The first thing you might notice about La Cazuela (meaning, the saucepan), a modestly named restaurant but a stone’s throw from the Plaza de la Corredera, is its emblematic windowfront.
An ornate bullfighter’s jacket stands amidst some of the region’s most renowned finery; the torero’s cloth matches the old photographs of fighters gone by and the art nouveau posters depicting the Feria and the less-than-subtle repetition of red, white and yellow all scream one thing: tradition.
But despite the fact that the ‘sport’ that seems so symbolic here can be one that divides a nation (bullfighting – for or against, that is the question), there is not a shadow of a doubt that the locals love this place.
Every time I have been here, the bar in particular has been packed to the rafters (ok, ok, I think it’s time I lay of the cliché punch). Certainly don’t let this put you off, the place is deceptively large with a big, open restaurant downstairs and plenty of private dining rooms upstairs. It’s busy enough to look well and truly loved but not so much that you should miss out on a table. Just remember though, it doesn’t open until about 9pm, we’re in Spain after all.
Since it’s opening in 1998, the restaurant has gained a wide and loyal following. You’d really think it’d been there much longer. Thanks to its refined service and quality food, it’s also appeared in numerous top food guides here, including Gourmets – albeit in their 2007 edition, but hey, something tells me nothing much has changed.
Among the house specialties, those worth a mention are the albóndigas con setas (or, the meatballs in a mushroom sauce), the berenjenas cazuela (deep-fried eggplant drizzled in a honey sauce) or the meaty rabo de toro (oxtail in a rich carrot, onion, garlic and sherry sauce). Ok, and the squid was good too. And the wine. And the complementary port at the end.
This is the type of place you come for hearty Andalucian food at it’s best. It’s always a good sign when you walk away with a happy little food baby.
Useful (or useless it really depends on how far you’re prepared to come) information:
Average price per dish: 12 €
Type of cuisine: Traditional (and yes, they do tapas!)