I’m not vegetarian and I’ll enthusiastically eat anything… within reason. I’m not vegetarian, but on average about five days out of seven we don’t eat meat or fish in our house. The reason for this is a long time ago I discovered good vegetarian food is as tasty, if not tastier, than your average meat dish.
Which brings me to Restaurant Hay Lo Que Hay in the La Paz district of Puerto de la Cruz.
Hay Lo Que Hay (there is what there is) is my favourite type of vegetarian restaurant; one where you can completely discard the vegetarian label and simply describe it as a restaurant that serves wonderful tasting food. Luckily we’ve got a few good vegetarian restaurants in the north of Tenerife.
Located opposite the Hotel Botanico, Hay Lo Que Hay is an intimate restaurant that immediately relaxes with its warm, slightly arty décor and sincere welcome from the totally charming husband and wife team who run it.
The menu is small, but had the four of us (not a veggie amongst us) asking twice for more time to decide. There is an Italian influence – pastas, piadines, lasagne – as well as international flavours like curry couscous and veg pies. There’s even soy ribs and soy chicken for those who like to maintain a meaty connection.
Before anyone questions why a vegetarian restaurant would serve mock meat dishes (an observation I sometimes see when vegetarianism is discussed amongst non-veggies), here’s one reason. I didn’t eat meat for a long period, but it didn’t mean I didn’t still like the taste and texture. Veggie mince, sausages and bacon were always on our weekly shopping list.
Basically it’s a small menu with enough dishes to tempt tastebuds with differing preferences.
A lip-smackingly tasty appetiser of potato, guacamole, sesame seeds and olives in a sweet dressing perked up the anticipation as we eventually whittled down the choices.
To share as a starter we ordered a couple of piadines (filled Italian flatbreads); one with savoury vegetables topped by grated cheese, the other encased a veggie frankfurter in cheese sauce.
For main we chose tagliatelle in spicy puttanesca sauce; ravioli with butter sage and parmesan; curry couscous with vegetables and a baked puff pastry gratin.
I had the puff pastry gratin which was actually more like soft, melt-in-the-mouth shortcrust pastry. It was one of the tastiest dishes I’ve eaten in a while… and I’ve enjoyed some really tasty dishes recently. The pie oozed flavour. In fact all dishes were given a satisfied thumbs up, as was the local ecological wine which accompanied them.
To finish we negotiated a selection of small portions of dessert – strawberry cheesecake, chocolate cake and bienmensabe – followed by grappa, and orange and cinnamon chupitos.
It was a great night with all the right ingredients for an exceptional dining experience including a relaxing ambience and the very best of home-made nosh.
Home-made nosh that is a treat for the tastebuds whether you’re vegetarian or carnivore.
Hay Lo Que Hay; Carretera Botánico, Edificio El Tagor; La Paz, Puerto de la Cruz; (0034) 922 38 32 93; open Tuesday to Saturday 13.30 to 16.30 and from 18.30 till 21.30; Sunday 13.30 to 16.30; closed Monday; average cost of a main meal €8.
Category : restaurants
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