The Town Without Menus

2013-08-08 18.41.31Currently in a beautiful town in southern Spain called  Àger. Seated in a valley next to a beautiful mountainous ridge that extends into the distance, Àger looks to me like something between the perched villages of southern France and the rural expanse of Colombia.

Àger also has its fair share of oddities. For example, the town seems to have no menus, as if writing were taboo. When you sit down at a restaurant or a cafe, a waiter will eventually come over and ask you what you like. They will then appear as surprised that you don’t already know the full contents of their kitchen as you are that they expect all visitors to have psychic abilities. After some coaxing, and explaining why you cannot order any food because of the time of day, angle of the sun, alignment of the cosmos, etc., they will begrudgingly admit that they can give you bread with any number of different toppings, as they did this morning.

Today when I ordered bread with ham and cheese, they brought out a full platter of large slices of fresh bread spread with tomatoes and serrano ham, and another full platter of bread spread with tomato and cheese. Fortunately I was able to fashion these into delicious sandwiches.

Another quirk of the town is that its residents seem completely blind to how beautiful it is. My room seems to almost accidentally provide a stunning view of the village against a backdrop of green hillsides, with the foreground filled with a wheat field and the owner’s garden. An entire side of the hotel faces this view directly, however all of the tables on the outside terrace are placed on an entirely different wall, facing little more than an alley.

From what I can tell, the best view is in town is from a restaurant in town that has enormous windows. Even there, the tables are situated without thought of the view, positioned either so that half the chairs look away, or so that they are in the only blind spots, meaning both chairs look primarily at a blank wall.

Update: Finally, last night, I saw a set of menus. These were in a restaurant that had refused to give me a menu no more than half an hour earlier.

Posted on by Brandon Green in Uncategorized

About Brandon Green

Brandon is a former investment banker who now travels the world full time. Brandon is on twitter @brandonbrucegreen and on Google +.