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Sunday, May 30, 2021

Ayamonte, Spain: Tapas Me On The Shoulder, Am I Dreaming About La Puerta Ancha?

La Puerta Ancha
Plaza de La Laguna, 19
Ayamonte, Spain 21400
Phone: +34 633 667 603
Prices: €€€€
I heard about La Puerta Ancha from some golf friends, having told me 'it's the best tapas restaurant in Ayamonte'. When we tried to find it using the address on Yelp (Plaza la Lota, 14, 21400 Ayamonte, Spain), we ended-up 300 meters from the actual location at Plaza de La Laguna, 19 in the southwest corner of Plaza de La Laguna where we had started our journey.

Plaza de La Laguna

City Hall on Plaza de La Laguna

Nearby Church


The interior is rustic, simple, and quaint, but we decided to eat on the covered patio out front and adjacent to the beautiful plaza. Our server arrived muy rapido to give us a QR code, where we found the extensive menu, and take our drink order. My wife ordered a cup of freshly brewed herbal tea along with a glass full of ice and a slice of lime to make her own, fresh iced tea. They have a rather extensive wine collection inside, but I decided on a nice, very slightly sweet and chilled glass of House Red Wine (€2.50/glass - €10 Bottle). It was refreshing and very tasty ... Olé!

If you go inside, straight ahead you will find a doorway to the rear terrace (bathrooms will be on your left after going through the doorway) where they hold Flamenco nights every Friday at 20:15 (tapas and Flamenco Show will set you back €29 each if you are a party of three or four, €35 each if a party of two, and €39 if you are a sad little 'party' of one, and I am not using that term in a literal sense here. Also every Friday, they have a Flamenco Spectacular (show only and, I assume, you pay for drinks) priced at €19 each if you are a party of three or four, €25 each if a party of two, and €29 if you are going solo.








Back to our lunch. We ordered the Cheese and Stew Croquettes with Aioli and Strawberry Dipping Sauces (Media - €6), Iberian Ham (Media - €8), Albondígon Flamenco - Meatball in Red Sauce with Fries (€5), Fondeau de Queso con Pan Tostado con Miel - Fondue with Toasted Bread and Honey (€7.50), and Solomillo al Whisky - Pork Tenderloin with Whisky Sauce (€6 - Media).

First out was the Iberian ham, a decent portion of thin slices, along with two fresh, warm bread rolls and some local, crispy, breadstick-like thingies. The ham was delish, but it was enhanced by the next dish which was brought out, the croquettes, three cheese and three stew (I am guessing it was stewed, seasoned chicken), coming with a creamy garlic aioli and a sweet strawberry dipping sauce that was to die for.
The next arrival was  the fondue with toasted bread topped with honey. The fondue was not the French variety, but more like queso fundido, a baked local cheese which was gooey and wonderful. I put a spoonful of the cheese on one of the slices of toasted bread topped with honey, then added a slice of the leftover Iberian ham which happened to be the perfect size for the bread. Holy macaroni, was it delicious and along with a sip of red wine between bites, I was in heaven! 

Next up, the flamenco meatball, which was, as The Donald would say if he went to cheesy places like this - get it, cheesy?, HUGE, coming in a light red tomato sauce along with an ample portion of french fries, an excellent value for only €5. Again, the meatball complimented the leftover croquettes very nicely, a bite of croquette, then a bite of meatball and a fry ... HOOAH!
The final tapas to arrive was the pork tenderloin topped with a creamy whisky sauce and accompanied by another portion of fries. I have never had a creamy, white whisky sauce as it is normally brown, but it was very good, although there could have been a bit more of it dammit! The pork was tender and lightly seasoned as to not detract from the tasty sauce. This dish can be ordered as a tapas (€3), medium portion, which we had (€6), or a full portion (€10), which I assume would make for a full meal, stuffing you like a teenage bra.
It seemed like a lot of food to begin with, but turned out to be just right. We definitely did not leave hungry and were not too full for our first stroll around Ayamonte. At just over €42, including all the food, an iced tea, a bottle of wine, and a small bottle of sparkling water, I would say that it was a pretty good value overall and a wonderful meal.
The service was excellent, although our server's total lack of English was surprising, and the only negative, considering Ayamonte is a resort town and port just across the river from southern Portugal where English is widely spoken by the many tourists and expats living in the Algarve. However, the menu had photos of everything and English translations, so with my feeble Spanish language ability, we were able to communicate just fine. We met the owner, Dulce (Sweet), just before leaving and she was quite nice as well as sweet, just like her name, inviting us back for a Flamenco night and giving us a short tour of the restaurant.
CombatCritic Gives La Puerta Ancha 9 Bombs Out Of 10 ... More Bombs Are Better!


Nine Bombs Equates To:

Translation for Civilians: "U.S. Marine Response To A Verbal Greeting Or As An Expression Of Enthusiasm"

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Title: Ayamonte, Spain: Tapas Me On The Shoulder, Am I Dreaming About La Puerta Ancha?   
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