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

La Tasca de al Lado
Tiny tasca temptation
This place has an unprepossessing entrance, easily ignored, yet it turns out to be a charming, welcoming little eatery.

17.11.2014 - Close by the underground car park next to the Puerto de la Cruz Ayuntamiento, we have walked on past a number of times without even dignifying it with a glance.  But today, there is a ‘specials’ board placed outside, and so we pop in to have a look-see.  Hidden away from the passing customer-to-be there is an attractive little bar with stools and occasional tables, and then a proper eating area to one side with half a dozen tables.  It all looks very regional and very Spanish; and therefore very tempting.  There is even a smiley boss on display who encourages us without being pushy.

A squint at the menu confirms that we should come back later, and a table is saved for us.  And so, after meeting our dear friend Peter elsewhere for the required pre-prandial tincture, we are welcomed back.  A jug of local red wine from Santa Úrsula is put down on the table, together with warm rolls accompanied by a light garlic flavoured alioli.  Instead of the more usual starter and main course dish, we choose from the tapas list (available in pidgin English, German and, of course, Spanish), and place our order:  

First to arrive is a fetching salad of tomato with cubes of local white cheese and slices of avocado, drizzled with a balsamic dressing (€4.90).  There was quite enough for three people to share as a starter.

This was then followed by a small tureen of Fabada; scrumptious butter beans in a thick sauce with a hint of chilli and chunks of pork and chorizo (€3.50).  This was ample for two good portions.

Next was a stuffed avocado with pineapple topped with the ubiquitous Marie-rose sauce, and bizarrely topped with half of a hard-boiled egg (€3.50).  Very different, but very nice, nevertheless.

A dish of calamares – fried squid rings – not the best that we have ever eaten (€7.00) came next.  I hope that I do not malign them when I ponder that they may very recently have left the depths of a nearby deep freeze.

And finally we came to a plate of Pimientos de Padrón.  We all wait for the hot stinger do we not?  Peter says that he has waited for 17 years now and lo! – he got one, and so did I.  My wife laughed as Peter and I turned the colour of beetroot, gasping for water.  Quite enough for two, and just €4.50.

When the half-litre of wine, bread, alioli and two bottles of water were added in to the final bill, we were not displeased to have to fork out €13 a head (or about a tenner in old money) for a very pleasant two hour interlude.  Now that we have been there for the first time, and where the staff made us so welcome, I suspect that it will not be long before we are dropping in again, particularly for something light at lunchtime.

La Tasca de al Lado

Plaza de Europa 12, 38400

Puerto de la Cruz

Tel: 922 389 932

Open: noon to 4pm and 7pm to 11pm. Closed Tuesdays.

Loo Score: 3/10.  Space is very limited and the bins needed emptying.

By John

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