Andalucian experimental cuisine, in the middle of nowhere

Bar El Acebuchal

Far up in the Andalucian mountains, 30 minutes past the iconic town of Frigiliana, along some narrow, curvy roads carved through the hillsides, lies the village of El Acebuchal.

Way off the beaten track, and inaccessible to tourist buses, this hidden gem is for the seasoned traveler, and 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 penetrate until 1948. When they finally did, they took over the village and used it as a base for their fight against the remaining die-hards in the region, until it fell into disrepair, and was 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.  If you do, like we did, you will have ample time to study their pretty exciting menu while waiting to get seated.

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!