We were on the road from France to Andorra through Spain, and stopped, as is our wont, for lunch in Bellver de Cerdanya. Bellver is worth a stop on its own merits: a beautiful village in which time seems to have stood still in many ways. Anyway, we normally have lunch there in the Fonda Biayna but, this being a Tuesday, it was closed. What to do? A wander brought us to the corner on which El Canto is situated, a couple of blocks over from the Fonda. It's a very simple bar/restaurant but don't be put off by appearances; march in through the plastic stripy door covering and ask for a table. A great sign: lots of locals in there eating and, when we were handed the 'menu del dia', we weren't surprised! A choice of three starters, three main courses, puds and bread, coffee and a carafe of wine - all for €11.50 a head. To start, I had a a lovely plate of 'tapas' with cold meats, olives and potato salad and he had a delicious dish of fat white beans in a tasty broth. For main course I had fish: beautifully fresh fillets of 'merluza' cooked with lemon and parsley which came with piping hot skinny french fries. He had a casserole of beef; chunky, dense and tasty- when the bread basket came in handy for mopping up every last drop. Puds were simple: a 'flan' (creme caramel) for me and a chocolate covered vanilla ice cream lolly from the fridge for his nibs. Coffee followed, and we were replete! Lovely home-cooked food, served simply and pleasantly by our nice waitress. Oh, and I, as the non-driver that day can vouch for the wine too. We had the red, but I noticed that the locals tended to go for the rose. Note to self: try the rose next time - and there definitely will be a next time!!
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