Tuesday, 25.09.2018
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Reviews, recipes and news from the grapevine
   Reviews, recipes and news from the grapevine

Smooth food
Hard Rock Cafe
Just about everyone has heard of the Hard Rock Cafes.


The restaurant seats 380, including the two private dining and celebration rooms
The restaurant seats 380, including the two private dining and celebration rooms

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26.09.2014 - Since the very first one opened in London in 1971, the chain of rock and roll-themed restaurants, hotels and casinos has grown to incorporate 189 venues in 58 countries.  The largest is in Orlando, where the headquarters are – in 2007, the Seminole Tribe of Florida purchased the Hard Rock brand.

The formula works: venues’ walls are adorned with rock and roll memorabilia, the atmosphere is laid back, and music plays a large role in the whole experience.  They serve, “Fresh, handmade, classic American cooking with a Southern flair,” with an added local twist, wherever Hard Rock may be in the world.

 

When Island Connections was invited to check out one of the very latest Hard Rocks we could only agree to go along.

Hard Rock Cafe Tenerife opened in Las Américas in December of last year.  It has already become of the ‘in’ places to visit, and it’s easy to see why.  

We had the good fortune to share a meal with Marketing Manager, Cynthia Galan, and Head Chef, Juan Jose Vides, both exceptionally good company.  And glancing through the menu was a pleasant surprise.  It’s easy to think that Hard Rock sells only burgers (though this they do – and very well), but there’s much more to the menu than that.  Grilled Salmon, Misto Frito calamari rings and shrimps, and the delicious sounding Honey Citrus Grilled Chicken Salad are just a few examples.

We decided to share various dishes so we, the visitors, would have the chance to taste a selection, and because all the portions are on the large side, to say the least.  

The first to arrive was the Twisted Mac, Chicken & Cheese: grilled chicken breast atop twisted cavatappi pasta in a tasty, lightly spiced three-cheese sauce, served with garlic toast.  Lovely.

The Jumbo Combo which came next was a meal in itself.  Beautifully presented, as everything is, the Combo is a selection of chickens, potato skins, the tastiest onion rings ever, and the delightful Santa Fe Spring Rolls containing, amongst other things, jalapeño and spinach.  Crisp, tasty and varied, the combo comes with five different sauces: it’s a taste sensation.

Next, were the Famous Fajitas.  You can choose one or several of grilled chicken, beef, shrimp or pork, and they’re served with shredded Monterey Jack and Cheddar cheeses, pico de gallo garnish, guacamole, sour cream and shredded lettuce.

As Juan showed us the best way to load the hot flour tortillas (selection of sauces first, then the meats, aiming for a mix of tastes), he tells us a little about himself.

From Venezuela originally, Juan has been with Hard Rock for the last 12 years.  

He has worked in the London, Florence, Lisbon and Orlando locations, amongst others, and clearly loves his job – the fact that employees are encouraged to gain experience in other countries being one of the reasons.  He also appreciates the preciseness of the work.  Every item on the menu has to be prepared in exactly the same manner every time.  And the pressure is on – every kitchen has regular spot checks: food is tested for presentation, taste, specification, temperature, and even the weight of individual items.

Everything is made onsite and local products are used wherever possible (there’s even a burger that comes with La Gomeran goat’s cheese ‘almogrote’ and Canarian red and green mojo sauces).

The last to arrive, the hickory-smoked BBQ ribs were as tender as they come; the meat just fell off the bone.  The sauce was delicious too and even the chips are special – their coating contains 11 (very secret) spices.   

 

All around us patrons come and go, assisted cheerfully by busy and enthusiastic waiters and waitresses.  Francesca, serving our table, was a delightful ball of energy.  The service is prompt and very friendly, and the atmosphere really is great.  

Cynthia tells us that the multinational team at Hard Rock Tenerife numbers exactly 104, and that each employee has to have a working knowledge of every area of the business.  She also says that around 80 per cent of the clientele are British at the moment, and that people have come from all over the world to tick another off their list of Hard Rock Cafes visited.

To finish our meal, we chose the scrumptious cheesecake infused with oreo® biscuit pieces (with generous amounts of chocolate sauce), and the most stunning Hot Fudge Brownie we have ever seen.  Cynthia has been enthusing about this since we ordered it and she’s right:  Naughtily delicious, the brownie, topped with vanilla ice cream, hot fudge, chopped walnuts, fresh whipped cream and a cherry, is huge!  It has to be seen to be believed. 

 

The restaurant also offers a children’s menu, an array of cocktails, both alcoholic and not, and a wide selection of other drinks, including various wines.

The kitchen holds a Celiac’s kit, so they can eat safely, and you don’t have to eat, of course – you can pop in just for a drink or a browse through the shop.  The restaurant and bar open at 12pm, the upstairs drink’s terrace at 3pm and the shop at 10am.  All are open till late, and look out for the assortment of live bands, every week.  Find Hard Rock on Avenida de Las Américas S/N, at the Pirámide de Arona, Las Américas.

For more information call: 922 055 022, see them on facebook at: HRCTenerife, or see: Hard Rock International at: www.hardrock.com



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The restaurant seats 380, including the two private dining and celebration rooms 
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