By Peter and Jean Richards
If you do not want a large breakfast while touring in Spain, you can savor a lot of local atmosphere and save quite a bit of money by having your desayunos in a bar near your hotel.
We like to stay in the wonderful government-run Paradors in Spain, where you get to sleep in medieval castles, Renaissance ducal palaces, or venerable convents. All of them serve breakfast, a large and varies buffet. But these are relatively expensive (€18 or €16 per person, and occasionally on special for €12). My problem is that I can be an undisciplined eater and often take too much food when it is offered in buffet style, I also feel that €36 (almost $47 at the current exchange rate) is a lot to spend for breakfast,
In a recent trip when we stayed at six Paradors we had breakfast each morning at a bar near the hotel or, on a couple of occasions, at a bar just outside of town or as we entered another town.
In the bars, where you can either sit or stand at the bar or site a table, you get a big does of local atmosphere. Regulars come in, chat with the bartender, read their morning papers, banter with their friends.
We each take a double caffé plus a croissant or pastry of some kind. I usually succumb if they have churros. those slender, crispy, deeply ridged delights which you can dunk in thick hot chocolate or coffee. We also often have orange juice, squeezed to order by a Rube Goldberg gadget which most bars have. The oranges are fed into a tube, and the machine then feeds them into a gizmo that slices and extracts the juice.
Since Spain has excellent, tree-ripened oranges grown in the south, the juice, known as zumo, is far superior to what you can get in the United States. Except for Morocco, where we had unbelievably sweet orange juice, the juice in Spain is the best we have had on our travels.
These breakfasts ran from 5€50 to 8€40 on our April jaunt through Spain, and the most expensive one was where I had a second cup of coffee.
Even better, on a nice day you can have your breakfast at an outside table, often in an historic square where you can enjoy the setting and watch the town come to life.
© Copyright 2013 by Peter & Jean Richards