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Bar Juanito: not as good as its reputation...
Disappointing - the most expensive tapas (4.80E - I think, still looking for the receipt) while in Jerez and nothing memorable. My hotel mentioned that "...most of the food is precooked, which is fine when they are busy and not so good when they are not."
Bar Juanito: Primer Premio Nacional de Tapas
Firts time I was in Jerez de la Frontera for a business trip, with a colleague. The place was reccomeded by our hotel receptionist. When we arrived here, we were a little hesitant as it seemed to be too touristy, but we decided to give a try. It was the right decision: attentive staff, quality food, adequate prices. We probably were the only Spaniards there, but it was Wednesday evening and a bit early for Spanish standards. We shared 6 different 'medias raciones' (little dishes but larger than tapas) and it was more than enough, with bread and local wine (of course!) the bill was about 30 euros (for both of us).
I had to return to Jerez a couple of months after, and this time I decided to have lunch there. The atmosphere this time was very different, only locals; and it was full! I only can say I enjoyed one of the better dishes of fried fish I ever had!
Last December I returned to Jerez a couple of days, this time as Christmas holiday... guess where we had dinner!
In the business-card of the restaurant, I saw the site once won the 1st National Prize on Tapas. The place is so famous that they even have a street signal as 'local point of interest' (see picture). This is what the sign says:
"Dating back over sixty years, this restaurant is a legacy of a family dedicated to the hostelry trade and always deeply rooted in local gastronomic tradition, where the tapa and sherry have a major role to play.
Sitting in the picturesque Pescaderia Vieja, the old fish market, in the very heart of the historic centre of Jerez, and serving traditional local cuisine prepared with the distinctive personal touch of the house; the menu featuring its famous artichokes, awarded first price in the National Tapa Competition, all of this plus a well stocked winecellar of sherry wines and brandies of Jerez."
Favorite Dish: You MUST try their extraordinary artichokes (it's the house's specialty). Anyway, all dishes I tried were good: assorted fried fish (variado de pescado frito), stewed squid (calamares guisados), seasoned potatoes (papas aliñadas), ... ask for the day's especial dishes.
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Bar Juanito: Best tapas in the city
Restaurant located in downtown, it is always full of locals, and also some tourist that arrive there atracted for its reputation.
Service is great, and food is incredible. You can sit outside in the terrace or inside in a patio. If it is not raining I suggest you to sit outside and enjoy seeing the people passing by.
Their menu is also in english, so you will not have trouble understanding the different dishes. It is all homemade typical Jerezan cuisine, and everything is delicious, so I recommend that you order various "tapas" instead of just a main dish.
Favorite Dish: As I said before everything is delicious. Their fried fish is fresh and wonderful, you can ask for a "surtido variado de pescaito frito" and they will serve you various types of fish fried. Also their artichokes are famous, cooked with an special sauce. Their meatballs are amazing, and their fried eggs with potatoes are to die for.
While you wait for the waiter to bring your food you should drink sherry, either dry for example Tio Pepe, or sweet like Canasta. And if you decide to try the fish, I suggest you a Barbadillo to go with it. An excellent white wine from the area.
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