Hard Rock Café is, to nick the name of their famous burger, legendary. Arriving in Madrid 13 years ago, my son and I headed straight there to eat. After 15 years in the Canary Islands, tapas and chorizo were no novelty, a big, juicy burger was; so was the fun atmosphere, the autographed guitars, the memorabilia, and the too-loud music.
In case you don’t know the story, the original Hard Rock Cafe was founded in Park Lane, London by two young Americans, homesick for the cholesterol-loaded goodies of their homeland. Their biggest fan was a certain Eric Clapton, who gave them their first guitar. The rest is history.
Hard Rock now has many imitators around the world, including here. “So, how does the Tenerife version compare to them and other HRCs around the world?” I wondered.
Verdict: Food – “Beef,” I thought, as I sank my teeth into a Legendary Burger the other day. Let’s face it, many franchises have failed here, so I’d been skeptical that the year-old restaurant would live up to the expectations I’d formed in Europe and the US. A second bite confirmed the taste. The menu says it’s 100% black Angus beef. The familiar onion rings crunched as they should. The fries were chunky and the sauce I was dipping them into had the required mellow spiciness. HRCs do regional variations but somehow the offered almogrote with a burger didn’t appeal.
My friends were late, so I ordered a cocktail while waiting. The Big Kablue-na was so cool and fruity, I ordered a second when they arrived. Drink-drive usually rules out cocktails, but I was planning to walk back to my car in Los Cristianos along Geranium Way afterwards, so I allowed myself the treat.
Verdict: Location – In Playa de las Americas, opposite the Safari Centre, It’s handy for lunch time shoppers, and night time revellers. From its upstairs terrace it has to own one of the best views in this popular franchise, across the roofs of town to the peaks of the Teide National Park, with Spain’s highest peak looking down over all.
Verdict: Service – The service was, well, pleasant and efficient, no complaints, on my part, though there were some grumbles from people waiting to be seated. It lacked that chatty warmth I’ve experienced in London or Florida. This came as no surprise in a resort area, but it was a bit disappointing.
Verdict: Atmosphere and decor – On the lunchtime I went the lower terrace was full, whilst other restaurants in the area were quiet. The upstairs bar, where you can fantasize over the outfits of rock and pop stars, was slow. Downstairs, the indoor dining area was full enough to provide a buzz. If anything disappointed this was it. Somehow, that cheerful, noisy intimacy just isn’t there. It’s all a bit light and sterile. Perhaps it’s better at night, especially when there is live music. Exiting via the gift shop is optional, by the way.
Would I go again? Definitely! Although it’s too far from El Médano for me to drink and drive, I’d go for the food alone. I love American food with all its cheesy, hip-enhancing gaudiness, and I know of nowhere in the south of the island which does it as well.
Admittedly Hard Rock is not cheap. My Legendary Burger was €15.25 compared to between €8 to €10 in many places, and the cocktail €8.75, but the quality is good and makes the price worthwhile. Avenida de las Americas in the Piramide de Arona Center; (+34)922 05 50 22; Check their website for opening hours.
Category : food and drink
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