El Acebuchal – Andalucian experimental cuisine, in the middle of nowhere
El Acebuchal lies hidden, far up in the Andalucian mountains. To get there, you will pass through narrow, curvy roads carved through the hillsides, for some 30 minutes past the iconic town of Frigiliana .
Way off the beaten track, and inaccessible to tourist buses, this hidden gem is for the seasoned traveler. It is also a favorite among locals.
The village has a proud history of fierce resistance against the Franco fascist regime. This remote spot was a bastion the Guardia Civil didn’t manage to take until 1948. Eventually, it fell in their hands, though. Once in control, they drove out the inhabitants and turned the place into a base. From there, they chased the remaining die-hard mountain-dwellers who still resisted the regime. As the village fell into disrepair, its decrepit ruins were abandoned.
In the late 1990s, returning locals launched an initiative to rebuild El Acebuchal, with the restaurant Bar El Acebuchal as the key attraction.
The result was impressive: Despite its remoteness, I wouldn’t recommend showing up during a weekend without a reservation. Otherwise, brace yourself for a long wait. Their menu is pretty exciting, and you will have ample time to read it!
Wild boar in chocolate sauce was the immediate attention catcher for me, so I already knew what I wanted. I didn’t regret the choice. The meat was slow-cooked and tender to perfection, while the dark, unsweetened chocolate sauce was a surprisingly good match.
They also offer local craft beers from Frigiliana. I obviously couldn’t resist the temptation to try the IPA. Delicious!
The menu features a number of other, experimental varieties of the local cuisine, like lamb in ginger sauce. I guess I know one place I’ll visit on my next trip to Spain!