Tito's Bodeguita, Puerto de la Cruz
Isn’t it funny how sometimes places can be on your doorstep but, for one reason or another it can take you an eternity to check them out and realise you’ve been missing a real gem?
Well that’s how it was with our lunch venue yesterday.
We drive past the 17th century Ermita de San Nicolas every week on our way to La Villa to do the shopping and regularly remark on how lovely it looks and how we must go there. A large, white monastic frontage with a concealed courtyard, the Ermita was closed for a long time and we bemoaned the fact that we’d never tried its restaurant.
Then a couple of months ago it re-opened as Tito’s Bodeguita and this time we promised ourselves that we’d definitely go. Well yesterday was the exact excuse we’d been looking for as it was our 20th wedding anniversary and we’d given over the entire day to ourselves. So after a morning exploring a section of the north coast, we quickly showered and headed off to Tito’s for lunch.
We’d popped our heads around the courtyard entrance on Monday to confirm that they opened on Tuesdays and had spotted 2 or 3 tables occupied in the courtyard so we half thought that we might be the only ones there when we arrived shortly after 2.30 pm yesterday. We couldn’t have been more wrong.
Revueltos de Bacalao
As we entered the beautiful courtyard, we could see that most of the tables were occupied. We spotted an empty table alongside the bubbling fountain and settled in to survey the surroundings.
To one side the two storey house stood, its carved wooden balcony, lattice screens and wooden shutters overlooking the courtyard. At right angles to the main house, a row of small buildings extended beyond the courtyard in which we were sitting, house leeks growing in profusion on the red Arabic tiled roofs.
To our left a raised platform held more occupied tables and beyond them was a large beer garden with wooden benches and tables.
Behind us, the old Ermita now housed an inside dining room, an extremely well-stocked bodega, a party dining room and kitchens from which four or five waiting staff busied themselves carrying plates of food and bottles of wine.
Centre stage in the courtyard itself was a large stone fountain in which flowering water lilies idly floated. An elegant palm tree towered alongside the fountain, a large menu pinned to its sizeable trunk. Bordering the courtyard, a scented chaos of colour cascaded from wooden planters and rock gardens while a large magnolia and a drago tree held aerial court.
Solomillo de cerdo con albóndigas
Within moments of sitting down we were brought menus and we dithered over our choices. In the end, Jack plumped for solomillo de cerdo con albóndigas casera (pork steak with home-made meatballs) and I opted for revuelto de bacalao (scrambled eggs with cod).
A basket filled to capacity with fresh, crusty bread and a dish of home-made almogrote arrived with our beers and we tucked into both, now completely chilled in our sunny afternoon surroundings.
When the main dishes arrived they were beautifully presented and tasted sensational. Jack’s succulent pork was coated in a savoury sauce and the albóndigas that accompanied it turned out not to be meatballs, but large tasty dumplings.
My cod scrambled eggs were an onion, potato, cod and eggs rosti and were lip-smackingly good.
To round off, we both ordered the vanilla ice which was creamy vanilla ice cream surrounded by huge, fresh blackcurrents lightly dusted with icing sugar.
It’s fair to say the food was some of the best we’ve ever eaten in Tenerife, the surroundings were idyllic and when the bill came it was €30 – quite possibly the best €15 a head we’ve ever spent in a restaurant.
It’s amazing what you can discover on your doorstep and amongst a plethora of very good restaurants in Puerto, it’s a real hidden gem which you’d never find if someone didn’t tell you about it.
Aren’t you glad we’re here to do all this research for you :) ?
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