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“Fabulous restaurant - great mountain location!”

Bar Restaurante El Acebuchal
Ranked #2 of 66 Restaurants in Frigiliana
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: Spanish
Dining options: Breakfast, Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast, Reservations
Reviewed August 20, 2012

This was a fabulous visit. It's a lot more tham a restaurant - it's a whole lost village! What a great journey there - through the winding mountain roads - very narrow, very high! After a while of driving on these hair raising roads you stumble upon this place. Absolutely delightful!

The menu is really good, with a great selection. But beware portion sizes are huge!!! We had salad (which is listed as a starter). They were beautiful, although I was glad I wasn't having a main course too. I didn't even have any room for the home made ice cream!

You can also buy home made bread there and some home grown avocado.

A must if you are in the area.

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2  Thank Deboraheck
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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270 - 274 of 452 reviews

Reviewed June 1, 2012

El Acebuchal - the village that is known by many who live around Cómpeta or Frigiliana - has a long history dating back to the 17th century but is more well known nowadays as the ''Lost Village'' by foreigners or ''Pueblo El Fantasma'' (the Ghost Village) as the Spaniards call it, that was brought back to life recently by decendants of the original families that lived there. If you have never been there, then it really is worth making the effort to go. The journey in itself is worth the petrol (or legwork if you're one of the healthy types!!). You can travel from Frigiliana taking the old road from there to Torrox and following the signs to El Acebuchal or you can go from the Cómpeta side along a well made track with fantastic views of the hillsides and mountains and passing the old Fabrica de Luz. Personally I believe the Cómpeta - El Acebuchal route is the far better one to take. It can be a little scary for those of a nervous disposition but stick with it, you'll feel it's worth it in the end!
We have been going to the bar at El Acebuchal for many years now and have seen it change over that time but it still remains as one of my all time favourite places to go eat. Taking the route from Cómpeta has to surely be one of the most magnificent journeys you'll ever make to go have lunch. Taking the turning by the old helipad on the Torrox road (look for the sign for El Acebuchal) you venture deep into the natural park on a track that carries you back to a different time when villagers used this route to go to Cómpeta for a family wedding or where friends and family carried the coffin of a loved one on their shoulders to be buried in the cemetery. Or to a time when arrieros (mule drivers) ran alongside their beasts loaded to breaking point with fruits of the labours of the villagers to exchange for other supplies from the communities over the mountains in Granada province. Or to a time when guerillas hid out in the mountains evading the long arm of the law in an attempt to fight the Franco regime. You literally can feel history coming up through your boots.
When you reach El Acebuchal you find a peaceful, mountain village that has many restored houses and is still undergoing restauration work today. Up to the start of the last decade, the village was in ruins having been abandoned in the late 1940s. The story is that the village was cleared by Franco's forces to prevent the guerillas from being supported by the locals but some also say that the residents of El Acebuchal just simply wanted a more comfortable life and so moved to other towns and villages to make their way in the world. I somehow feel there is probably a bit of both reasons in the stories of those abandoned family homes.
In 1998 the García Sanchez family began to restore the houses using as guides the foundations of the old buildings as well as old photographs of El Acebuchal in order to bring back to life the village of old. Antonio "El Zumbo" returned with his wife, Virtudes, to make a lifelong dream of rebuilding El Acebuchal come true reaching re-inauguration of the streets in 2005. There is also now a delightful little chapel which is used for special celebrations, weddings and fiestas.
Bar El Acebuchal offers a wide variety of typical mountain dishes many that had been disappering from the local menus such as the robust stews of jabalí (wild boar), ciervo (venison) and choto (kid). The House salad is delightful - a mixture of fruits, salad vegetables and cheese with a delicious dressing. You must also try the home-made bread. This is not the dry, plastic stuff you get served in some places. You'll be given a full loaf of walnut bread served with a plate of herbed olive oil in which to dip the chunks of bread that you tear from the loaf. (This a true ''tear and share'' experience.) On our last visit I had cordero en salsa de canela (a stew of lamb in a cinnamon sauce) which was delightful. Soft, tender meat cooked in a mildly spiced, sweet sauce. Other dishes tried were rabo de toro con salsa de verduras (oxtail in a vegetable sauce), carne de cerdo con salsa de curry y coco (pork in a curry and coconut sauce), tabla de salchichón de jabalí y ciervo (a cold platter of wild boar and venison sausages) and croquetas de pollo con jamon (chicken and ham croquettes). All the dishes were accompanied by patatas a lo pobre (poor man's potatoes). The food, as always, was very good. The service was excellent and we always receive a friendly welcome from the El Acebuchal team - Antonio ''El Zumbo'' (the father of the family) is always on hand to greet you and to try his best to sell you a loaf of bread to take away! Antonio's son, Sebastián the chef, is proud of the work he does and will always come out of the kitchen to check all is ok with your meals and Irene (Ire) and Juán (El Juani) look after all your needs at the table. Often (but not on this occasion) we'll also meet Antonio's other son, also Antonio, who was a great force in getting behind the restaurant in its early days. He's also been the one behind the home-made bread. (They also offer home-made ice creams for those who fancy a cooling pudding).
El Acebuchal now offers a fully covered outdoor dining area, a full carta (menu) as well as specials and even a small shop to buy souvenirs and products from the area. Sebastián is obviously proud of the place and it now has a more modern feel than when it first opened. Two of the dishes arrived on slate plates but unfortunately they are a pet hate of mine. I am of the opinion that a piece of slate should be on a roof and not something you eat you're dinner off - but that's just old fuddy duddy me!! However, I have to admit, I do miss a little of that simpler, more rustic feel that you used to get when arriving at the bar. In the early years there was no menu, it was simply a list that Antonio or Sebastián had of what dishes were available on that day, many that would be unique and may never appear again. (We've had such wonderful dishes as an open topped pie of pork meat and spices, morrocan-style quail, pastel de habichuelas amongst others). Now the menu is printed and they even take your order with a hand held electronic device!! But the great standard of food, good service and warm and friendly welcome you receive at Bar El Acebuchal is the same as it's always been.

