Perhaps it is something about the socio-economics of Barranco of Torres that has meant that as far as memory serves never has a restaurant sustained beyond a few months. Most people know that in an area that has nothing but supermarkets, DIY stores and cash and carry warehouses it would be exceptionally hard to survive. It is therefore quite disorientating to see that yet another has set up in what turns out to be a HUGE establishment. So who are these brave – perhaps foolish restaurateurs? Step forward the people of El Camaleón.
The interior is made up of a cosy restaurant decorated in warm colours enhanced by cool slate. The large bar is stylish as well as being slightly rustic and there is a covered outside area that will be nice on summer nights when the awnings are open and there is no need for heaters. Although having said that, the view is of a roundabout and the car park to the Adeje Music School so a long way from picturesque. The result however is congenial enough but when we visited, it was quiet and some way short on atmosphere.
The food was decent enough, especially given that it is very much in the same vein as many others – the price however is one-step away from give away. As well as an à la carte menu, there is a specials list that includes meat, seafood, pizzas and pastas where each meal is just €3.60.
We were a group of four and as it was a cold evening, we went for the homemade French Onion soup, which was delicious. The garlic mushrooms, which are different to the champiñones al ajillo (I never did understand what the difference was apart from the price!) and the fried camembert with blackcurrant jam that was colossal and couldn’t be finished. We all chose our main courses from the €3.60 menu and each of us had chicken in various forms apart from Jim who chose the pork loin. These are not small plates, they are main meal portions that come with rice, chips or Canarian potatoes and whilst they might never be considered high end, they are nevertheless tasty and honest if a little underwhelming.
The staff and young proprietor were welcoming. The service, managed to achieve that combination of efficiency twinned with friendliness that many eateries often seem to find so difficult.
As things had turned out, we left both full and happy. Our meal including a couple of beers, a tia maria and coke, a couple of soft drinks plus two coffees and a barraquito came to just €52. As they say, cheap as chips…. And with a bit of a crowd, the setting might even seem quite jolly.