Saturday, 22 April 2017

Avenida Salmon

I revisited another old haunt last night, the Avenida Restaurant.

It's situated on a back street in Corralejo by the name of Calle General Prim.

Heard of this cove, Prim? I thought not.

Avenida is one of the most popular restaurants in town, particularly with inhabitants.

I was greeted cordially and sat at my usual table, a sturdy, simple, heavy, square, wooden affair.

The chairs are equally robust.

This is an unpretentious place.

Patrons return for good, authentic grub; and it's terrific value, too.

The waiter brought me a little basket of fresh bread and some of their delicious, strong alioli.

Real alioli is almost pungently strong, in my book.

I ordered a soft drink and the grilled salmon.

A word of advice: unless you're the build of Bertie Wooster's acquaintance, the Right Honourable A B Filmer, order a half-portion.

Heaven knows what size the full portion would be.

My salmon duly arrived, with those small Canarian potatoes and salad.

The fish seemed to be cut like a steak, and was served with a considerable number of bones and skin.

However, I have to say that it was a good flavour and succulent.

At the conclusion of my dinner they offered me a local liqueur called Ron Miel, served in a tiny "shot" glass, topped with whipped cream.

The entire bill came to €8.

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

Citrus Revisited

Nasi goreng 

The climate in this part of the Canary Islands is usually agreeable.

Whereas many of the cafés, bars and restaurants have outdoor seating, heavy blankets are provided if necessary for cooler evenings.

I often bring a V-neck sweater with me.

It hasn't rained in Corralejo for weeks.

I revisited Citrus Café last night.

In fact I've been revisiting Citrus a number of times.

I've found a seat tucked into a corner, tucked away, which is usually available; so I settle myself there.

At about nine o'clock a crowd of a few dozen young surfers arrived en bloc.

They ordered food and drink, and all moved into the garden behind the café.

There is, I gather, live music on Tuesday evenings.

I'd already had a restorative in my apartment, so I ordered one of their lovely milkshakes and the Nasi goreng.

To the best of my knowledge I've never had Nasi goreng before.

Its ingredients sounded tasty on the menu, and I was not disappointed.

After dinner I ambled in to the back garden, though there was no sign of a musician.

The tables all seemed to be taken.

Presumably the music did start a bit later.

Monday, 17 April 2017

Betancuria Trip

I spent Saturday in the picturesque and historic village of Betancuria, which nestles in a valley high up in the mountains of Fuerteventura.

Two buses pass through this village daily.

The main attraction is the Casa de Santa Maria, a cluster of religious buildings with a cathedral.

Today the buildings have been transformed into a centre for tourism, with restaurants, souvenir shops and museums.

Santa Maria is a place of remarkable beauty and charm.

However, I lunched just outside Santa Maria, at the Bodegón Don Carmelo.

These premises, at Calle Alcalde Carmelo Silvera, have belonged to the Silvera family for four centuries.

I sat at a table outside and had some tapas and a Bacardi and Coke.

After lunch I strolled up the hill to the cemetery, about half a mile outside the village.

The Silvera family plot is here.

I departed on the last bus, which arrived about four thirty-five.

Sunday, 16 April 2017

Citrus Café

You might recall that I mentioned the topic of kerbs in Corralejo not very long ago.

Corralejo is a small town and tourist resort in the north of Fuerteventura, Canary Islands.

Whereas I apprised you that the mere kerbs were being replaced, this was not the full story.

The true subject ought to have been Footpaths, because it appears to me that the entire central footpath infrastructure in the town is being widened and improved; thus narrowing certain sections of the roads.

It's really all quite impressive.

I have found another little juice-bar and restaurant in Corralejo.

Citrus Surf Cafè is located at Calle Anzuelo 1, near a mini-roundabout off the main street in the resort.

It's predominant colour appears to be lime green.

There's a mixture of plastic chairs, tables and trendy sofas where you can take advantage of their free wifi over a milkshake, fruit juice or smoothie.

Citrus is very good indeed for vegetarian consumers, with a strong emphasis on salad ingredients, fruit, vegetables.

However, they also have beef burgers, chicken and even duck on the menu.

Last night I went up to the counter, ordered a Bacardi and Coke, and settled myself on a sofa.

There was a good, strong signal from their wifi.

Having already enjoyed their "Fuerteburger" the previous day, I decided to have the Chicken Fajitas with a side portion of onion rings.

I could hear my chicken frying in the kitchen and it arrived freshly: a bowl of chicken pieces stir-fried with peppers and onion, three small tortillas, shredded lettuce and cabbage, little ramekins of sauces.

This little place might well be underrated.

