Jerez, Spain

Best Dishes: of 2016

Another year, another list. Who doesn't love a list?

I was very fortunate to have eaten some amazing food this year. Some dishes were indeed in NJ. Some were pretty close to NJ. Some were not very close to NJ. The one thing they all have in common is that made my eyes light up with joy for one reason or another.

Dishes can get my attention and fill me with glee for many reasons. They can be simple but executed flawlessly. They can be intricate affairs that leave me wondering what the hell is going on. And they can be something that I've simply never experienced. If there's one thing I love, it's eating something completely new to me.

Here are some of the bet dishes that I ate in 2016. And please, no arguing, these are the correct answers. They were all exceptional dishes.


Squid Ink Pasta with Guanciale and Squid
Jockey Hollow : Morristown, NJ

Jockey hollow pasta

I really can't get enough of this squid ink pasta, guanciale, and calamari dish at Jockey Hollow in Morristown, NJ. It is, without a doubt, one of the best pastas dishes, and best dishes, I've ever had.  A symphony of flavors and textures and perfectly executed. The whole dang restaurant is great.

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Eating in Jerez, Spain: La Taberna del Segura with Holy Week in full swing

Jerez spain La taberna del holy week5Our little plaza was transformed early in the day

The amazing processions of Holy Week were really closing in on us by our third day in Jerez. The quiet little plaza across from the hotel was transformed by a lively crowd of people and several processions the entire day. It's a wonderful sight, but trying to find a place for a drink or meal became next to impossible.

Jerez spain La taberna del holy week3
Jerez spain La taberna del holy week3

So I did some quick searching on my phone and found a restaurant a bit out-of-the-way. After taking in the processions for a few hours, off we went, against the massive flow of people to get dinner.

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Eating in Jerez, Spain: Albores Bar and Restaurante


Jerez spain holy week1Holy Week Procession

Jerez is the home of sherry and the home of some of the most laid back and friendly people I've encountered in Spain. It's also the home of some wonderful food.

Albores Bar and Restaurante is likely one of the best restaurants in Jerez. It seems to be a mix of classic and nuevo Spanish cooking. We enjoyed our dinner here so much that we returned for lunch later in the week. We returned specifically for the outrageously good clams in marinara. They didn't disappoint the second time, either.

Here's a rundown...

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Eating in Jerez, Spain: La Concha I

Jerez tio pepe1Bodegas Gonzalez Bypass

The fact of the matter is that sometimes the food isn't the only important thing.

Case in point: La Concha I (not II) in Jerez, Spain. (Please note, I'm not sure this is the name of the place. I know where it is, and I could bring you there if we were both in the neighborhood, but figuring out the name has been a challenge)

We had left Sevilla that morning, picked up our rental car, drove the quick hour to Jerez, had a hard time finding our hotel because roads were closed due to Holy Week (more on Holy Week later), found our hotel, dragged our bags up two flights of stairs, brushed our teeth (as you should), found the nearest plaza for a cold Cruzcampo (which this article claims is the "worst beer in the world"--note to writers: if you're from the US and you find yourself in southern Spain, you'll enjoy it, unless you're an ungrateful heathen), and made our way over to Gonzalez Byass, the sherry producer, for an (interesting) hour tour. After the tour, we were dead hungry, and hadn't done any research on Jerez. I even had no idea how large or small the town is (it's quite small), which is odd for me, since I typically, but not this time, study maps incessantly before visiting a strange place.

Jerez tio pepe manOne of those sherry guys at Gonzalez Bypass. Pride. Tradition.

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