Gusta Comer later that evening. We also ordered a packed lunch for the next day. It was also fabulous.
     
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  16. LesBrass

    LesBrass Likes Walking

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    I've enjoyed two fabulous meals here... and a plentiful selection of chilled liquers :rolleyes:
     
    yaying likes this.
  17. SYates

    SYates Camino Fossil AD 1999 Donating Member

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    Now: http://egeria.house/
    Me Gusta Comer in Rionegro is the only place in all my Caminos where I had TWO menus (yes, full ones!) in one day - it was SOO GOOD - if you want to give that place some social media love, here is Teofilo's Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Ag.MeGustaComer/

    Buen Camino and Que aprovecho, SY
     
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  18. MileHighPair

    MileHighPair Active Member

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    Absolutely a must stop on the Sanabres/Via de la Plata. It's always fun to read about a great experience. I've told many folks about this restaurnat and wrote about it on the blog this spring. Buen Camino!
     
    yaying likes this.
  19. gollygolly

    gollygolly Active Member

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    Will not forget the evening meal that we had at Me Gusta Comer in Rionegro del Puente ; quality food with quality cooking with the meal prepared in front of us and all at the incredibly low price of 10.00€.

    Certainly one of the positively memorable eating experiences along any Camino, and with Rionegro also having a wonderful albergue, this was a great stop. Only negative was my going for a splash in the river by the bridge, where there is a large grass area set aside for lying down and taking the sun. This was in the month of August and I thought a wonderful opportunity to cool down from the hot sun. Jumping in, I remember that the water was almost ice-cold and I sat shivering for some time after my very brief time in the water. I was certainly very refreshed !
     
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  20. Peregrinopaul

    Peregrinopaul Active Member

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    It has been pleasure to read about the positive experiences of others at this restaurant.
    If all goes to plan I'll be passing through Rionegro (yet) again next year. I'll enjoy telling him how much he's appreciated.
     
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  21. Magwood

    Magwood Veteran Member

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    Just came across this photo of Teo at Me Gusta Comer
    IMG_0628.JPG
     
  22. camino07

    camino07 Veteran Member Donating Member

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    IMG_1884.JPG What a night! Big fiesta in Plaza next to albergue .Band started 1 am and finished at 6 am .No sleep for us but great meal the night before at Me Gusta. Lovely man
     
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  23. intrepidtraveler

    intrepidtraveler Active Member Donating Member

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    The VdlP is on my list of possibilities for a 2018 Camino. Does anyone know which day (s) Me Gusta Comer is closed? Since it seems to be mostly a one person operation it's not likely to be open 7days a week. I would hate to miss out on this simply by bad planning. Thank you in advance for replying.
     
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