It features on Tripadvisor, though perhaps ought to be a bit further up the list.

Readers, have any of you knowledge of Indonesian curry?

Citrus serves these, too.

By the way, they have a lovely, quiet, discreet garden terrace at the back.

You can place your order at the counter and walk through, though the wifi signal was too weak for me there, so I moved back to the front of the café.

You haven't heard the last of this place.

Thursday, 13 April 2017

Corralejo Breakfast

The United Kingdom is leaving the European Union; so how do our health and safety standards compare with the Continent?

I took a photo of the seafront walk in Corralejo, Fuerteventura, this morning.

As you can observe, there is a precarious drop from this busy walkway.

Contrast this with, say, the exemplary Connswater Greenway Project, Belfast, which is very close to completion.

There are innumerable walls and railings running the entire length of the river Conn's Water.

Touché, what?

I've been coming to the Canary Island of Fuerteventura for about twenty years, specifically to Corralejo.

I enjoy the casual lifestyle and the fine beaches.

For breakfast I usually have a glass of fruit juice and a toasted sandwich comprising two slices of buttered wholmeal bread, a thin slice of cheese, honey, and a fried egg; with a sliced tomato.

I drink it all down with coffee.

Occasionally I vary the routine with some plain yoghurt, honey, fruits of the forest, muesli, bran, sultanas etc.

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Single Fin Burgers

VPNs (virtual private networks) are apps that enable users to view television from the home country in another country.

For instance, I subscribe to a VPN called Tunnelbear for a month on my iPad (£4.99 at the moment) to watch a series or regular programme that is on at a certain time on ITV Hub or BBC iPlayer virtually live.

It's a useful tool if you are on your own or want to keep up to date with a regular show of some sort.

I was sitting at my usual table, ordered a Tanqueray Ten from Mara, the owner of Bar Bouganville in Corralejo, and set up my iPad.

Mara also left a complimentary bowl of crisps on the table.

Bar Bouganville is probably my favourite bar in the resort.

When I'd finished my drink I felt a bit peckish, despite emptying the bowl of crisps, so I settled my account and moved off.

In the town centre, at 2, Calle Hernán Cortés, there's a diminutive burger bar called Single Fin.

This Single Fin also specialises in veggie burgers.

If you've been following my narrative so far, you'll know that I'm not averse to vegetarian food; indeed I'm keen on it.

Accordingly, I perched myself on a stool inside Single Fin, overlooking the galley kitchen, observed three young fellows contentedly cooking burgers.

The very amicable young waitress, adorned with innumerable tattoos, took my order, the veggie El Capres burger and chips.

One of the chefs sang as he cooked, so naturally Belmont felt the urge to join in by exercising his considerable vocal chords; and treated them to a brief rendition of Puccini's Tosca song, #Vittoria#.

Alas it didn't work for a free meal, though I repaired to a seat outside and tucked in.

Little wonder Single Fin is popular. They are passionate about it and the care taken in wrapping my burger in tin foil said it all.

Great little place.

Monday, 10 April 2017

Agua Bar

During my morning constitutional yesterday I passed a tiny bar - one of several - on the beach promenade at Corralejo, Fuerteventura.

I have walked past Agua many times.

I stopped and had a brief chat with the staff, who were preparing to open Agua.

I studied the menu on a blackboard.

It displayed many cocktails, about four salads and numerous baguettes.

Agua is a popular spot and I was curious to discover the secret of its popularity, so I decided I'd pay them a visit in the evening.

So I duly walked back to Agua at about seven yesterday evening.

It was busy already so I squeezed past two tables and inserted myself beside two young ladies on a sort of bench seat at the side of the little bar.

The staff were prompt and brought me a menu.

I noticed that the Tanqueray Ten cost €11, considerably pricier than Bar Bouganville's €7 which included tonic-water.

I had the smoked salmon salad and a Beefeater gin and tonic with fruits of the forest (!).

The G&T arrived first, already poured, and a complimentary tray of artful or even gourmet tapas.

The staff spent some time explaining its constitution, though alas I cannot recall exactly what they told me.

An image will have to suffice.

The salad arrived shortly in a deep bowl: abundant lettuce, shavings of carrot, red onion, cucumber, tomato, and a fair amount of smoked salmon.

A kind of wheaten bread was served in a ramekin.

It was utterly delicious.

I enjoyed it.

I drizzled some balsamic vinegar over it all and, needless to say, the trusty old nosebag was in top gear (Clarkson Version, of course).

I think the popularity of this place is due to an amalgam of several factors, including very good, innovative, well-prepared tapas; a welcoming ambiance; coziness; the impressive range of cocktails; good, healthy food; free wifi.

