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Cork Independent

Bia Sasta

Lanzarote offers more than just sun, sea and sand

Wednesday, 6th February, 2019 5:00pm

January was a busy month for Mr T and myself and we were in urgent need of a break.

As a friend of ours owns an apartment in Puerto Del Carmen in Lanzarote, the decision was easy.

Now, I hear you, it’s a tourist trap and you are right – the whole island makes an income from tourism but what is wrong with that?

Anyway, it was perfect for us, as we only wanted to relax, go for nice walks, eat (hopefully) great food and enjoy a few drinks. We did all the above.

When you go down the promenade, you will find restaurant after restaurant, all offering the full Irish/English breakfast, tapas include chicken wings and Guinness is widely available. There are a few gems still to be found like La Lonja in the old town of Puerto del Carmen – a traditional tapas and seafood restaurant with a fishmonger attached.

The menu states that local fishermen catch the fish used in the restaurant fresh and the menu is indeed fish and seafood heavy.

Traditional tapas bars display their dishes at the bar and you can pick and choose your favourite tapas – if they are served hot, they are reheated. This can lead to a bit of a soggy coating of croquettes and fritters but doesn’t take away from flavours.

One of my favourite snacks is pimientos de padron, little green peppers that have been fried until blistering and sprinkled with sea salt - so simple yet so delicious. I could eat them all day and as they are slightly salty, you would need a beer or two to go with them.

The local beer is Tropical, a light and refreshing lager while a craft brewery in Tahiche produces four beers called Aguita, October Fest (a lot of Germans can be found in Lanzarote), Tea (same with English and Irish) and Helles (a blonde).

We tried Tea (a brown ale) and Helles (a bit too bitter for me), which was a nice change to the commercial beers available otherwise.

Another lovely place to eat in Puerto del Carmen is Taberna de Nino Varadero. Located opposite the church, it’s a beautiful place with a stunning terrace (unfortunately the view is of the carpark at the port).

As with all restaurants we visited, the menu was a mile long – something that I always look suspiciously at (with so many offerings, how fresh can the food be?) but we went with the flow.

I had one of the best dishes there and one of the worst. I first went in for lunch and enjoyed the best langoustine tempura with melt in the mouth texture. I was so happy that I bugged Mr T to return with me for a romantic evening meal.

And the problem with high expectations is that they are hard to meet. Don’t get me wrong, the meal was okay but the fish was slightly overcooked and the lobster sauce was anything but. But it is still one of the better places to eat.

Supermarkets are a great place to find good food as the fish counters are filled with local fish and seafood and some amazing ham.

Could I live there? Maybe during the cold long winter days but I am very happy to be living in one of the most beautiful countries already.


Upcoming food events:

9 February Food Waste and Composting @ Nano Nagle Place

18 – 24 February Kinsale Restaurant Week

23 February Corinne’s Kitchen Tasting evening

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