This is a post that I intended to start, finish and post much earlier, after our trip to Pedregeur in fact, but the Sofa Siesta cushion grabbed me, pinned me to the cushion and insisted that I leave the world of consciousness for a full hour, after which we had to repair to Keith and Audrey’s for an evening of drink and chat, and delivering condiments of course. After an evening of Audrey’s generosity with gin and meanness with tonic, I was in no fit state to complete it when we returned home. So sorry Carol, it is a retrospective blog today, written the morning after.
Back to the start of the day, the usual routine of me getting up a couple of hours earlier than Garrath was followed by him joining me, drinking tea then getting into the routine of bathing, dressing and preparing to go out to lunch, just Garrath and I, to the restaurant in Pedregeur.
This time the drive there was much better with no overloaded wagons blocking the road at a snail’s pace, no grandad drivers dithering in front of me (grandad drivers can be any age and either sex) and no hold ups so we got to Pedregeur early. In fact I was probably abuelo (grandfather in Spanish) to the local drivers who overtook me at high speed because I had the effrontery to stick to the speed limits. Machismo is alive and well and living behind the steering wheel in Spain!
When we arrived at the restaurant we were greeted warmly by the delightful lady server and shown to our reserved table. There was no need to show her my card, she remembered my dietary needs and we settled down to another excellent lunch. It started with a lovely salad, then came the most amazing platter of starters – tortilla de patatas, broad beans with sausage and fried quails eggs, pork stew and prawn skewers. Other diners got small, savoury vol au vents rather than the prawn skewers, so the dish was adapted for me. The broad bean dish and the pork stew each came in a mini paella pan and the rest on one of those trendy, long, rectangular plates. Everything was absolutely delicious.
I could make a main course of the broad bean dish alone and probably will when we get back home IF I can find a source of broad beans. They seem to be as easy to find as rocking horse droppings in the UK. Maybe, like our fish catch, we sell the whole crop to Spain.
In the absence of broad beans as a main course I chose the chicken with rice and Garrath chose the Cordon Bleu – a dish of meat (pork in this case) wrapped around ham and cheese, then breaded and pan-fried or deep-fried. Restaurants give him the opportunity for a gluten fest, something he never gets at home.
The chicken was delicious and the charming lady server explained with pride that the chicken was cooked with Coca Cola. That is another one that I will be replicating when I get back to the UK. Garrath ate every crumb off his plate including the peas cooked with bacon, so I am guessing that his too was delicious.
The chef at La Trador takes great pride in his work as does the naturally charming lady who greeted us. Her objective is to engage, to accommodate, to serve and to please her customers. We are so accustomed to the English styles of service, service with a snarl, ingratiating service or bolted on, corporate, customer care, that being served by attentive, charming staff who have a genuine desire to please comes as a shock.
OK, who has Irish relatives and who snitched the name and location of La Trador to them? Come on, own up! It must have been one of you! No matter, they sat on the table next to us made good earwigging material and I had a good enough view of the control-freak matriarch and her henpecked partner to illustrate them later. The two young women, one of them a loud, exhibitionist vegetarian, were just a mass of hair and noise from where I was seated. I was tempted to lean over and say,
“OK madam so you’re a vegetarian, but really, does the whole restaurant have to know about it, and if we do what do you expect of us? A round of applause?” However I restrained myself because if that was the only way she could wrest attention away from the control freak matriarch, fair enough.
Even though the multiple starters and main courses were substantial we ordered desserts working on what we refer to as ‘The trickle down theory.’ That is that desserts somehow manage to trickle down the gaps. I chose Fresas con Nata – strawberries with cream – while Garrath had the real, trickle down dessert, Helado Chocolate (pronounced chock oh lah tay) – Chocolate Ice Cream. After that we finished the repast with green tea for me and coffee for Garrath, paid the princely sum €20 and left.
While we were in the restaurant it rained, quite heavily too but not for long. I was relieved though that our reputation as rainmakers remains untarnished!
Garrath had consulted Apple maps and promised a new, interesting way home but in the event it was just one we knew already with a minor, uninteresting shortcut, so no photographs from yesterday. No matter, I am going to lug my camera kit with me to La Viña De Calpé today then take a troll down the promenade along Playa De La Fossa in order to collect material for a post dedicated to Lifesnapper! The two Carols, Colleen, Annette, Andrew and Kate will understand this.
When we got back from the restaurant all my good intentions were ruined by the Sofa Siesta cushion who grabbed me and had me dead to the world for an hour, after which it was time to gather the stuff necessary to visit Keith and Audrey, multiple jars of jams and chutneys, a bottle of gin and some cans of tonic.
The evening with them was, as ever, pleasant, filled with lively and interesting conversation and multiple gin and tonics, so the end of the evening was a wee bit fuzzy! When we came home I made futile attempt to write my blog but quickly realised that drinking gin and typing coherent sentences is an impossible combination so I retired to bed.
All in all another wonderful day filled with good food, good gin and good friendship.