7 Julio: A Barrel of Laughs

The restaurant isn’t in the nicest of locations, in an industrial estate on the southbound road leaving Valencia; but once inside, angels soar to the ceiling, wooden pillars soar down to the floor, and bottles and barrels abound. Furthermore, the toilets beckon like the gateway to Heaven, and are as worthy a place to dine as the dining room itself.

toilet

The barrels, which line one side of the restaurant, dwarfing humans, contain cider, and you are supposed to help yourself to as much as you want, although we were constantly trying to distract the waiter, unable to believe it could be true.

rest barrels

Immediate plans to organize British stag parties were hatched and then discarded as the first plates arrived.

To begin with a courtesy snack; toasted bread with goats’ cheese, anchovy and cherry tomato.

While nibbling on that we perused the various menus at 25, 32 and 38,50 euros, mostly focused on meat, and how much you can eat.

rest

Vegetarians are not refused admission here, but most of them would feel uncomfortable; this is a restaurant based upon the serious meat eateries of northern Spain, where Basques and Navarrese settle down to gorging upon the animals they have nurtured upon their green hillsides.

Here you can ask for a T-bone with a side order of suckling pig and the only response from the waiter will be “a sensible choice, sir.”

us and berrels

We went for the 32 euro menu and had to choose 3 from the 5 starters, all of which seemed to include the famous anchovies from the north, and stuffed peppers; stuffed with ox meat; no messing about here!

When the meat arrived, it arrived accompanied by charcoal grills, upon which you lay the slices and add the salt as you prefer it, and watch and smell the meat sizzling as you tuck into the accompanying potatoes and tiny green peppers that go with it.

meat

The dessert deserves several paragraphs to describe it, but a picture is worth a thousand words, so here it is.

sweet

Julio 7 has four restaurants altogether, the other three being in Manises, Alicante and Castellón. So if you like to eat surrounded by rifles, hunting scenes, hanging hams and those endless rows of barrels; or so they seemed by the time we lurched out, then this is the place for you.

barrls

Our thanks to Joaquin for revealing this place and for paying the bill. You are a true gentleman sir, and a very sensible choice.

barrels

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