A November 2007 trip
to Lanzarote by MichaelJM
Quote: Having recently started to eat beef again I was on the look out for decent steak restaurants in Puerto del Carmen.
It was a balmy November evening on our first night on Lanzarote, away from the cold winter blasts of the UK, and we were real happy to sit outside in T-shirts enjoying a bit of people-watching in the gentle breeze that wafted across our shoulders. After a couple of pints of Jarra (locally brewed beer) I was ready to tuck in to a 12 euro T-Bone Steak (it’s years since I last ate T-Bone and I was looking forward to it). I much prefer the simpleness of a well-cooked medium rare steak. On the other hand my wife prefers a clutter of flavours to accompany hers and she opted for a Steak "Dali". She said it was very tasty and perfectly cooked but I’m not too sure about the beetroot, leek and raisin sauce that accompanied it. Still it was totally devoured in record time, so I’m sure that she enjoyed it.
We were both certainly hungry at the end of our 16-hour waking day and needed good substantial food to revitalise us. The T-bone ticked those boxes and I was soon carving my way through this not insignificant piece of beef. In honesty the accompanying vegetables (peas, carrots, and chips) were incidental to the meal, being insipid and over-cooked. The steak was neither of the two being spot on and extremely flavoursome.
La Brasa had a certain rustic charm, despite the fact that it’s a fairly modern building, with comfortable padded whicker chairs and terracotta coloured cloths tiled floor and heavy window frames confirmed the image that the restaurant was trying to achieve. The constant hubbub of cheerful diners spilled over onto the street tempting a steady flow of new diners into the restaurant.On the downside the establishment is not good at puddings and they all seem to be pre-packed frozen ices. We opted for a banana split, at least the bananas were fresh, and this, when it finally arrived, had a generous portion of three ice creams (chocolate, strawberry and banana) covered in squirty cream and topped with glace cherries. A substantial dish, which meant our appetite, was fully sated.
However, getting the bill out of this establishment was almost as bad as extracting ‘blood out of a stone’. We had to request it 3 times and the whole process from finishing our pudding, requesting the bill and receiving it took over 20 minutes. Not an ideal end to the meal, as we were now ‘dead on our feet’ and just wanted to return to our apartment and sleep.
Member Rating 3 out of 5 on February 25, 2007
Avenida Playas, 39
The restaurant was reasonably well occupied and the grill was on open display from the dining area, puttering its smoke up through a copper chimney. It smelt good so we got in there and bagged the last table overlooking the pavement. Perfect for people spying!There was a two-course menu and we opted for soup (we could have had onion rings or garlic bread) and there was even a choice. My vegetable soup was ‘reet good’ and was full of chunky portions of vegetables – just right for a starter for a cold November’s evening. Except it wasn’t winter here! It was a full bowl of searing hot soup, which had been preceded by Nachos and a tomato salsa (not too spicy but with a bit of a kick). Whilst waiting for our main course we were able to enjoy the ‘personalised banter’ offered by the restaurant front man. He was real good value and must have been worth his weight in gold as he turned disinterested diners into paying customers – he was friendly, witty and a right charmer with the ladies!When the steak arrived it was a good size and perfectly cooked. A hot baked potato, rice and mixed vegetables accompanied it and in all honesty I really struggled to eat it all. My wife slow but sure waded through her plate of mixed grill (chicken, pork, lamb, beef, and sausage) and finished off the meal by gnawing all the meat off the lamb cutlet bone, sitting back and sighing ‘very nice’. Now for her to say that is a compliment and a half.This was a comfortable restaurant with a great buzz about it and within minutes of us taking our seats the place was absolutely crammed with diners. There was never a queue but as fast as one table vacated another set of diners descended on it. La Braseria appeared to have an extremely well stocked bar with a wide variety of wines, they certainly looked good on the back wall.To round off the meal we were offered a complimentary shot, we’re not known to refuse a complimentary drink so graciously accepted a brandy and a whisky. What a grand way to finish a superb meal. I’d certainly recommend this place to you and I wasn’t too surprised when we ended back here for a second and third night.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 25, 2007
La Braseria Steak House
Puerto Del Carmen
Music (a soft rock) played through strategically placed speakers, ensuring all could hear without anyone suffering excessive volume.We had a fine view of the town’s strip and if we chose we could see the white surf of the sea below. Courteous staff attended to our needs in an unobtrusive manner. Their attitude was just what you’d expect form an extensive restaurant. But this wasn’t overly expensive. Here you could get a main course for less than 7 euros. The pace of life in this restaurant is slow and we were able to appreciate on our last night, a Lanzarote experience of an outdoor meal under a full moon. The balmy night was supplemented by outdoor patio heaters and subtle lighting both at ceiling and floor level.Considering the price of our main course, our starters were a wee bit expensive but at around 6 euros a piece we thought the goats cheese with avocado on toast and the friend goats cheese (that we split equally) were good value and well presented. Our main course was speedily delivered by the ever attentive black bow tied decked waitresses. This course was let down by the presence of ‘frozen’ mixed vegetables (apparently standard for the resort) but the pork peppered sauce was delightfully rich and plentiful. We rounded off out meal with a couple of puddings (chocolate cake and cream and tiramisu) both rich and satisfying.Although this restaurant wasn’t packed out it had a great atmosphere and we actually stopped and had a fresh coffee to complete our meal. Prices of drinks were not over the top indeed cocktails here were half the price of the cocktail bars in town and there is a separate seating area in the centre where non-diners can enjoy a drink or three.
