Day 1 – Evening
I suppose this posting should have been called Day 1 (part 2) and Day 2! Carrying on from our first route, having rested for a few hours we decided at the last minute to make our way to Costa de Antigua (formerly Nuevo Horizonte), and to the two restaurants that were participating there.
First stop was the newly opened Bombay Burritos. This restaurant only opened about 4 weeks ago, and took over the old Mustang Sally premises. Friendly staff greeted us. At this venue the only drink they would offer us was a small beer, which was not really in accordance with the event programme, which states that you should have a choice of wine, beer, water or soft drink. Not very sure what an Indian restaurant would offer for tapas, we were pleasantly surprised! Again, we had one cold and one hot tapa and shared. The hot tapa was Pincho Pollo Tikka (chicken tikka), which we both found very tasty and good. The cold tapa was Chonna Chat, which was basically chick peas. Having had chick peas at a few places along the route, I must say that these were the tastiest! Overall we were both quite impressed with the quality of the food at this venue, and it is definitely worth a second visit. They will also be offering a take-away service soon, and their prices seemed to be very reasonable.
Next door but one to Bombay Burritos was Jinxing. A Chinese restaurant, and another that we had heard good reports on. Once again they were not very organised for the event, but at least she had heard of it! Like the previous place, they only offered us beer to drink. I am not a big drinker of beer, so I just had half and Ian finished it off for me! The cold tapa was Ensalada China, just a simple salad, tasty but nothing special. The hot tapa was Rollo de Primavera, spring rolls, again tasty but nothing special for such an event. The waitress was friendly, however, the tablecloths were very thread-worn and really needed replacing. But if you are looking for a good Chinese meal, then I think this restaurant is definitely worth a try, and has reasonable prices too; I certainly wouldn’t pass it by. [UPDATE: Jinxing was under new management in 2020]
Having rested during the day on Saturday, our friends, Marie and her hubby Emilio, plus of course Little Silly Lily one of their dogs, arrived at our place about 4.30pm. After chatting and deciding our route for the day, we set off for Vallés de Ortega at about 5pm. Unfortunately, this is where I became rather absent-minded and chatting too much, I forgot to take photos of the restaurants!
El Luchador (Casa Tino Matoso)
This is another restaurant that only opened just recently, and one we have been meaning to try! Situated in the village of Valles de Ortega. Much bigger inside than we realised, we went on through to sit in the covered terrace area. As before, we had one cold and one hot between each couple, and this time thankfully they served wine! Have to say it probably wasn’t the best wine I have had, but I was still able to drink it!! The cold tapa was Ensaladilla El Luchador, which was basically a Russian salad, but this one had less potato than usual and more tuna; very tasty and plenty on the dish for us to share. The hot was Saquito de Marisco El Luchador, which was a seafood wanton, made with filo pastry and brushed with honey on the outside. Absolutely gorgeous! This was definitely top notch and an excellent start to our route on this day! All I can say is that we will definitely be returning to this restaurant, and I will remember to take a photo of the outside next visit!
Practically opposite El Luchador was the next restaurant on our route. Not sure of the story of these two restaurants, but obviously family members, whether in competition or working together I don’t know. Here the hot was ‘Cabra Majorera’, which was goat with a traditional wrinkly potato. The meat was very nice, so tender, but the potato was just a little too salty for my personal taste. The cold tapa was ‘Litoral’, which was a piece of tuna tartare on bread. Very simple and no work involved in preparing it, but tasty. Now, whether it was my absent-mindedness (probably!), too much talking (possibly!) or too much vino (!), I forgot to take a photo of the cold tapa, so I have cheated and am showing one from the poster. The piece of tuna we had was a lot bigger than shown here. [UPDATE: This restaurante was under new management in 2019. Unfortunately, shortly after the Covid-19 lock-down, they closed]
Next stop was Antigua, where we had planned to visit 2, but sadly Los Girasoles was closed. Now, the Artisano is a place we often frequent, so we already knew that their food was good, honest cooking, but we were unsure whether or not they would step it up a notch for the event. Here we had La Orilla, which was Russian salad, for cold and El Artesano, chickpeas again, for hot. We like their Russian salad and always find it tasty, but their recipe is heavy on the potato, and therefore not quite as nice as the previous one we had. Their chickpeas were okay, but we did notice that our friends had some meat and chorizo in their bowl, while we had just one small piece of meat. All in all we shall continue to frequent El Artisano (and recommend it), but for the tapas route preferred other restaurants. Okay, so I remembered to take a photo of the hot tapa, but then forgot the cold, remembering only after we had just about finished it!
Three down and 1 to go! Jumping back in the car and heading back for Caleta. We had previously agreed to try Casanostra as we had all heard good reports on it. On arriving the outside area was pretty full, but I think this was mainly due to the fact that they had a tv showing the football on! The waiter grabbed a table and moved two together with four chairs for us. He didn’t know anything about the Route of the Tapas event, and had to go and ask about it. Finally sorted and a cold tapa Queso Fresco, goat cheese, arrived, followed by a Bruschetta for the hot tapa. Quite disappointing as they were two very plain and simple dishes, albeit tasty. Will we try it again? hmm, not sure but doubt it as there are too many other lovely restaurants. [UPDATE: 2020 and the Casanostra went under new management and was renamed Las Vegas]
And there endeth day 2 of our Ruta de las Tapas! Well, almost! We just ended the evening with a pleasant visit to The Wine Bar!!!