[Playa de las Americas, Tenerife, Spain] Las Lanzas

Until the last couple of years, it was a bit of a rarity if you heard a voice that wasn’t Spanish in Las Lanzas. It was very much a local place for local people but, increasingly, other tourists have discovered it. The shortish menu remains unchanged – basically fish and steak fried in various ways without too much cheffing about with the food.

They serve some of the best croquettes we know in Spain. A thickish béchamel sauce binding ham or, in this case, prawns before forming it into balls, breadcrumbing them and frying till crisp. They’re accompanied by perhaps the most garlicky aioli you’re likely to come across. Absolutely delicious.

The other starter was revueltos – scrambled eggs with mushrooms and prawns. The eggs always seem to be cooked much more than I’d make at home for breakfast but that’s presumably the Spanish way. These were well seasoned and went well with the little squares of crisp toast that decorated the plate.

Then there was hake “a la Romana”. Medallions of the fish dusted in flour and lightly fried. Bite-sized pieces of entrecote steak had also been lightly cooked to the Spanish version of medium, along with a lot of garlic. Both plates had fried mixed veg – red and green peppers, onion and courgette. And both plates were absolute belters – simple, straightforward successes. For carbs, there had been some excellent thick slices of bread (like a British bloomer) and a plate of Canarian potatoes and another of chips. It meant we were not going away hungry. But it did mean we were too full for dessert. Good coffee was in the form of a cortado and café solo.



Another trip to Tenerife. Another good dinner at Las Lanzas.

There’s bread, of course. Thick slices from a loaf like a British bloomer, but much crustier. We each ordered a starter but they came several minutes apart, intended by the restaurant to be shared as tapas. First up, a plate of Padron peppers – tasting of the oil they’d been fried in and a heavy sprinkling of salt. It’s years since I’ve had one of the “surprise” hot peppers and this plate was no exception. Next, prawn croquettes (they also do a ham version). A thick béchamel, mixed with the prawns, shaped into a ball before being breadcrumbed and fried. Delicious in themselves and more so when dunked in the alioli that came with them.

My companion in life had hoped to order sole meuniere but they were out of the fish. Others were suggested and a sea bass chosen. It comes as a whole fish, still with head, but opened out like a book and fried. It’s delicious and comes with mixed vegetables – carrot, cabbage, red pepper – and Canarian potatoes.

I’m not a big steak eater and, even when I do order it, it will almost never be the relatively bland fillet. But I just fancied one. It came at the Spanish version of the requested “medium” – that’ll usually get me a perfect medium rare and so it did here. Good charring on the outside, oozing bloody juices inside. I was asked if I wanted a sauce and picked a creamy mushroom one. It worked well. There was also the mixed vegetables as the other plate and chips.

We’re not big dessert eaters but, again, just fancied one, not least as the waiter said they were all made in-house. For one of us, a Canarian version of “crema Catalana” – a set custard, with whipped cream. It’s an enormous portion which would have fed the two of us. And, I suppose, that it sort of did as I was in a very greedy mode and scoffed what was otherwise going to be left. I’d been intrigued by the dessert mentioned on the Castilian menu as “Leche frita” – literally fried milk. Yeah, I’m going to have to see what that’s all about. Well, it’s another set custard – I think slightly different to the other one. It’s coated in breadcrumbs flavoured with cinnamon and fried. It’s nice, if a bit weird. One of those things you’re glad you’ve tried but have no need to try again.

We finished with very good café solo.

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“Food is a pretty good prism through which to view humanity.”

― Jonathan Gold

Market stall in Lima
Credit: TXMX 2