Gastronomy | Bar Moreno – The Minister in Torrecera

A similar aesthetic. Contained prices, in line with the rural world, where things do not go as fast as in the cities, nor are the square meters worth the same, where the provider is close at hand, a walk, perhaps even walking. On the one hand, on the awnings, it says Moreno Bar. Nobody taught Carmen Bellido, daughter-in-law of the restaurant’s founder. 28 years ago, he explains, he got into the kitchen. And with work and talent he is two of the four hands, with his assistant, from the stove. Out of the kitchen Antonio Moreno, heir owner of the family business, along with two waitresses who serve with determination. Not even the fact that the province of Cádiz has in a small terroir one of the best and most varied pantries in the world made it necessary for it to be so special. Because other restaurants in the rural world have the same weapons. And yet the Moreno bar, in Torrecera, with its construction and field employees eating from the menu, is one of the best places where you can eat on a white paper tablecloth. The exquisiteness of tradition.

Moreno recounts the origin. Few call it Bar Moreno. It is The Minister, because the day the bar opened the doors “a minister came to inaugurate the bridge, 60 years ago. They told my father what was he going to call him, and a neighbor jumped up and said The Minister. First it started in the square and now where we are, for forty years. “This secret of the Jerez municipality was already known to some privileged people, like many couples from the surrounding area.” Here are couples who have come from Puerto Real for 25 years. , from Cádiz, from Jerez, “says Antonio.

The chicken aneto in Castilian sauce from El Ministro. PHOTO: MANU GARCÍA

The key is that “everything is homemade”. But in that key others also move. There is something else. They use the same oil as Martin Berasategui, which the chef calls the rolls royce of the oil, the Alma de Jerez. In one of those expeditions the Basque chef tasted the oxtail of The minister. “He said he was the best in the world, he was amazed.” The dish is well served, between fried potatoes at their best and with hardly any salt. Tenderness is the word, because it dissolves little more than cotton wool. Carmen says that she always tries a little. “Sometimes it comes harder and sometimes softer, and I calculate it.” The stew is to die for, without reinventing anything. It’s the bull’s tail that anyone who cooks it would want to emulate. And besides, abundant.

But there is more. The avocado salad (not salad, salad) substitutes the potato for this fruit. The mayonnaise remains green. “Others add pineapple, but no, they told me that I could make it with avocado but I did it my way,” explains the cook. And another of the highlights of the place are the anetos. Like the sole of Pau Gasol of grown-ups (well, don’t take out the ruler to measure because it doesn’t reach that, but it doesn’t fit in a normal plate). A whole breast, of a chicken, sure, that lived well, of meat that weighs and is not water. An aneto bathed in juice but that does not lose the texture of the fried. Thick, without overdoing the cheese, and well cooked inside and out. And it is that, in this, one could summarize what is The minister.

The Minister's pig trotters.  PHOTO: MANU GARCÍA
The Minister’s pig trotters. PHOTO: MANU GARCÍA

“Are you very self-demanding?” “I do. Because I, if I don’t like it, I don’t put it on.” “But, for such a large menu, in addition, for the tables that are, how do you do it to have so much variety and to show that the aneto was not frozen, that it is well cooked inside?”. “Ugh, nothing, a lot of work,” says Carmen. With the closure of the hotel business at six o’clock, she is locking herself in to make desserts (we’ll get to them, they also have cloth), and they give her “until two in the morning.”

The key is that the talent that exists in the bar accompany you Antonio and Carmen with alot of work. A lot. It can not be another thing. A rural bar that dazzles the Basque chef of the ten stars. Mercadona’s owners were even delighted with their cabbage. “One month in June, we offered him gazpacho, but no, they ate collard greens.” And there they took her to the oil farm. “We know,” he adds, “that whoever comes, comes because what they like is to eat,” says Moreno. “Sometime on Monday that I have gone to do papers we have eaten out, and you see the prey at 18 euros which is less than what we have for 10”.

The avocado salad.  PHOTO: MANU GARCÍA
The avocado salad. PHOTO: MANU GARCÍA

It is time, he says, to think “about paying. About paying. Not about winning. Right now you can’t raise the prices for that, because I’m content with not losing him. I don’t want to lose my workers, the clients congratulate us. for the work they do. ” The covid crisis, the damn health crisis – and consequently, the economic crisis – is leaving many hoteliers affected. “This place is mine. I think that the place is not theirs and they have to pay and …”. The municipal confinement offers, legally, at least for now, a possibility for the Jerez neighbor to go to Torrecera. Although it is not the same. The nights have been lost, especially on weekends, and the summer has not been particularly good, which is a strong moment for the Minister.

The cabrillas, fish, assorted meats, collard greens or croquettes are accompanied with wines from the area, Entrechuelos, and Montealva cheeses, also from torrecereños, with airs like little of being pure cheeses from the Sierra from Cádiz, very well regarded. Also from the same Montealva is even the milk of the coffees, that of the breakfasts or whatever arises, which are usually accompanied with brown bread “of the one that weighs, come on. In the mornings what we have are cyclists and bikers.”

The plate of cabrillas.  PHOTO: MANU GARCÍA
The plate of cabrillas. PHOTO: MANU GARCÍA

For dessert they offer two of the Carmen He likes to elaborate, so we will leave without trying other potentials such as the pineapple cake, the pine nut cake, the almond cake or the three chocolate cake. Carmen wants us to try the rice pudding and the dulce de leche cake. It happens to the first like a bull’s tail, which is how you want it to come out when you cook it. Without abuse of cinnamon or lemon, the kings of rice pudding are rice and milk. And end. At its point, in its texture, even in its temperature. Tasty. The dulce de leche takes its sweet on top, but a dough that goes between the biscuit, the sponge cake and even the crushed mustache. A mass that is worth it alone but that puts the crown on that top layer of one centimeter. The first time, probably, in which they eat dulce de leche and it doesn’t cloak them.

After a few restaurants in Jerez, in its municipal area, it is probably the treasure of the privileged who have sat at just the dozen tables – at least in times of a pandemic – that the place houses. Normal tables. Like the awnings. Like everything in appearance. But it is the only thing that is normal. The category is superior. The aftertaste, pa always.

The dulce de leche cake.  PHOTO: MANU GARCÍA
The afternoon of dulce de leche. PHOTO: MANU GARCÍA

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