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Sep 23

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Eating at Restaurant L’Hort de Casa, Andorra

Instead of planning how we’ll spend each travel day, Dan and I prefer to head out with a general idea of where we want to go and stop when something catches our eye. It might be a world-class museum one day, other times it could be a fabulous view along the side of the road or an inviting coffee house. It paid off in Andorra when we passed a tiny restaurant called l’Hort de Casa.

Front of Restaurant l'Hort de Casa in Erts, Andorra

 

While driving around the country’s northwest we decided to take a break for lunch. Not having any recommendations in hand, we did our usual routine: Look for something that resembles a restaurant and then check for full tables or cars in the parking lot, especially cars with local plates. (That’s a good clue to good food, because locals know where the best restaurants are.)

We somehow ended up in a town called Erts where a small stone-and-wood building sat on a small side street. our only clue to what was inside was a simple wooden sign over the door humbly proclaiming “RESTAURANT.” It looked so inviting, what with all the vines and greenery and a small terrace in the front overlooking the mountains, that we couldn’t resist. We went in.

Inside L’Hort de Casa: mountain ambiance

It was a pleasant October day, but the air was a bit chilly and the outdoor tables were empty so we decided to eat indoors. The aroma of fire-grilled food greeted us as we entered and were warmly welcomed and seated by a very friendly woman.

We could tell that we were in for a treat.

 

Tending the grill at l'Hort de Casa restaurant

What’s on the menu?

When we got the menu, we finally learned that our lunch stop was named L’Hort de Casa (The Orchard House). We also discovered that it specializes in Aragonese cuisine.

Aragon? I didn’t know that it had its own cuisine, or even what part of Spain it’s in. All I knew of it was that it was once a kingdom (Catherine of Aragon was the first wife of Henry the 8th).

Whatever. Everything on the menu looked delicious.

The menu offered a lot of dining options, all fairly priced. The waitress brought a basket of crusty bread and a dish of Spanish olives while we made our selections.

Then while we were waiting for our meal, I made a 17-second video clip of the restaurant’s interior. We soon learned that the woman who we thought was the waitress is actually the owner. As it turns out, she does everything in the restaurant.

 

Our first taste of Aragonese cuisine

Following her recommendation, Dan ordered a flavorful homemade beef noodle soup to start. I couldn’t resist selecting a wild mushroom salad with a balsamic reduction dressing. When it arrived, I was thrilled to see palm hearts in it as well. I was even more delighted to find that the mushrooms were tender, not woody.

Beef noodle soup at l'Hort de Casa

Olives and local beer accompany our starters of beef-noodle soup and wild mushroom salad.

 

Aragonese cuisine must include snails, because our waitress told us it’s the specialty. No slime for us though. When we saw the duck breast on the menu, we went no further. We both ordered it.

The duck breast was simply prepared, sprinkled with kosher salt before meeting the grill. It arrived to the table accompanied by a slice of grilled pepper and potato, both drizzled with a fragrant Spanish olive oil. 

A bit of smoke and salt was all it took to make this an amazingly flavorful dish, so tender that we could have cut the meat with a fork.

Then the bill came.

Our final bill for starters, entrees and two beers came to €36.50 plus service charge. Pretty standard pricing for Europe. Considering the flavor and atmosphere, it was worth every euro.

Bill for eating at Restaurant l'Hort de Casa came to €36.50 plus 9% service charge.

Do you think that’s a fair price? Let us know in the comments.

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L'Hort de Casa is a quaint restaurant in Erts, Andorra. The food there is outstanding.

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9 comments

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  1. Contented Traveller

    I think you got total value for money in such a stunning location. The food looks so good. Great post and beautiful photos.
    Contented Traveller recently posted…Ankara – a city of contrastsMy Profile

    1. Linda

      Thank you. Are you a duck lover?
      Linda recently posted…Looking Back on 2013 – Our Year in ReviewMy Profile

  2. Tracey

    Too much planning can certainly take the fun out of things. I love your adventurous spirit, sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn’t, but it’s usually an experience to remember.
    Tracey recently posted…Calling All Travel Bloggers: A Simple Lifesaving Soap Story You’ll Want to ShareMy Profile

    1. Linda

      … and it seems that the ones that don’t work out are the most memorable, haha.

  3. Erin

    That duck looks so good! I was , literally, just writing about crispy duck in a new blog post I’m about to publish and thinking “yum!”, then saw this. Need to get me some duck!
    Erin recently posted…Ted’s Trail (or the Legend of Coyote Mountain)My Profile

    1. Linda

      When I first tried duck, I wondered, “where have you been all my life?” Crispy duck is the BEST! Have you tried Balinese bebek goreng?

  4. Erin

    No but tell me about it slowly. Mmmmm….duck. LOL!
    Erin recently posted…Spooning Puxatawney PhilMy Profile

  5. Anda

    I agree with you, Linda. When it comes to choosing a restaurant I always look for how many people are eating there. If it’s empty, there may be only two reasons: it’s either very expensive or very bad. The duck looks really good, I love duck.

    1. Linda

      We love duck too, Anda. If you get a chance, try duck bacon; it’s amazing.

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