The owner was an ex-Brit who has lived on the island for over 20 years. She remembers the days when her restaurant was at the end of a dirt track with very few others company. Now it's a long line of restaurant and shops and many people overlook it for the more glitzy fast-food type restaurants on the strip. I have to say it is their loss because Meson do Marineiro has a certain charm about it. There’s certainly nothing fancy about it and the menu, although restricted, offered us a wide choice. It had the atmosphere of a Greek Taverna, with both the owner and her husband, a local man, spending much of their time in the bar area having a crafty cigarette. With no airs and graces she took our order and served us with a very pleasant Spanish red wine, perhaps the best house wine that we enjoyed.We'd both opted for salad dishes on these were delightfully well presented with a taste of freshness about them. We'd both dithered about whether to choose a fish option, but in the end had gone down the meat route. Predictably, my wife exclaimed, I'd chosen beefsteak - medium rare, but erring towards rareness - where she had opted for lamb cutlets. My steak was cooked to perfection and, other than La Braseria, was the best beef I'd eaten all holiday. And the treat about it here was that it was accompanied with fresh vegetables - a real novelty on the island of Lanzarote. I savoured every morsel and was still complementing the chef when my wife had cleared her plate (save for the bones of course!).
It was one of those meal that demanded a puddings and after resting and chatting for some time we studied the sweet menu. Disappointingly it was nothing special but I'd developed a yearning for sweetness. Our chosen ice-creams were adequate and tasted homemade but it would have been nice to have enjoyed a really special and different type of sweet. Not to be outdone I opted for coffee and enjoyed an absolutely superb Irish.Fully sated we got the bill and then enjoyed a leisurely walk back to the apartments popping into the odd shop on route. We'll visit again when we return to the island and just hope that they have developed a more extensive pudding menu.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on February 26, 2007
There were over 50 cocktails on offer ranging from 5 to 7.50 euros a piece. This small bar played a constant stream of Elton John numbers, offered some tranquillity from the busy main road and I indecisive as ever pondered over the cocktail menu for some time.Aficionados will be acquainted with the options but as a novice I was previously naive to the options. Apparently I could have a screwdriver, sex on the beach, and an orgasma to name but three. I honestly did not have a clue and the waiter patiently stood by us whilst we studied the menu. I’m not a gin fan and it’s just amazing how many cocktails rely on gin as the main ingredient. In the end embarrassed by my indecision I asked for a Manhattan and my wife went for a cocktail uninspiringly called, a "special". Mine was ordinary to the extreme whilst hers was dressed with a sparkler (an indoor firework) and could have been the final course of a meal. It resembled a "posh" fruit salad whilst the 2 cherries and a slice of orange floating around the edge of mine was obviously the best decoration I could hope for. Certainly this was nothing like the only cocktail I ever had before, purchased for me by my son from a swanky bar in the middle of Hong Kong. Still a cocktail, if taken infrequently stills shouts decadence at me.I was disappointed that the bar tenders did not transfer the ingredients into the cocktail by way of an elaborate ceremony they just grabbed bottles and liberally poured them into a utensil with another receptacle. Mine was given a quick twissle before being poured but the more complex drink prepared for my wife required a zing on the blender and some deft slits of the fruit before they were mounted on the side of the glass or threaded onto a skewer.At eight on a Sunday night this place was still extremely quiet but it had a good feel to it. A relaxing and undemanding environment allowing us to relax at the end of a ‘busy’ day reading, sunbathing and listening to good music courtesy of Apple I-pod. What a good start for our evening meal.For a different setting with cocktails at similar prices try the Diamond Cocktail Bar. It seemed much busier than La Gurta but I reckon it offers a much comfier environment for those pre-meal drinks.