Wednesday, 25 March 2009

The Price of Eating Out.

Having just spent the grand total of 15 euros at La Cafeteria Sevilla, way up at the top of Gran Via, for two of us to have lunch - spaghetti with prawns for me, garlic mushrooms for Phil, chicken in onion sauce, fresh fruit salad, a large glass of wine each, as much water as we wanted to drink, coffee to finish off with - I feel moved to talk about the cost of eating out.

One of the excellent things about Spain is the menu del dia, fixed price meal of the day, usually but not necessarily only available at lunchtime, Monday to Friday or sometimes Monday to Saturday but rarely to be found on a Sunday.

Around the corner from our flat you can lunch on ensalada mixta, pollo (chicken fillet fried with garlic and served with chips), postre, 1 vaso de vino + cafe for 8,50 euros each. If you venture down towards the harbour, on Republica Argentina, you will get a bit more choice and often rather more wine for the same price at Rias Baixas (I and II - sister restaurants). La Cepa on the edge of the old quarter serves its menu del dia fancily arranged on square plates, trying perhaps to go a little nouvelle cuisine but still charging only 8 euros apiece.

Now, you may find the choice of postre somewhat restricted at all these places - flan, arroz con leche (rather like cold rice pudding), natillas, helado - but who really needs a fancy dessert anyway?

Of course, it is possible to eat more expensively a la carte, although some smaller places have nothing but the menu del dia, but for routine eating out it hardly seems worth the trouble. And I wonder how MacDo and Burger King keep going here when the local reataurants offer such good deals.

And then, of course, you can go to the other extreme and pay over the odds for a meal. Now, that is what I think actors Hector Alerio and Jose Sacristan did the other day in Bilbao. They were interviewed for El Pais in a restaurant there and the article finished with a copy of the bill for their meal:

Ensalada de lomos de atun: 7,92 euros
Tuna salad

Cocochas en salsa: 12,40 euros
Cheeks of hake - one of the few dishes I really dislike
and the only one I have been unable to finish in Spain
but that is only my opinion

Besugo al horno: 56,16 euros
Baked seabream

Dos botellas de Baron de Ona 2004: 20 euros
Two bottles of
Baron de Ona 2004

Cuatro cafes: 2,80 euros
Four coffees (very good value this item)

Cuatro orujos: 10,05 euros
Four liqueurs

Total:109,33 euros.

Now, I'm sure it was all very delicious (well, except for the cocochas!) but I find almost 110 euros for a meal for two people just a little hard to swallow!

1 comment:

  1. Hello. I really enjoy your blog.
    Love eating out with friends, only once a week as the crisis don't let us do it more often and always "menu del día" ... be careful because menu del día is about 10€, in some places even less, but if you order desser, which is not usually encluded, they will charge you 5€ JUST for the dessert!!!!
    Carmen Fr.