We got lucky in that we live so close to the supermarket/shopping mall. Already on our second day, we made a trip to Carrefour to buy some kitchen basics. Here's our list:
- Water (can't drink out of the faucet here)
- Veggies: tomatoes, salad, bell peppers, local avocadies
- Fruits: lemons, local oranges, plums, miniature pears, local melon, persimmon
- Dry foods: Special K cereal, rice for paella, whole wheat bread, tortillas, tortilla chips
- Canned/Jar: tuna, olives, ketchup, salsa
- Dairy: queso fresco (local cheese), Actimel on sale, Activia, butter, soy milk
Every so often we go back and buy meat for the next day. Many meals we've been making have been big enough to eat for dinner and the following day's lunch. This way we can save on our spending. For breakfast we've been eating mostly eggs, French toast on Sundays.
Not to say we haven't eaten out! Here's a few things we've tried as far as local restaurants:
- La Bikina: We split three tapas style dishes. One chicken and rice combination wrapped and cooked in a banana leaf, aka "londong," one mashed corn with chicken combination wrapped and cooked in a corn leaf, aka "tamal," and one memorable chicken taco (above) with plenty of cilantro. This was our first real taste of just how the service is here in the Canary Islands. It took the waitress (whom we later found out is the owner!) more than 30 minutes to bring us our drinks, and the food came at different speeds for each guest.
- Mercado Del Puerto: During the day this place functions as a market of local goods. By night just a few places stay open to serve tapas style dinners with beer or wine. This is also where we discovered a strange looking pincho (below) with what appeared to be salmon and worms! After some speculation and broken Spanish, the worms turned out to be eels. Who knew?
- Cafe Central: It's kind of fast food, but the kind that doesn't make you feel fat. We've been going back here for fajitas. They've got a pork and beef mix, chicken, or vegetarian. There is no beverage menu, so picking "una bebida" can be difficult for anyone as indecisive as me. I suggest Tropical con limon to go with any flavor fajita ;) After our second time here we got a free round of rum-miel, a sweet honey rum that left a delicious sweet taste in our mouths after even the smallest sip. Thumbs up.
*Dining Out Tip: Don't expect to find a line of breakfast places unless you're really into the "brunch" thing. Spain is notorious for its tardiness, and this definitely includes meal times! Dinner is not served until well after 8pm, with most restaurants filling up after nine. Anything open earlier is likely to be just another greasy tourist trap!
*Drink Tip: Do not order sangria. Instead have this light and delicious cocktail made from red wine, club soda, and local citrus fruits. I overheard a Spanish guy ordering it, so felt it was safe to try. Tinto de Verano is smooth and refreshing for a warm evening by the beach.
*Drink Tip: Try the Ron Miel. It's a honey-rum that leaves your taste buds warm and happy. I recommend the local brand, Arehucas.
*Dining Out Tip: "Tapas" are small plates whereas "pinchos" are small dishes served on bread.
As an honorable mention, these babies from Allende were quite delicious. One was with pork and the other a delicious tiny octopus. Out of all the four things we ordered there, this was by far the best.