What can I say about out latest ‘Ladies Wot Lunch’ other than it was an experience.
If you remember before Linda went to the UK we thought we would try somewhere special for our last lunch and because we had both heard good comments about Amigos del Norte we headed there only to find it closed so we ended up at Lupita which turned out to be lovely.
Now she is back we decided to have another try to see if Amigos del Norte was open. We headed off from the Palm Mar roundabout followed the road towards Guargacho and opposite the garden centre (or if you are a local next to the Banana Co-operative) is the unpretentious guachinche restaurant painted bright green. If you get to Las Rosas roundabout you have gone too far. I am being a bit specific on the directions because if you are a holiday-maker this is a little off the beaten track and apart from the sign which is high up and has its back to you if you are coming from the Palm Mar, Guaza direction, you would never dream a restaurant was located here.
There were a few cars in the car park when we arrived and Linda had the feeling we could get blocked in so she reversed up a bit and parked right next to the main entrance. We walked across the tarmac towards an iron gate that was ajar, not knowing quite what to expect.
Once inside it was massive – there is a long bar running down the right-hand side of the room, this is divided from the restaurant by wooden screens. There were numerous tables with paper tablecloths and hard uncomfortable chairs, which we assumed were so people didn’t linger longer than necessary. At the back of the room is an open spotlessly clean shiny stainless steel kitchen. Although there is meat on display in a glass fronted fridge the huge grills in the kitchen were also full of meat that has been partly cooked and waiting to be served. There was so much meat and so few people when we arrived I thought it would all go to waste but as the time went by, more and more people kept arriving.
We were given a basket of bread and 3 mojo sauces which we munched on while studying the menu. It wasn´t extensive, but there was enough to suit most tastes although unless you stuck to salad I can´t remember there being much to suit vegetarians, it is definitely a place for the meat eater.
I ordered the pork ‘steak’ and Linda the pork chops. These came with chips that were just OK nothing special and a salad that was a bit of a non-starter, it consisted of two slices of tomato a tiny bit of something green and the biggest thickest slice of raw onion that if you had eaten it would be repeating on you for days. However to make up for this the meat smelt wonderful but turned out to be tough and chewy. The portion was so large that I ended up bringing two thirds home and Linda took one of her chops home.
By now the place had filled up, the atmosphere was noisy yet and the service was fast paced (the two waiters we had both spoke reasonably good English). As we left there were large groups of people still arriving all chattering away in Spanish, the car park was overflowing and outside both sides of the road were crammed with cars so it looks like a popular place for the workers in the adjoining co-operative to come for a cheap lunch.
Now the hard part for me is would I recommend it? I suppose it really depends on what you are looking for. If you don´t mind eating somewhere that is reminiscent of a works canteen that is used by locals, where you would stand out as a ‘foreigner’ and is cheap then yes, I would have no hesitation in recommending it because that is what many people look for large portions and cheap, and quality takes a back burner. If however you wanted something with a little more style, nicer crockery and an imaginative menu, then this place is certainly not for you.
Everything is reasonably priced we paid €20 which included our drinks €1.40 for my Fanta Lemon and €3.40 for a huge rum and Cola Lite. If you also consider we both brought home the equivalent of a second meal each then it is great value. My girls had a large piece of pork mixed in with their evening meal, they had a slightly smaller piece which they shared for their breakfast the next day, and finished off the second large piece of meat that evening mixed in with their dinner. So they would certainly want me to return at some stage although I think I probably wont rush back in a hurry.