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The most varied bar in the world is in Valencia

MARIA JOSE CARCHANO

Paco Ferrer got up, like every day, at four in the morning. He has already gotten used to getting up early, sleeping little and working a lot, although lately, as has happened to so many of us, he has the feeling that he needs to stop, take those days that the pandemic and worries have stolen from him during this year and a half. . Actually, Paco already knows what it means to prioritize his family and his time, since he reset a life that he did not like and began working in the hospitality industry, always linked to the Central Market.

Ten years ago he, together with Ángel Fernández, opened 'El Trocito del Medio', a place that has all of Paco's personality: «Here we never say no». And thanks to that decision to always answer yes, from the nerve that comes from within, in 'El Trocito del Medio' they began to cook the products that people had bought in the Central Market. "And everything got out of control."

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"We charge five euros per plate and there are Saturdays when thirty different bags come together here." He doesn't mind earning less, it's true that he has lower profits, but in return he has gained a legion of loyal fans who, on more occasions than he ever imagined, become friends.

In addition, it has turned the bar of the small local into the largest that exists in the world, that of the products of the Central Market. «We have a letter, but you ask me what you want. I just have to cross and enter the market to buy it," explains Paco, who has made the motto 'The town bar in the capital' a way of understanding the business.

A waitress attends in the room of the Trocito del Medio. Paco says that all workers have a second chance. “If they leave, they can come back”, he says./ irene marsilla

These days you have to dodge works, put up with the dust and close your ears to the machines to access the premises, which have been gaining meters from Blanes street in small rooms with entrance from the outside. The bar, a door, the dining room, another, the kitchen another. Even the bathrooms have independent access. Because Paco knows that his great value is to take advantage of the proximity of the market and he has been renovating the premises from that narrow place with a kitchen upstairs, bathrooms downstairs, where they went down and up stairs hundreds of times every day. These days he has been left without a terrace, his great value, but Paco barely has time to complain. He is into other things.

Paco loves Palanca's hamburgers, Rosa Lloris's sausage or Basilio's meats

The symbiosis with the market is total. He knows each stall by heart and loves, for example, Palanca's hamburgers, Rosa Lloris's cold cuts or Basilio's meats. That way, he could talk all the stops. Jose is his exclusive waiter for them. Who every day distributes coffees at eight and lunches at eleven, which all leave from the small kitchen of the Trocito del Medio, in a round trip of raw material that vendors and customers adore at the same time. No frills, yes.

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The usual sandwiches, the loin with peppers, the figatells, which were only offered on weekends and due to their success, are already sold every day, or the tortillas. The potato one, made at the moment. Yes, you don't have to settle for a reheated piece of the fat tortilla (most of the time dry) cooked hours ago that is dwindling on the bar. Full lunch for five euros, maximum seven, depending on the filling of the sandwich. And, every week, two house specials. An example. Chicken breast with mustard sauce or homemade meatballs. «The dressing is homemade; we take it to the butcher to chop up the meat and mix it.”

If he looks back, Paco Ferrer is very satisfied, because despite working in the hotel industry, he has his nights off and on Saturday after lunch he can go home to enjoy the weekend he has left. A luxury in the world of restoration, he knows it, although in these times of pandemic he works a lot, he recognizes it. "We were closed for less than a month, then we opened to take away and between my partner and I we ran the business." And, each day, they made between the two hundred coffees and sandwiches.

More than Gastronomy

Their success has transcended and they have been copied. There are two places that have wanted to do the same. They have also come to see us to transfer the model to other cities in Spain«. Success has been uneven, because Paco understands that success is shared between 80% love and 20% knowledge.

Topics

Central Market of Valencia, Gastronomy
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