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

Tasca La Cañada (By John)
An Unexpected Surprise!
On our way through the outskirts of La Orotava, we pulled up at what looked to be an inviting, morning coffee stop.

10.05.2013 - Being a bit early, we were the only customers. The boss was on his mobile on the terrace, (of course he was!) but interesting aromas were already wafting from the kitchen. By the time that I had had a good look around and seen that the lady in charge was actually doing fresh preparation for the lunchtime trade, the boss was done with his call and was engaging us in conversation. We quickly established that we both lived within a kilometre of each other. We took our coffee and asked if there was a food menu for us to look at, albeit for another time. Indeed there was, and smartly presented it was too. Was he going to be open that evening? Yes, of course! And so, that same evening, after some excellent wine and a plate of tapas in the Bar Cerveceria Jagua (a very decent destination in its own right) just further down the hill, we presented ourselves for the second time that day, to be met by a complete change of staff. No matter, the lady doing front of house was most affable, and we received a cheery wave from the kitchen brigade. Menus come in Spanish, and are separately available in English. The first dozen or so items listed are for sharing, (it’s that sort of place) and there is a small selection of individual main dishes should one not be in the right mood. Someone had clearly used their imagination to provide a menu a bit different to the usual. An example of which might be their Vitello Tonato or Beef Carpaccio or even their Goat Cheese with Membrillo and a Sesame dressing. We opted for the house salad, the Ensalada de Cañada, to start with. A large deep bowl came to the table laden with ripe and tasty beef tomato, asparagus, lettuce, hard boiled egg, parmesan shavings, topped with crispy bacon and drizzled with balsamic vinegar dressing. With our warm (and surely home-made) rolls came little bowls of black pepper and olive oil, again with balsamico; all a nice smart touch. The salad, enough for three or four persons, was priced at €8.45, the most expensive sharing platter on the menu. Next came six small croquetas, crunchy and golden on the outside but still moist within. They were good value at €4.28. A bowl of hand cut chips with crispy bacon and fried onions was also €4.28 and that was closely followed by the ‘main’ course of diced beef steak with mushrooms and caramelised onions on a bed of potatoes with melted cheese. That came to the princely sum of €12.31. To wash it down we were offered a choice of wines from the island or the peninsula. We chose to go local, and a good bottle of Tajinaste was brought to the table for us to taste. We had three generous glasses, the third shared between us. Desserts were the likes of warm apple tart with vanilla ice cream or white chocolate soup with strawberries, all at €3.75. If only we had had the space… By the time that we called for our bill, which came to a shade over €16 a head, the place was full apart from two tables at the far end of the terrace. All the tables inside were taken and all were local people who had discovered, like we have now, a little hidden gem of a place that provides classy fresh food, imaginatively presented and far better than one might expect. Oh, and I was informed that they now have a sister place in Garachico in the Avenida Tome Cano at the junction with Callejón de Venus. I do love Garachico, but I do so hate the difficulty of parking there. Tasca La Cañada Calle Dr. Sixto Perera González, Edif. Anambra, Local 4, Urb. El Mayorazgo, La Orotava Tenerife. Tel: 922 325 198 Closed: Sundays. Otherwise open 8am to 10 pm, 11 pm on Saturdays. Parking: roadside, ample. Loo Score: 6/10. It would have been more if there had been a key for the lock on the ladies door!

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