Saturday, October 31, 2009

69 ~ A Tenerife Beach - Playa San Marcos

Play San Marcos Restaurant at Playa San Marcos

Come join me and my English friend Anne for a drive down the north west coast of Tenerife to a little black sand beach where there are some fish restaurants where we have been going for many years.

Let's stop here along the way and take some photos of the picturesque coastline. In the foreground you can see fields of banana plantations with the occasional palm or drago tree.

coastYou see here one of the many tunnels in the road to the south of the island.

Anne and I both love to visit garden centres so let's make a stop to browse around at this one near the base of the mountain.

garden centre This side of the island is greener than the south due to the prevailing north east trade winds which cause clouds to form on the north side of the Teide volcano, keeping the area cool and more spring-like.

lush mountainAfter passing through the town of Icod, we take a turn and soon arrive at San Marcos Beach, where there is natural black volcanic sand.

San Marcos beach
black shiny sand We are heading for Casa Maria which years ago used to be one of the little chiringuitos or open air restaurants at the far side of the beach. Maria was a little lady who ran one of the simple beach restaurants which are so popular in Spain. We used to sit there in damp bathing suits with our feet in the sand and order local fish dinners or paella after an afternoon of swimming and sun bathing.

beach & restaurant But now it has been relocated and modernized. The bamboo and grass roofs have been torn down and there is no sand underfoot in these new constructions.
Let's go inside. Can you smell the delicious aromas coming from the kitchen? There is a scent of garlic and fresh fish with lemon. Look at this one ready from the kitchen for someone's dinner.

whole fish We'll order one filleted with head and tail removed shall we. And how about some of those Canary salted wrinkled potatoes with green mojo sauce: Papas arrugadas con mojo verde. But first let's order a mixed salad as a starter with some red wine, local bread and ali oli garlic mayonnaise. Sounds good doesn't it! And now let's go to the kitchen to pick out our fish. Here are some the local fish: Vieja (parrotfish), Dorado (Mahi Mahi), Cherne (Sea Bass).

fish in kitchen How about this one? I think it's a Vieja.

this one?Anne's gone outside to pick out a table for us.

Anne gets tableHere's the wine, salad, bread, and ali oli.

salad, bread, ali oli & wine I hope you like the green mojo on your potatoes, as well as the fish. Here's your plate.

fish & green mojo Now for dessert let's try their homemade lemon soufflé!

lemon souffle Too bad we have to leave now. I hope you enjoyed your lunch and will come back here again with us!

Click here for a slideshow of where we've been with some more images!
Goodbye for now and ¡Hasta la Vista!

And now the RECIPES:

papas arrugadas
PAPAS ARRUGADAS (Canary wrinkled, salt potatoes)

There are many ways to make these potatoes. Here is the manner which is the easiest and most used:

1. Cover the unpeeled potatoes with water (if it is seawater, even better). For every kilo (2.2 lbs) of potato,
add a bit more than a half pound of salt. It doesn't matter if we add even more as the potatoes will take only the salt
they need.

2. Put the pot on the stove and cover it well with a cloth or tin foil and place the lid on top of that.
Cook for twenty minutes to half an hour, until the potatoes are done.

3. Tip off the water and drain potatoes well.

4. Without removing the potatoes from the pot, pour a handful of salt over them, and place them
back on the stove, shaking the pot for a while until they are covered in salt.

5. Serve in their skins with two mojo sauces.

Source: translated from:
Cinquenta Recetas Fundamentales de la Cocina Canaria,
Cabildo de Tenerife


3 or 4 hot green peppers
1 small head garlic
flat-leaf parsley

1. Put the following ingredients into a mortar and pound together:
1 teasp cumin, the garlic and salt to taste.

2. Remove the seeds and veins from the peppers and add with some chopped parsley to the mortar.
Pound the contents thoroughly.

3. Finally, combine with some oil, vinegar to taste and water.


1 head garlic
1/2 hot red or green pepper
1 bunch fresh coriander

1. Lightly toast a teaspoon of cumin and pound in a mortar. Add the garlic, coriander, seeded pepper and a little salt, blending all these ingredients thoroughly.

2. Pour in half a cup of oil, vinegar to taste, a little cold water, and mix well.


3 or 4 hot red peppers
1 small head garlic

1. Lightly toast 1/2 teaspoon of cumin and pound in a mortar.

2. Soften the peppers by soaking for a while in hot water. Remove the seeds and veins.
Add to the mortar and pound with the cumin.

3. Put the garlic and salt into the mortar and crush with the contents, adding a small glass of oil, vinegar to taste and a little cold water. Blend well and serve.



Flowers said...

It was nice going through your experience of Casa Maria. Like the recipes on your blog. Like each and every picture of your blog. Your blog is perfect.

Canarybird said...

Thank you for your kind comments Flowers!

Sue Swift said...

Lovely post - that first fish dish had my mouth watering - and it didn't stop fior the rest of the post.
Found you on Blotanical. Hope we see you there often.

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful blog - so beautiful! You are the
perfect tourist guide for Tenerife The fish dish looks
so delicious with the potatoes, never mind the lemon
yummy dessert! Aki

Michelle said...

Wish I was there with you mom to enjoy the wonderful food! How I miss the food there! Great pictures too. Mich

Marysol said...

Pura belleza.

Sharon, I've never heard of a fish called 'Vieja,' but the name put a smile on my face.
However, I have heard plenty of Mojo. In Cuba mojo is served with almost every meal. I've had so much of that amazing sauce growing up, it has become part of my DNA.

Beautiful photos, as always!

Canarybird said...

Thank you Sue, Aki and Sol!
I do appreciate your generous comments!

Sol I also think the name is funny....and I always hope that the fish isn't! (vieja = 'old' in Spanish) :-)

nimenos said...

Vieja is my favorite fish, but that alioli is driving me mad as I am on a diet... my god....

Daricia said...

i'm so glad to find your blog! i was a student in tenerife many years ago (1982)and remember so many of the things you mentioned. playa san marcos looks almost the same! beautiful photos - i can't wait to peruse your past posts.

azplantlady said...


What a beautiful place! Thank you for "taking us" along with you.

I found you on Blotanical - Welcome!

Canarybird said...

Nimenos....I'm also dieting :-) and I know what you mean...I miss ali oli and green mojo!

Daricia....there's so much to see and do here in Tenerife isn't there. I'm sure you have fond memories.

Thank you AZplantlady....I'm also enjoying looking at the blogs on Blotanical and have been reading yours.

Primary Work at Home said...

Wow great experience. I love the view, food and your personal stories. Thanks for sharing it.

adizz said...

Thankyou for the photos and the info. We are staying at San Marcos next March for the first time and after seeing your blog looking forward to our trip more than ever.

Canarybird said...

I hope you will have a lovely time there. You will certainly have a choice of fish and restaurants.
Be sure and bring some beach sandals to wear as the black sand is often too hot to walk on. Thanks for your visit! Sharon.

Marsha and Eddy said...

Oh my, I played your Chopin and I viewed your blog, and I was transported into another world. Thank you so much for the pleasure you gave to me tonight. I am thankful to have come across your blog. My son, daughter-in-law and grandchild live on Vancouver Island. I have been there and it is truly beautiful. Thank you again.

Canarybird said...

Marsha...Nice meeting you and thank you for your comments. I have been looking at your blog and congratulate you on your getting on the elliptical trainer and following a careful diet!


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