The Route of the Tapas (Ruta de las tapas) is a recent event supposed to be held each year, although sadly last year it didn’t materialise. Each municipality holds the event over 3 weeks, and, if you feel up to the task, you could attend each route! The town hall (Ayuntamiento) provides you with a card listing all the participating restaurants, cafes and bars, with two spaces for scoring, one for cold and one for hot, between 1 to 5. It is important that the participating restaurant stamps, or signs, your card to prove that you have eaten the tapas! The tapas cost 2.50€ and included a drink or your choice. Of course I had red wine with each one!
The municipality of Antigua route was held on each Friday and Saturday between 25th May and 9th June.
Our first stop was up to Mirador de Morro Velosa for one of their delicious hot chocolates with lashings of cream on top! Sadly they no longer seem to do their cakes, but we still enjoyed the chocolate and relaxed looking over the splendid views.
Replenished, we went on to stop at the chapel ruins at Convento de San Buenaventura, that we have been meaning to visit for a few years now, but never got around to it. Sadly, they have now cordoned the area off and you can no longer get down to it, let alone inside. We took a few photos before carrying on.
Still a bit too early for eating, we went on through Betancuria to visit the only forest on the island and one of the greenest places on Fuerteventura, El Pinar. Whilst I don’t expect many British people would be impressed with it as a ‘forest’, there are a lot of pine trees around a lovely recreational area. A beautiful peaceful area, today of course we were the only ones there. I would imagine that on Sundays, when the sun is shining a lot of Spanish families go there. As well as a children’s playground area (yes, I did partake of the swings and see-saw!) there are many bbq areas where you can bring your food and charcoal to have a great bbq.
We were then ready to really start our route of the tapas, and made our way back to Betancuria.
La Sombra was sadly the only restaurant in Betancuria that was taking part in the event. First impressions was that this was a beautiful little oasis, tucked away in the centre of the town. It’s a very small place with just half a dozen or so tables, but the layout was beautiful. Just two staff, the chef (presumably the owner?) and a waiter. They were very busy and there was just one table for 2 people available, which was handy!
I loved the surroundings and ambience of this place. The two chaps were very friendly, albeit busy, and we had a very pleasant and relaxing wait before the tapas came. We were served one cold tapa, Garbanzos Orientales, which, as the name describes, was chickpeas, and one hot Bolitas a La Sombra, which was falafela with a nice type of mayonnaise and some ketchup. To be honest, I felt the ketchup unnecessary and a disappointment. It would be easy to have a home made sauce available. However, having said that, this was an excellent start to our route and very tasty. They charged us just 2.50€ for one cold and one hot tapa and drink. All dishes were served up on reproduced old English newspapers, which appeared to be greaseproof – a novel idea! We can definitely recommend this cafe and will definitely go back there again!
Our next stop was at Bar Garcia in Llanos de la Concepción. This was a totally different kettle of fish. A typical Canarian cafe, serving good honest food. Here we were offered either a cold or hot tapa with drink. We had one of each and shared. The dishes were of a typical size for this type of bar, and they even brought us bread! The hot tapa was once again Garbanzas, this time served with goat meat, and the cold was Salpicón de Atun, a tuna salad. We would definitely stop here again if we were in the area, but wouldn’t make a special journey to go there. Recommended if you are passing! [UPDATE! The owners have moved to La Finca, Triquivijate! Bar Garcia is currently closed]
Our last stop of the morning was in our favourite town, Antigua. We had heard good reviews of this restaurant, but had never been, so was looking forward to trying it out. We ordered our drinks and he didn’t ask whether we wanted hot or cold, so we assumed both would be included in the price. The cold was Bigote Mojado, consisting of a prawn (yes just one single prawn!) in a type of mayonnaise sauce. It was beautifully presented and the mayo and prawn were tasty. The hot then came out, La Cabra Pasta, which was tagliatelle with goat meat. It was tasty but far too salty for both of us. When Ian went in to pay, they actually charged us 10€ (5€ each). Frankly, we felt this was a bit of a rip off. If the event price were for a single tapa they should have asked us first whether we wanted hot or cold. Mind you they were so small we would not have been able to share! And secondly, we should have had another drink with the second tapa.