As we arrived on the beach for lunch, we were greeted by wild seas and `mucho viento` (that’s windy !). Carlos who lives in Maro , opened Merendero 34 ,in March. It`s right on the beach on the coast road just out of town. Two days after he opened , the lock down kicked in, so very unfortunate timing. But today, he opened his doors once again, and our friends Antonio and Luna from the village, asked us if we would like to join them there for lunch. This was another first. First time eating out .We used to go to this place years ago, but it has been given a contemporary facelift by Carlos, and of course lots of space between the tables both inside and out .It`s looking good. We had a great table on the terrace facing the sea, listening to the crash of the waves. But bang went our after lunch swim. Just too rough sadly.
Delicious cold Verdejo wine, and yummy Spanish food. We ordered several plates, and basically shared everything. The best way to eat. When you are sharing, I think it always works better if you are eating with a group of friends , then you can try more dishes. The Spanish are always very generous if you order a `racion` as opposed to Tapas, so otherwise you often you have far too much food.
I am ,as you might have gathered from reading this blog, a huge fan of clams .In fact they are definitely in my top ten list of favourite things to eat.
The Almerjas al Ajillo we had were just so good, cooked in the classic way with a handful of parsley ,a slug of wine and garlic, ( not too much), they are so sweet, you don’t want to overdo it. In fact they were so good we ordered another racion. We ate a simple tomato, onion and avocado salad, delicious patatas fritas (olive oil rules), Gambas Pil Pil, full of gutsy mediterranean flavours, and Fritas Verduras Verano, which literally means fried summer vegetables. It was basically a platter of lightly tempura fried sweet white onions, aubergines and green peppers, and here they added a few gambas and strips of hake too. Perfecto.
Finally , we had pulpo. We love octopus, and usually we eat Pulpo a la Gallega ( with pimenton and potatoes), but Antonio said that we must try Pulpo Seco. The smell of olive wood cooking on the barbeques of the beach restaurants is very evocative, and it is the smell of summer here in Spain , particularly when you are driving along the coast with the car windows open.
The octopus is slightly salted ,and the tentacles are hung up to dry in the hot sun, then over the olive wood of the BBQ, so it is sort of steamed with the fragrant smoke of the olive wood until tender.A great sight. It was tender and delicious.
So our first eating out lunch of the summer here in Spain was worth the wait, and we will definitely be going back to 34.
Carretera N-340.El Penoncillo. 952 53 08 69