Escape the Crowds with Lunch at Méson del Norte

Mon, May 21st, 2012 - By Andrea Montgomery

Every week thousands of visitors pile into the tiny hamlet of Masca in their cars, coaches and safari Jeeps. Once disgorged, they wander down its ridiculously steep streets, cram its cafés and restaurants and browse the shops around the plaza before heading back to their transport and returning the way they came, as if Masca was a dead end. Hundreds more set off down the steep barranco (gorge) to make the arduous trek to the beach from where a boat picks them up and takes them to Los Gigantes.

After Teide National Park, Masca is the second most visited place on Tenerife and yet, the town of Buenavista del Norte which lies at the other end of the road to Masca, is one of the island’s last undiscovered corners.

Instead of heading back up the sinewy road from the village to Santiago del Teide, next time you’re in Masca, leave the crowds behind and continue through the hamlet and out the other side, following the twisting road as it skirts the mountains and unveils stunning views over the verdant valley of El Palmar with its distinctive ‘pie’ quarried from the rock.

As you enter the barrio of Las Portelas, on the right hand side, you’ll see the saffron coloured walls and rustic terrace of the Méson del Norte restaurant and that’s your queue to park up and enjoy some tasty fish and grills. If it’s a nice day, take a seat on the outside terrace from where you can watch the occasional buzzard soar across the rolling valley. If there’s a chill in the air, the large, inside dining room is packed to its rustic rafters with quaint Canarian charm and a motley collection of agricultural implements.

 Specialising in meats from the grill and steaks, the vegetarian in the family won’t be best pleased with your lunch venue but can console themselves with a plate of their fantastic, home made chips. Steaks sizzle on the grill for around €12 but the menu del día is, as always, best value at €10 for three courses which includes a choice of salad or soup (well, when we were there it was Rancho Canario which is actually more akin to a main meal with ham, chorizo, chick peas, potatoes and noodles in a peppery rich soup), fish or meat and a home made postre (pudding).

 

My salad was a definite notch above the norm with such exciting additions as endive, shredded carrot, green pepper and olives which is adventurous for an island whose salads don’t usually run to anything beyond lettuce and tomato. My cherne (grouper) fish in coriander oil was tasty and succulent and Jack’s pork fillet was plentiful and lean. Along with the obligatory papas arrugadas, alioli, almogrote, mojos and bread it was quite a substantial lunch so I was hoping that pud wouldn’t include pastry or sponge of any sort. It didn’t. In fact it was a small glass of Crema de Limón (lemon mousse) which melted on the tongue in a in zingy, sweet, sharp and creamy burst of lemon and mint.

With a quarter carafe of wine and a soft drink for the driver, the bill came to €24.31 and saw off the need for anything more than a snack later on. The views, bird song and tranquillity were all thrown in for free 🙂

Posted : Monday, May 21st, 2012 at 10:36 am
Category : days out
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