Málaga Este – places to eat around El Palo beach

El Palo is the next beach along from Pedregalejo. For me it made for a nice walk along the beachfront.

There are heaps of restaurants along the way but this first one is worth going the distance.

El Tintero (Elementary A), 340 Avenida Salvador Allende

El Tintero is a large and very famous chiringuito that attracts an avid crowd of followers. The food is good (B/B+) but nothing out of this world, just what you’d expect from a good Spanish beach restaurant.

What makes them special though is the way they serve the food. The waiters collect plates of whatever the kitchen has just made and parade them around the tables shouting out their wares until someone takes a fancy to what they have and claims it. It’s much more fun than ordering from a menu which is why they are so popular.

I came with my local friend Juan for a light lunch and a few beers. We had an Espeto de Sardinas which Juan taught me how to eat like a Malagueno; with your hands nibbling around the middle and discarding the backbone with the head and tail still attached. A squeeze of lemon juice is all that’s required as they are already salted.

I have a penchant for prawns (it’s the Norwegian in me) so we also had a plate of these delicate white prawns which I think are Gambas de Huelva by the look of them. Again, a little lemon juice is all that’s needed.

After a meal like this, it’s quite okay to suck your fingers (‘chuparse los dedos’).

El Tintero is a great experience which I thoroughly recommend.

Candado Beach (Advanced B+), Cliub Náutico El Candado, Carretera de Almería (no number), http://www.grupogorki.com

A posh place a bit further along the coast from El Tintero, technically in El Candado neighbourhood but included here for simplicity’s sake. It’s a kind of beach club affair with posh sun beds and a large semi-covered restaurant terrace, located next to a marina far away from the madding crowds.

I was pretty full from lunch and wasn’t keen on their high prices so I only had an Espeto de Sardinas and a couple of glasses of Verdejo for €10.60. Service was efficient and friendly. Be nice to come here to eat with company or spend a day luxuriating in the sun.

El Cobertizo (Intermediate C), 25 Avenida Pio Baroja

I came here because it gets a shout from the Michelin guide but I wasn’t too impressed. The service was good but the food didn’t cut it for me, but that could be because I didn’t order very well.

I love broad beans and black pudding so I went for the ‘Habas Naurales Salteadas con su Vaina, Cebolleta, Jamon y Morcilla Grainaina’ (broad beans sautéed in their pods with scallion, cured ham and Granada style black pudding) but what arrived was rather unsightly, too salty and way too big for me to finish (C).

‘Rabo de Toro’ with chips is hard to get wrong (B). The Tagus red wine and Principe brandy, both from Málaga were drinkable but not particularly special (B-).

With cover, water, dessert and coffee the final bill was €51.

A disappointing experience but maybe if you’re not as strict about having local dishes and drinks as I am, you might have a better meal.

And that was my cheap and cheerful holiday in Málaga. Nothing too wild, just a relaxed recharging of the batteries. Definitely recommended.

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