I just wanted to let any chow readers who are traveling in Southern Spain know about a phenomenal restauraunt I went to on the advice of a longterm local foodie. The restaurant is called Curro El Cojo, and is located in the Vista Hermosa section of El Puerto De Santa MAria. This restaurant has a long famous local history, and serves some of the best traditional spanish country food in Andalucia. Roasted meats, Iberian Jamon,huevas aliñadas (fish egges in olive oil and vinegar) as well as local seafood dishes are the staples of this restaurant, but the roasted lamb shank is the thing to get here. the owner gets his lambs from a small farm in the Sierra mountains of Cadiz, and slowly roasts his shanks with fresh bay leaves, garlic tomatoes and onions- awesome! All local products- olive oil, cheeses, fish, vegetables- the Berza is renowned! nice stuff. I got the feeling that this was the local place to eat for all the local food/wine people- when I was there the local jamon importer for the whole area as well as some local sherry producers were all there chowing down on intense local specialities washed down with wine, beer, a dizzying selection of sherries, etc, etc... of course follwed up by any number of local gran reserva Brandies from nearby jerez. Not for the weak at heart or stomach! very intensely flavored foods.
Just as a note a few other local restaurants that are great for local seafood are La Dorada in Old Puerto by the river (get the Cazon en adobo), and Bar Ramon in Rota on the old road to chipiona ( get the pimientos rellenos- small red peppers stuffed with fish and mashed potatoes in a rasted red pepper sauce)
Southern Spain is hit and miss in general for food- but any number of local places are quite great, particularly for tapas, fresh fish and of course jamon. Do go to the local mercados for fish if you are planning to cook anything yourself- the tuna and Marrajo (local shark filets) are great and cheap.
Drinnking of course is not a problem in the area.