26 Avenida Descubrimiento, Garrucha, Spain
950 61 70 70
Puerta Pezquera Garrucha Reviews
Aug 20, 2007
Having been told that Garrucha is famous for its seafood restaurants (and being a big seafood lover), I was more than keen to try out the food on offer in the bustling port and town.
The streets in Garrucha are lined with seafood restaurants, ranging from the transport-café-looking to the more upmarket, where a simple plate of calamari can cost 45 euros. The best way to decide where to eat is simply by how busy it is - the busier the restaurant, the better the food, although obviously service might be a bit of a wait!
Ian and I chose to eat at a place called Puerta Pezquera, near the outskirts of the town centre. Unfortunately, although the meal was edible, that's about as good as it got. We should have taken the apparent deathly misery of our waiter as an omen.
To start, I had shellfish soup and Ian had pan tostado (toast!), one piece topped with a tomato sauce and the other with (apparently) canned tuna. The tostado looked soggy and unappetising, although Ian ate it all. My soup arrived, watery and with an oily sheen to it. Although very salty, it didn't taste too bad, although I declined to finish the unshelled clams and mussels that remained once I had eaten those with shells and the large prawns. For some reason, I just didn't feel too confident in what I was eating.
Ian and I both ordered calamari for our main course, and were duly presented with a plate each, a mixture of calamari rings and whole baby squid in batter with half a lemon. The portions were tolerable and the food, again, didn't taste too bad.
The price, including drinks, came to around 25 euros, and although we wouldn't have chosen to eat there again, we left with our hunger appeased if not satisfied. At 3am, however, my foreboding about the meal was proved correct as I suffered a violent bout of food poisoning - no joke at the best of times, but for a diabetic, potentially very dangerous. Luckily I recovered fairly quickly, and was able to enjoy the rest of my holiday.
Now please don't think that I'm one of those miseries who delights in slating everything, because I'm not (once I finish this review, I'm going to do another on the wonders of a small café-bar in Aguilas!). It's just that I've worked in the catering and hospitality industry for nigh on 6 years and, if I'd been caught doing some of what I glimpsed in the kitchens on my way to the toilet, I'd have probably been sacked. Or shot. Or both.
These included a KP washing dishes, and then - apparently without washing her hands - scooping handfuls of cooked calamari and baby squid (exactly what we'd eaten!) on to plates, and waiters picking through a dish of mussels with ungloved fingers to dig out any unopened ones before shaking them around the plate to hide what was missing and serving them to customers. Yuck!!
The service was appalling, with at least 3 waiters standing around, chatting and looking everywhere but in our direction when we were trying to attract their attention. When we were served, it was definitely without a smile and we were made to feel as if the waiter's very deigning to be present was a massive favour - and then he had the cheek to hover around us at the end of the meal, waiting for a tip!
If the food is good I can just about cope with poor service, but based upon the quality of the meal, its aftermath, and the lack of service, I would definitely never return to that restaurant again - and I would strongly suggest to anyone going to Garrucha to make a note of the restaurant's name and steer well clear.
You have been warned!
Part of the Almeria 2007 travel blog
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