Monday 17 October 2016

"El Classico" Tapas Restaurant, Tickhill: a Review

[Image descriptions: mural of the windmills of La Mancha, Spain, in the main dining area]

I reside in Cheshire and have some friends in Grimsby, Doncaster and Scunthorpe, none of which are places that might be termed trendy or even touristy. Normally my carer takes the motorways and we get there as quickly as possible. For my last visit across the Pennines on a lovely autumnal Saturday, we decided to take the scenic route to Sheffield and then onwards to Grimsby for a long weekend. The chosen route was expected to add an extra one to two hours, but we enjoyed the bucolic countryside between towns.

[Image descriptions: "El Classico" signage above the bar]

Hunger meant that we glanced at the atlas and decided to break for luncheon in Maltby. The latter was so dishevelled we did not even stop the car and continued on to the next town, Tickhill. And so glad we did so. Seeing a pub-sign ahead I advised my driver to pull in. There is ample parking to the rear of the pub cum tapas restaurant, El Classico. The name is Spanglish for the classic/el clásico.

[Image descriptions: left, drinks menu; right, tapas menu]

Inside are nooks & crannies, as in most traditional English pubs, but here filled with assorted dining furniture. However, after walking past the grand mock-Tudor bar, one enters a wide dining-hall prepared for large to intimate dining parties (see top image).

Our young waiter was immaculately attired in black shirt & slacks, Spanish waiter style, but soon gave the game away with his broad brogue that he was a local Yorkshireman. At all times throughout our meal, he was attentive, professional and personable. A genuine credit to the restaurant. The youngster explained how the eat-as-much-as-you-want system worked all for a fixed price. Drinks cost extra.

[Image descriptions: our first selection of tapas with beers]

Many of the tapas were comparatively small, more like the portion size of those served gratis in Spanish bars with one's drinks. However, the advantage is that one has space to sample other dishes - or more of the same if one so wishes.

Here I should note that the chef was more than happy to prepare dishes without garlic - to which I am seriously allergic. This is exactly what I find in Spain, where in some fourteen/fifteen years of visits, I have not once had an allergic reaction in eateries. Being a huge fish fan, I was absolutely delighted that chef was able to cook several fish dishes for me. All the delicious food served to my companion and myself was totally authentic, despite no actual Hispanics toiling in the kitchen. The tapas served are not haute cuisine - as found in many a Barcelona tapería, but the kind of healthy & tasty tapas found throughout Iberia.

I cannot say whether there is a disabled-accessible w.c., as on this occasion I was mobile and able to use the ordinary gents toilet. This was scrupulously clean and very spacious.

We intend to revisit El Classico, as it is in a good location, a sort of half-way house between chums, so friends can meet us there. Oh yummy!

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