Caserío de San Benito (Distinguished Establishments)
This restaurant, founded in 1991 is anchored in the heart of Antequera’s Vega (fertile plains), surrounded by olive groves. Special care has been paid to preserve the uncontaminated environment, adapting the building to the surroundings. This house offers the visitor an excellent opportunity of getting a taste of ancient times, a period so dear to us and so unforgettable.
Two important characteristics distinguish this establishment: the absolute respect for popular architecture and the recovery of the long-gone local gastronomy.
The building corresponds to a fully refurbished farmhouse, exponent of Andalusia’s ancient traditional buildings of the XVIII century, displaying the characteristic interior distribution, its surroundings and the unmistakable details of wrought iron gratings in doors and windows.
On the exterior you will find a beautiful patio with antique paving, splashed with agrarian elements and verdant vegetation. This noble patio, with its fantastic arbour gracefully nestling in the centre and its stone fountain dominating the scene, lead you to the interior of the house. Once inside, where decorative elements of the XVIII and XIX centuries abound, you cannot help but savour the enchantment of early days.
As you walk in through the impressive wood door dating of the XVIII century you will be able to admire the floor, made of “mazaríes”, ancient terracotta tiles. Decorated with XVIII century elements, with fine details in carved wood, wall gratings, ancient paintings, earthenware jugs, walls beautifully decorated with plates, wooden beams on the ceiling,… Every detail faithfully reflects the tranquil, warm and familiar atmosphere so common in early times.
The building has two dining rooms, one on the ground floor and the other one on the upper, with a total capacity for 85 people. One of the highlights of this traditional restaurant is its fireplace, on the ground floor, a place that takes us back in time to the bandits’ period. During cold days, you can enjoy the warmth of its two fireplaces or of the braziers placed under the tables following the most ancient traditions.
The gastronomy of this restaurant intends to promote their own culinary style, with typical regional dishes, cooked with autochthonous and natural ingredients such as, olive oil or the great variety of vegetables from the Vega. As we go through the menu, which is not very extensive but very well selected, you will find dishes such as the “ensalada del pastor” (shepherd’s salad), the traditional “porra antequerana”(thick chilled soup made from bread, cured ham, hard boiled eggs, tuna, tomatoes, oil and salt), “porrilla de espinacas” (spinach), “migas del Cortijo” (local fried bread), a small variety of “potajes” (pottages) and “cocidos” (hotpot) that vary according to the season, “arroces caldosos” (stews) –both of rabbit and of Iberian loin with asparagus-, and when we come to the desserts you will find “gachas de la abuela Pepa” (local gruel) or the “bienmesabe” (almond yummies).
During the year 2000 this restaurant has been awarded the “Plato de Oro de la gastronomía española” (Golden plate for Spanish gastronomy) for the special attention paid both in the selection of ingredients as in the elaboration and presentation of their dishes. Besides, important specialized guides such as “Gourmet”, “Campsa” or “Michelín” have also recognized their outstanding performance.
This establishment closes on Mondays and during the first fortnight in June.
After indulging in a delicious meal, you may want to take a walk and visit the “Museo de Usos y Costumbres” (Customs’ Museum) just beside the restaurant, inaugurated by the end of the year 2001. It is part of the “San Benito” complex and in its interior with decoration details of the XVIII century, you will be able to admire unique pieces recovered from the constructions of the area. Magnificent collections of ancient mills, threshing machines, ploughs, mechanical gadgets, oil presses, antique photographs, amazing clocks, sewing machines, radios, coins and the most diverse elements that will take you on a nostalgic trip to the past.