ALICANTE - ELDA - EL RINCON DE JUAN
EL RINCON DE JUAN
By Howard Goldsmith
El Rincon De Juan is on Calle Episodios Nacionale which is one of the side streets off Calle Ronda and Avenida Alfonso XIII and there are plenty of parking opportunities nearby.
I had met Alexis and his father Juan at the gym (Paidesport) recently. Alexis speaks fluent English and we had a Spanglish conversation about Spanish food when he told me that his parents own El Rincon De Juan in Elda and that I should take my wife Gail, one day, and try it out. Alexis told me that his father cooked the most wonderful paellas and rice dishes, especially the caldosa which is the soupy rice variety. So we tried it out.
When we arrived we met Alexis' mother who is absolutely charming and very welcoming, Alexis had left for Thailand earlier in the week where he is a professional Muay Thai boxer and personal trainer. Alexis had told her we were coming and she made suggestions for us for lunch. A small plate of superb Jamón Serrano (air dried mountain ham) and Manchego (cheese made in the La Mancha region of Spain from the milk of sheep of the manchega breed) was brought as an aperitif along with a bowl of mixed nuts whilst we caught up on the news and the weather from the television which was thankfully turned right down.
A plate of queso frito (fried cheese)
and patatas bravas arrived which although may seem a tad boring really were not. There was a suggestion for fresh sepia but I´m simply not a sepia fan. We had been asked about how hot we like things and the salsa for the potatoes had been made accordingly, a nice touch.
A beautiful salad arrived as you can see from the photos, crisp leaves, grated carrot, sweetcorn, plump olives, tuna, egg and tomato and easily enough for four.
Then, the star turn the paella caldosa. This was one of those occasions when just the look of the dish made you know that it was going to be good. It´s a hearty dish and the portion was outrageously large for the two of us but we had a good go. I counted at least three types of meat along with a similar number of vegetables including some exceptional artichoke hearts all resting in this wonderfully flavoured soupy rice cooked perfectly.
Alexis´mum tried hard to tempt us with a selection of home made desserts but we were full to the brim although it did not stop us from trying one of her bunhuelas (sort of cinnamon doughnut but much better) with a coffee outside in the glorious sunshine. Because we had not seen a menu due to the warmth of our welcome and the following conversation we had no idea of what the bill would be. Neither Gail or I drink alcohol but we had a few soft drinks and were pleasantly surprised at a total of €30 in total. Our leftover paella was put into containers for us to take home and there is at least one more meal for the two of us. We loved every part of the afternoon spent there. Great food, perfectly cooked, charming staff especially Alexis´mum. We would recommend you try it and perhaps taste something different. Saturday and Sunday mornings are churros and chocolate breakfasts with offers like 3 x Churros and 1 x Hot Chocolate for as little as €2. That has to tempt you. As well as the food we ate there are paellas and Arroz A Banda cooked to order as well as a Menu Del Dia.
Check it out if you like traditional Spanish food with friendly service.
Photos and words Howard Goldsmith.
EL RINCON DE JUAN
Calle Episodios Nacionales 10, 03600 Elda, Alicante
+34 966 18 73 01
Restaurant open 8am–11pm
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