As well as running the bar, the García Sanchez family own a number of properties in El Acebuchal that are available for holiday rentals. You can find the details of those at:

http://www.elacebuchal.es/paginas/situacion_elacebuchal.html

For more details on Bar El Acebuchal follow this link : http://barelacebuchal.blogspot.com.es/

See a video on my YouTube page of El Acebuchal at :

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WGp61EXqvm0&feature=plcp

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8  Thank Competajohn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 24, 2012

Having just come back from visiting this area, this was by far my favourite place to visit and I would recommend anyone to visit — if you get the chance, but as others say, not easy to get to.

The location is just stunning, it is sooooo peaceful and relaxing, the food is excellent. We couldn't decide what to order, so we ordered a mixture and the dishes were placed in the middle of the table for us all to tuck in. Oh yes, they bake their own bread ... yummy!

Inside the bar is a photograph of the little village, taken in 1985 whilst it was abandoned, which doesn't seem that long ago. Superb renovation and if you are interested you may well get a personal invite to look inside the shop.

Service first class.

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1  Thank JaneHoops
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 11, 2012

We have eaten at Bar El Acebuchal on several occasions over the last year or two and it never disappoints. The menu consists of 8 or 10 traditional Spanish dishes consisting of ox-tail, rabbit, goat, wild boar (my favourite), patatas pobres, venison sausages, chicken cooked in local sweet wine, ham and cheese. All the bread, cakes and ice cream are home made, the ice cream usually made with seasonal fruit, and all delicious.
The chef is a very talented young man and the accompanying sauces for the meat dishes are seasoned with interesting herbs and spices so a bit different from the norm!!
The hamlet is still being restored by the family who own the bar and as the previous contributor said the old photographs inside are very interesting with a lot of history.
The drive up can be a bit hairy but if you feel fit, and want to work up an appetite, then it is a lovely walk from Frigiliana, about 7km (the first 5 all uphill!!).

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2  Thank joanandmatt
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 1, 2012

We came across this bar/restaurant quite by chance when driving through the National Park between Frigiliana and Competa. El Acebuchal is a tiny hamlet about 6km north of Frigiliana. It is perhaps better known to walkers and mountain bikers as the road is little more than a dirt track. The village was abandoned for some forty odd years but has been transformed into a delightful 'white-washed' settlement. In the centre is the Bar el Acebuchal which has a large outside seating area. The interior is small and decorated with vintage photographs of the village and local families.

We only intended to stop for coffee but the smells emanating from the kitchen tempted us to stay. They claim that most of the ingredients are sourced locally and the menu which is limited to just a few freshly cooked items included wild boar, goat, deer and lamb. All the bread and cakes are home made (recommended is the apple cake).

The setting could not be more peaceful and it is hard to believe surrounded as you are by steep mountain gorges that the 'Costas' are only a few miles south of here.

If you feel brave then after your stop here you can continue north along the track to join the Torrex to Competa main road. But be warned - there is a deep ford halfway along which should only really be tackled by a 4X4. If there has been heavy rain - check with the bar owner to make sure the road has not been washed away!

Because of its remoteness the opening hours are varied - 10am to 4pm for most of the year and only open in the evenings during August and September.

There is a 'shop' alongside the restaurant which is only opened by request. As well as a local sweet wine they stock a fascinating range of cheeses and cooked meats, which they claim have unique flavours as the local animals graze on the herbs in the nearby valleys. I don't know if this was a bit of blarney but the 'rosemary goats’ cheese' certainly had a unique flavour.

Yes - it is a bit of a 'hairy' journey to reach Bar el Acebuchal but it will be worth it.The owner describes it as a 'little paradise' and for once this is not hyperbole.

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4  Thank luckjon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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