One of the most popular walking trails on Tenerife is called the Barranco del Infierno (Hell’s Gorge) and is a 5km round trip from the town of Adeje in the hills above Costa Adeje, into the mouth of a beautiful barranco (ravine) to its waterfall source. Since it opened in 1988, the reward for trekking this steep-sided gorge has been lunch at Otelo’s, the restaurant that borders the barranco, where you can get some of the best garlic chicken in the area.
Unfortunately the Barranco del Infierno has always been subject to rock fall during moderate to heavy rainfall and it was customary to close the walk should it start to rain in any measure. But then there was a bad rockfall on the beach of Los Gigantes which killed two people and the Mayor of the town was found to be legally negligent for having allowed the beach to remain open.
The Mayor was sent to prison and since then, Tenerife has retreated behind a health and safety policy that thinks the easiest and safest way to avoid prosecution is simply to close access to anything and everything that could possibly be remotely dangerous. As a result, the Barranco del Infierno remains locked behind gates. On the other hand Otelo Restaurant, I’m glad to report, is still open and doing as brisk a business as you’re likely to see anywhere on the island. Just a ten minute drive from the coast, Otelo’s is well known to local taxi drivers in the Costa Adeje, Los Cristianos and Playa de Las Américas area.
Situated right alongside the entrance to Barranco del Infierno at the top of a street steep enough to warrant climbing ropes, the restaurant has a huge indoor dining area and a beautiful outdoor terrace with panoramic views over the barranco and right the way down to the coast. The most popular dish on the menu is the pollo al ajillo, or garlic chicken, which is a speciality of this area.
Crispy, crunchy, garlicky flavoured chicken quarters served piping hot from the oven in an earthenware dish and accompanied by papas arrugadas, chips or salad, a constant stream of garlic chicken leaves the kitchen faster than you can say finger-lickin’ good and at just €4.95 a serving, is excellent value for money.
Last week we took some friends of ours who were on holiday in Los Cristianos to Otelo’s for lunch and after we’d slogged up the hill we remembered that the restaurant actually has its own car park – d’oh! Still, in the absence of the barranco to justify the indulgence, the walk from the town certainly built up an appetite.
Despite telling our friends about the speciality, one ordered steak and the other lasagne. As our garlic arrived, two portions in a single dish, they each took one look, smelled the aroma and said “I wish I’d ordered that”. Still, they both enjoyed their meals too and the food was despatched with a very tasty litre of the house red to wash it down. Water, coffee and a beer also found their way to the table and the final bill came to a very respectable €42 between the four of us.
Restaurante Otelo, Calle Los Molino 44, Adeje; (+34) 922 780 374; open Wed-Mon 11.00am -11pm, closed Tuesday
Category : food and drink
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