We’ll eat anything, so every restaurant is a potential place to eat as far as we’re concerned. But when we have visitors it’s a very different story.
Some people aren’t comfortable with fish whose heads are still attached, some don’t like food that they can’t identify, others won’t go near anything with tentacles or suckers and some come out in a rash if they even so much as look at cuisine classed as avant-garde.
With this in mind, we have a few restaurants we class as ‘safe’ restaurants. These are ones that are going to keep most people happy. Meson Los Gemelos in Puerto de la Cruz is one of these… unless you’re vegetarian.
Tucked up a side street, Meson Los Gemelos is an inviting restaurant; leafy hanging ferns, a semi-open courtyard and rustic farming implements on whitewashed walls give it a homely, traditional Canarian ambience that immediately feels comfortable and welcoming.
Meson Los Gemelos is also one of those rare restaurants that manages to bridge the gap between being popular with visitors of all nationalities as well as locals.
More mature northern Europeans tend to eat quite early in the evening, so around seven-ish its tables are filled with British, German and other Northern European diners. Later in the evening there’s a change as Spanish speaking diners take over for the change in cultural sittings.
We tend to eat dinner about 8.30pm, so fall somewhere in-between and subsequently the languages spoken in the tables around us change between courses.
The Food at Meson Los Gemelos
One of the reasons that Meson Los Gemelos is so popular is that it specialises in traditional Canarian cooking which, consisting mainly of simply grilled meats and fish, is basically one of the world’s inoffensive cuisines. It’s food to suit conservative tastes.
The other, and more important, reason is that they do Canarian cuisine very well… and their portions are generous and very good value for money.
Steaks, pork chops and fillets etc. are all cooked to order. For me the meat dishes are a better option than fish dishes like fillets of cherne. On the occasions I’ve had fish, it’s been tasty enough but just on the right side of being overdone. Saying that, I like my fish to have only the briefest of introductions to a grill, so others who prefer their fish less moist may think it’s perfect.
More adventurous diners can opt for goat (cabra) or rabbit (conejo); local Tenerife specialities which if you haven’t given them a go yet are worth trying at least once. To me they’ve got a bit more flavour than many other meats.
Presentationally, the food at Meson Los Gemelos isn’t going to win any artistic awards; huge pork fillets topped by an onion mountain are too big for their plates. These are accompanied by chips, or papas arrugadas (wrinkled Canarian potatoes) and a hillock of coleslaw.
But at Los Gemelos it’s not about how the food looks, it’s about how it tastes and they do what they do extremely well which, combined with the fact that eating here feels almost as easy as eating at home, helps explain why night after night the restaurant is packed out.
In short, it’s the sort of place you could take your mother to.
Meson Los Gemelos, Calle el Peñon, 4; Puerto de la Cruz; (+34) 922 370 133; open daily midday to 11pm (closed Wednesday); main courses cost average €9, Reservations are recommended.