My bill came to €14.

I'll probably be back.

Friday, 7 April 2017

Bodeguita Revisited

I dined again this evening at La Bodeguita tapas bar and restaurant.

The sun was still shining when I sat down at a small table outside, though it got cooler.

Today I decided to refrain from alcohol, so ordered a large glass of freshly-squeezed orange juice instead.

I might have mentioned a certain item on the menu the last time I was here, viz. the battered cod with creamy rice.

It sounded interesting, so that's what I went for tonight.

While I waited the waitress brought me a bread roll and some alioli.

Eventually the main course arrived.

I say "eventually" because it took ages, even allowing time for preparation and so on.

They knew they were slow because she came out and apologised about the delay.

The cod was slightly disappointing, I'm afraid.

The piece of cod - if that's what it was - had about four or five large bones on top.

Perhaps this was due to the way it was cut.

The skin was at the bottom; no sign of any batter!

Perhaps it was battered with a mallet (!).

The rice wasn't creamy at all.

Four or five of the little baked potatoes came with a red, piquant sauce.

To its credit it was a fairly healthy meal, though just not to my taste, especially served with the bones.

I saw Tom Kerridge reproaching a chef on television about bones in his fish.

Nevertheless it's generally customary to serve fish and seafood on the bone here, so either we accept it or don't order fish.

I'd intended to order the Brazilian Quindim dessert, though decided to ask for the bill which came to about €18.80.

Thence I repaired to Bar Bouganville for one of their "virgin" cocktails, the non-alcoholic San Francisco number.

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Photo Transfer

I'm finding it practically impossible to transfer images taken on my iPad to the blog.

When I take a photograph on the iPad at home, I simply email it my myself and transfer it to Photos.

Of course the system the iPad uses (iOS) operates differently.

Images taken on the iPad will transfer to the blog, though they are the original size, far too large, and simply don't work.

Until the issue can be rectified, I'm afraid none of my articles will have photos.

While I'm on this issue, can I request readers' forbearance should there be any typographical errors?

I can run the blog with my iPad, though the Mac desktop is easier.

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

La Bodeguita

Corralejo's kerbs are being replaced.

I suppose the original ones are the age of the streets themselves, because this town is not ancient by any means.

However, it's a major operation and must be costing a small fortune.

Who's paying for it all?

The local taxpayer I imagine; or is it yet another costly EU Project?

On the positive side, it's keeping contractors in business.

Last night I dined at a little bar restaurant I've never been to before, called La Bodeguita.

They offer "tapas, wines, and much more" according to their menu.

I settled myself at a table outside and, observing the world passing by, perused one of their menus.

I ordered the Norwegian Salmon with Wild Asparagus and Ginger Mayonnaise.

It sounded appetising enough.

When it arrived the cooked salmon came with a number of vegetables, though no potatoes.

At home we're accustomed to having some form of potato with almost everything, though I didn't miss it on this occasion.

There were a few thick, grilled slices of large white onions.

The meal was sufficiently enjoyable to merit another visit.

On the menu I noticed battered cod with creamy rice which I might try; though I'm not well disposed to fish bones.

Local establishments tend to serve fish on the bone here.

The word for boneless is Sin Espinas.

The salmon cost €13.

Monday, 3 April 2017

Señor Tapón

Prior to my flight to Fuerteventura yesterday morning I breakfasted at the Fed & Watered Café Bar at Aldergrove airport, now known as Belfast International.

I had the scrambled eggs, smoked salmon and granary toast.

 It was rather enjoyable.

The flight was uneventful.

I'd made up a round of smoked salmon sandwiches and I resisted the temptation to have a G&T on the flight, opting for a beaker of tea instead (don't sound so surprised).

I arrived at my apartment later in the day.

One idiosyncrasy of my apartment is that the rooms don't have plugs in the sinks.

I've encountered this matter before: remedied by stuffing the plug-hole with toilet tissue or placing the plastic top of a shaving-foam can on top.

However, I thought I'd invest in a plug so I looked the word up and ENCHUFE or some such Spanish noun appeared.

In the nearest supermarket I enquiried for one and the assistant showed me electric plugs.

She hadn't a clue what I meant.

Henceforth I made a beeline for the hardware store.

The Merchant knew what I meant and produced a box of them.

TAPÓN is the word, and it cost €2.

Back at the supermarket I dangled my new plug at the assistant and we both laughed.

I told her I was now called Señor Tapón.

I think I've discovered a new restaurant popular with the locals, so I shall likely report back on that.

By the way, I had a delicious Tanqueray Ten, beautifully served at Bar Bougainville last night. €7.