Off we went for the menu del dia at Hotel Alcadima in Lanjarón, a 10-minute drive from Órgiva. We parked, headed to the spot our own favourite photo was taken and headed down a side street to the hotel.
We found a shady spot outside to relax with a drink. There was trickling water, lush plants and a lovely covered eating area. It reminded us of Thailand a bit. Peering through some foliage, S thought she spotted Zsa Zsa Gabor in a white fur coat but it was a man with an absurdly hairy chest. He was smoking a pipe in his trunks. Good for him.
Alone, we contemplated lunch which cost €15 a head. In this area, that’s pretty expensive – especially with no drink included – although there were linen napkins and tablecloth (and the succulent on the table is real, so don’t pull it apart or dig your nails into it to check).
As the wi-fi dropped out and the bell tolled 2pm, an unending steam-train of over 65s arrived. This is Lanjarón after all, and our hunch that anyone aged between 16 and 60 have been removed for some sinister experiment could, indeed, be correct.
As the Dutch/German babble increased, a man next to us ordered a gigantic sandwich the height of two Big Macs. There was enough carbohydrate to climb the Mulhacén. His jaw probably hurt a bit afterwards.
We ordered the menu del día: Ensalada de membrillo y queso fresco (salad with quince jelly and cheese) and Crep de champiñones y bacon (mushroom and bacon pancake) and they were both good, especially the salad – a stack of stuff including salmon and walnuts surrounded by a blood-red coulis/berry thing.
The mains – grilled chicken with one of those annoying smears across the plate and, the other, a meat-filled aubergine – were less good. It was at this stage we realised we were in a kind of canteen. Both were served with the same vegetables: bland potato and sliced french beans. Wouldn’t just a bit of garlic or black pepper help? There was also vegetable soup as a starter – a warning perhaps? It was unchallenging food which young children would eat. At €15 a head, it’s not good enough though.
Inside, a room was buzzing with Spaniards suggesting that the ‘foreigners’ were bundled together, albeit in a fabulous spot.
But the waiting staff were excellent so we left them a nice tip and the price of drinks is reasonable considering it’s a hotel (eg €2 for a glass of house wine).
Our advice is: go to enjoy the surroundings but maybe order à la carte – even if it’s just one dish. We think the kitchen can produce some really good food.
Considering there are menu del dias to be had at, among others, La Almazara (€12.50) and Flor de Limonero (€10) in Órgiva, it’s unlikely we’ll be back anytime soon for lunch. But an evening meal with that view of the Moorish castle, probably.
© con jamón spain