First taste of Galicia... in a burger at El Buzo, Ribadeo
The bus ride from Avilés was quite long: 2 hours 50 minutes, whereas if you drove straight, it would have been only 1 hour 10 minutes. Why the big difference?
Well, the bus did make a ton of stops, sometimes just by the roadside. Sometimes we had to exit the main highway to stop off in a town. But the part that seemed to drag on the most was crossing over to Ribadeo from Asturias. The Northern coast of Spain is marked with lots of inlets, kind of like wide rivers into the sea, and one of these separates Ribadeo from the Asturias side. There is a actually a bridge that crosses this inlet directly, but instead we went the long way around the entire inlet.
So fiiiinally we arrived in Ribadeo, which turned out to be a much bigger town than I expected. I was thinking that it was a tiny village, but actually it had a newer part with pretty tall apartment buildings, and then the historic center. Here, there was a free outdoor concert the night I arrived (they played movie soundtracks).
I was pretty exhausted by now, since this day I had a half-day in Gijón running around chasing the best desserts, heading back to Avilés to pick up bags and go back to the bus station, and then the long bus ride to Ribadeo. The Airbnb landlady made two recommendations, one for burgers right across the street, and the other for an octopus joint in the town center.
I passed by the octopus restaurant in the town center, since when in Galicia, one should try octopus, right? It seemed very popular, but at that time I wasn’t feeling like eating on my own in a tapas-type environment (it can feel a bit lonely sometimes), and I was also confused by the different octopus choices on the menu.
I decided that I would head back to the neighborhood of the Airbnb, to check out the hamburger restaurant, El Buzo (“the scuba diver”).
Normally, I wouldn’t choose to eat at a burger restaurant basically anywhere in Europe. Maybe New Zealand and the US would be the only places I’d really seek out hamburgers. But the Airbnb lady really talked up this place: she said they used Galician bread (making an up/down motion with her hand, showing its springiness), and used Galician meats. So it seemed like this wouldn’t be any old burger.
I entered the restaurant and was pointed to a single table next to the bathroom. I considered it lucky that I even got a table, since this place was packed!
I ordered their special burger, which included a single patty, egg, ham, and lettuce, tomato, and onions.
And I must say I really enjoyed it! The bun was indeed bouncy and crusty and airy - not dense like a brioche, which I don’t like. The vegetables were fresh, and the well-seared meat looked like an honest to goodness beef burger patty, not the sausage-like cylinders of beef mixed with fillers that one often finds in Spain. The only part that I could have done without was the ham, which looked hand-sliced due to its unevenness, but was so salty it overpowered the other flavors. I did take that out in the end and ate it separately.
The service was pretty cold but efficient, and for a late dinner before an early start the next morning, El Buzo did the trick.