It’s hard not to eat out well in the province of Cádiz and Prado del Rey is no exception. This small town has an amazing range of gastronomic delights, local wines, an ecological farm and its own salt mine dating from Roman times. The busy high street is packed with bars and excellent restaurants and there’s a wonderful ambiente (atmosphere), especially on Friday evenings and weekends.
In this post, I am going to tell you about Venta Rosario, a roadside restaurant on the outskirts of the town. This is a great place to stop if you are en route somewhere and is a favourite choice of mine when I’m on my way to the coast from the mountains.
Venta Rosario, Prado del Rey
A modest looking place on the edge of the road from Arcos de la Frontera to El Bosque, the Venta Rosario serves fresh, homemade meals. The menu is mainly meat based and varies daily depending on the availability of products.
This bar and restaurant is popular with local workers on a daily basis who pop in for breakfast, coffee or a glass of manzanilla and, at the weekend, families who come for lunch. It also sells locally made products including wine vinegar, salt flakes, chickpeas and large loaves of bread baked in a woodfire oven.
On ordering your drinks, you are likely to be served with aceitunas caseras (homemade olives). These were so delicious that I completely forgot to take a photo and had munched half way through the terracotta dishful before I realised. Next time….
This is one of those wonderful places where the menu is so fresh, that it varies every day and therefore, there is no menu to study. The staff reel off the dishes of the day, making suggestions and answering questions patiently and without hurrying you. While the menu is largely meat based, there is usually an option with eggs revuelto and this time croquetas caseras con setas (wild mushroom croquettes) was on the list.
To start we shared a mixed salad with bread and picos (bread sticks). The bread had that wonderful yellow colour of unbleached flour and the taste that is exclusive to the mountains of Cádiz. The salad came with tuna, dressed with olive oil and wine vinegar and oozed freshness.
The main meal
Two meat dishes came next. We chose different ones in order to share carne en salsa (pork in sauce) and carrillada (pig’s cheek). Both came with delicious homemade chips. The meat was tender, melt-in-the-mouth style and the chips were, as always, excellent.
A dish of olives, one large salad, two main meals, bread, two beers and a large bottle of water came to 23 Euros. I also bought two tubs of salt from the Iptuci mines at 2,50 Euros each making our total bill 28 Euros.
How to get there
Arriving from El Bosque, the restaurant is on the left hand side of the road. Coming from Arcos, it’s on the right hand side. You’ll see the signpost to turn off for Prado del Rey opposite the road to the restaurant and the big white letters announcing the town. The restaurant is not far from the Iptuci Salt mines.
All opinions are my own and the restaurant Venta Rosario restaurant had no idea that I would write this review after my meal. No pay or freebies were exchanged for this article.