Sunday, 13 October 2013

Lanzarote Round Up - Bodega @ La Cascada, Puerto Del Carmen

Where does the time go? I can't believe that our two weeks in Lanzarote has come and gone. Both myself and Nicola had a great time eating and drinking our way around the island, whilst catching up with friends who live and work in Lanzarote. This year we were staying in the resort of Playa Blanca, something new to us, which meant that we were able to try out new places to eat and we enjoyed a few great meals and I hope to get the reviews posted up as quickly as possible.
Of course, the downside of staying in Playa Blanca was missing out on some of our previous haunts in Puerto Del Carmen. I've written before about Bodega @ La Cascada in Puerto del Carmen, and as one of our favourite places, we made an effort to get through to Puerto Del Carmen and pay them a visit. In fact, we actually managed to get to Bodega twice - once for lunch & once for dinner.
After one of Nicola's many shopping excursions, we popped into Bogeda for some tapas that would hopefully see us through until dinner. The restaurant was practically empty when we arrived but it was still early, and after being greeted like old friends we made ourselves comfortable at our usual table. With chilled vino & ice cold cerveza helping to cool us down, we worked our way through a few tapas that were as tasty as we remembered.
An amuse bouche of deep fried morcilla (Spanish black pudding)rolled in chopped hazelnuts, helped awaken the taste buds. I love black pudding generally , and the slightly sweet yet spicy morcilla dulce which is native to the Canary Islands is wonderful.
Our lunchtime tapas continued with Queso de Lanzarote. There are many cheeses produced on the island using goats, sheep & cows milk, or a combination thereof. The cheese we had today was medium soft with mild and creamy flavour - perfect for a lunchtime snack.
We had ordered a slice of tortilla de patatas, a Spanish staple and one of my favourite things to eat when on holiday. The big slice of tortilla at Bodega is about two inches in height with a great balance of eggs, potato and onion, well seasoned and cooked to perfection.

Our last lunchtime tapa was the croquetas de pollo, wonderful deep fried chicken croquettes. Every tapas bar across Spain boast that there croquetas are the best but on all my years of sampling, the crispy well seasoned croquetas de pollo at Bodega are still my favourite.
Tapas are deceivingly filling and these three plates were enough to keep us going until dinner later that night. Fed and watered, we settled the bill and started the long journey back to Playa Blanca, knowing that this wouldn't be the last time we would be at Bodega.
I had read on the brilliant Lanzarote Information website that there was to be a "Festival De la Tapa" in Puerto Del Carmen on the second Saturday of our holiday so we decided that we wanted to get through if we could. There is a reliable bus service on the island and a semi-regular service running from Playa Blanca to Puerto Del Carmen so that was our transport sorted for the outbound journey. Unfortunately, the Saturday service back to Playa Blanca doesn't run after 11pm so getting home could be a bind but we really wanted to get to the festival and decided that we would take a taxi home.
The "Festival De La Tapa" is an organised event that hives restaurants, tapas bars, and the islands many bodegas the chance to get their products in front of a hungry and thirsty group of tourists and locals. I'm planning on writing about the festival in a separate post but the simple mechanics of the event went like this;
  1. Buy a strip of tickets - (tickets priced at €1 each)
  2. Wander around the many exhibitor
  3. Buy tapas, pintxos, or wine for €1 a piece
  4. Wander some more
  5. Repeat as necessary
We had a great time trying tapas from restaurants we already knew, as well as a few that we didn't. As on of the leading restaurants on the island, it didn't surprise me to see that Bogeda @La Cascada had a stall set up. Nicola sampled the bocadito de cabra (that's the one on the left). Cabra means goat, which in this case had been slowly roasted and served on a miniature ciabatta style bun. We had never eaten goat before but if you think pulled pork but with a stronger flavour, you wouldn't be far wrong.
As the sun began to set in Puerto Del Carmen, we departed the Festival and made our way to Skyy Chillout bar for a cheeky wee cocktail before making our way back to Bodega for a spot of dinner.
Bodega offers both a varied tapas menu and an a la carte menu, but as we had already been snacking at the festival there was no way that we could have managed a full plated meal, so a few tapas would see us right tonight.
The first of those tapas was carpaccio de buey which is possibly my favourite thing on the menu. Delicious thinly sliced fillet of beef, drizzled with olive oil, lemon juice, red wine vinegar before shavings of Parmegiano Reggiano are scattered over the top, & accompanied by slices of Melba toast.
The next tapa is maybe Nicola's favourite, gambas al ajillo - sizzling garlic prawns. Over a dozen fresh prawns cooked in oil with plenty of sliced garlic with a coupe of dried birds-eye chillies for good measure. Always packed with plenty of prawns and enough garlic to keep Dracula away.
We rounded of our selection of tapas with the croquetas de pollo again because they're that good!
The thing I love about eating tapas is that I never feel stuffed once we're finished, there's always room to squeeze a few more drinks. With that said, Nicola finished off dinner with a Baileys coffee whilst I had an after dinner corajillo. Traditionally, a corajillo is a shot of espresso with a shot of brandy, although I replaced the brandy with Amaretto for a sweet hit.
For those that don't know, the road from Puerto Del Carmen to Playa Blanca goes though a picturesque little village called called Femes, that has a fantastic viewpoint (or Mirador) that overlooks the resort of Playa Blanca from a good height. The road out of Femes is a very steep and winding road that is perilous to drive in daylight and I had a feeling that the taxi driver on our ride home would likely drive this road at breakneck speed with nothing to guide him except the moonlight and a strong faith in The Lord above. With this in mind, we made our way to the bar for one last drink before saying adios to our waiter (and amigo) of many years Alfonso and making our way into the darkness.
In all the years that we have been visiting Lanzarote, and eating at Bodega @ La Cascada, we have never been disappointed with the food or service, and this year was no different.
We have already booked up our holiday for next year and will be back staying in Puerto Del Carmen again which means that we will be much closer to our friends at Bodega, but more importantly we will be able to walk home after dinner.
Keep up to date with Bodega @ La Cascada on Facebook.


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