Monday, January 04, 2010

Consistently good

There are some restaurants you go to one time and the food is just out of this world. The next time you go, the food is just so so. There could be a 101 reasons for this, there may be a change of chef, or the restaurant has changed hands, the suppliers have let them down etc etc. No matter, whatever the reasons, you feel reluctant to give the place another try in case you hit it on a bad day again.

Then there are restaurants that are consistently good. You know that on each visit, the food and the service will be just right. The Portico Mar, where we went yesterday for my birthday, is one of those places.

Portico Mar isn’t one of those trendy restaurants serving nuevelle cuisine. You won’t get dishes with fancy names that only half fill the plate there. Nor will you find the young playthings who favour one restaurant this week and another the week after dining there. In other words, it isn’t a place for the culinary fashionista. What you will find is a regular discerning clientele of a certain age who know when they are getting good value for money. In other words, it is a good place for a 60+ Yorkshireman to eat at.

For 14.95€ in the daytime or 17.95€ at night you get three courses which you can now select from the full menu. Some dishes, for example pork tenderloin have a small surcharge of 3€. If you are really pushing the boat out and choose the fillet steak then you will pay an extra 4.50€. The price also includes your choice of drink, a beer, a soft drink or wine (which offers the best value because they bring you a 1/2 litre of white, rose or red). If you fancy a coffee to finish your meal of, that will cost you 1.20€ a cup extra.

There are just a handful of restaurants we will visit regularly; for a night out in summer we like the setting of the Finca de Eduardo’s, for a night of entertainment and a good meal we like Patio Andaluz , for a good Spanish meal we like La Herradura, for local tapas Casa Eloina or tapas a bit further afield Pilar de la Horadara and for a pizza or pasta La Muelle in Torrevieja. I know there are plenty more good places to eat and we may well miss out on some great meals by not visiting them – so be it.

For those who haven’t been, you can find the Portico Mar near to the hotel Campamar, off the N-332 between Guardamar and Torrevieja. I can guarantee you will not come away feeling hungry.

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