Torremolinos Info - Food

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General

There are loads of restaurants in Torremolinos and I might get round to listing some of the better known ones in due course. You have a wide choice of styles including Spanish, Italian, British, Chinese and Indian.
There are plenty of tapas bars but the free tapa that many bars used to offer is often now a bowl of crisps or peanuts.
There are also lots of cafeterias that offer anything from simple snacks to full meals. Many places offer a "menu del dia" or meal of the day. These are usually very good value and include a starter and main course and commonly a dessert and/or a drink.

Times

Eating times are different in Spain from the UK but in Torremolinos, because of tourism, you will be able to eat at UK or Spanish times. Commonly breakfast (desayuno) is at 9.30 or 10.00.
Lunch (almuerzo) is normally 2pm to 4pm but many places open from noon to cater for tourists. For many locals, this is the main meal of the day. A menu del dia is a popular and generally a cheap way to eat.
Dinner (cena) is taken after dark, at 9pm, 10pm or even 11pm, when locals go out to eat but many will just have a snack at home and only go out for special occasions as in the UK. Once again many restaurants open much earlier for tourists.

Breakfast

Breakfast nearly always includes coffee or maybe tea or hot chocolate. A glass of wine or a small beer or brandy is not uncommon. Unlike the UK, suns and yardarms are not considered. You may find people drinking coffee with added brandy or a hot or cold chocolate drink with the same, known as a lumumba.
For breakfast you will find plenty of places offering a "Full English", particularly around Plaza de la Nogalera, Plaza European Union and up towards Plaza Independencia. These often come in normal and large size and may be available all day. A full English often includes Irish bacon and sausages.
Also popular, probably more with tourists than locals, is hot chocolate with churros. These are a sort of deep fried pastry dough.
Churros

Other popular breakfast items are a sandwich or a pitufo.
A sandwich normally means two slices of toasted white bread with a filling of tuna, sobrasada or a mixto (York ham and a slice of cheese). Pitufo is Spanish for a Smurf, but here it is a sort of short baguette. Common with locals is a sliced and toasted pitufo served with olive oil, salt and tomato.

Tapas

Tapas is plural, the singular being tapa, which means lid. It is generally said, though it may be wrong, that the tapa started as a piece of bread placed on top of glasses of sherry to keep the flies out and then later a little cheese, ham or chorizo was added. This can still be the case that the tapa is a slice of baguette with cheese, jamon, chorizo, egg salad, or whatever.
There are so many varieties of tapa that it is impossible to list them all here and many towns, including Torremolinos, have an annual competition when cafeterias and restaurants create new varieties. See Ruta de la Tapa. Here are a few common ones but there are hundreds, if not thousands, of different ones.
Huevos revueltos (Scrambled eggs) You might find this on a slice of toast with an additional ingredient in the eggs. The Spanish use more things with scrambled eggs than is normal in the UK. Asparagus, mushrooms and ham are common.
Roasted red peppers (or green). Normally on toast but the slim green ones may be stuffed with meat and served just on a plate.
Habas (Broad beans) If you don't like broad beans because in the UK they are enormous grey things with a tough skin, try them here. They are baby beans, tender and delicious, served as a mint and bean páté or mixed with small pieces of bacon or ham.
Pinchos or pinchitos (Chicken or pork kebabs) Often with a Moroccan spice blend as that is their origin.
Albóndigas (Meatballs) Almost every country has meatballs but do try them here. Usually in a tomato sauce but sometimes in an almond one.
Croquetas (Croquettes) No potato in these. They are ham, cheese, fish or whatever in béchamel sauce and then rolled in breadcrumbs and fried. Very fiddly to make but delicious to eat.
Empanadillas Sort of like a mini Cornish pasty but only in shape. Filled with jamón, goats cheese, tuna and olives, etc.
Tortilla Spanish omelette but not the one you may have tasted in the UK. Traditionally it is a mixture of potato, onion and egg cooked both sides and is about an inch thick. There are now many varieties with extra ingredients.
Huevos rellenos (Stuffed hard boiled eggs) Served as halves and may have a variety of stuffings such as tuna, anchovies and cheese.
Patatas bravas There are so many recipes for these that you can never be absolutely sure what you will get but generally they are fried potato chunks in a hot sauce that may be complex or, more commonly, is mayo and ketchup with a little chilli powder or tabasco sauce.
Berenjenas con Miel de Cana (Aubergines with cane honey) Slices of fried aubergine served with a sort of black treacle that is known as cane honey.
Callos A type of casserole that contains tripe and chickpeas and often containing other bits of animal origin such as pig's trotters, calf snout, etc. Much better than it sounds.
Boquerones fritas (Fried anchovies) Anchovies in size between whitebait and sardines.
Boquerones en vinagre Anchovie fillets preserved in vinegar.
Gambas pil pil Prawns in hot oil, garlic and chilli.
Mejillones a la vinagreta Mussels in half shells with peppers, egg and vinegar.
Russian salad Potato salad with tuna.

Menus

Naturally many words on menus are in Spanish and not always translated into English. Here are a few words to ensure that you don't finish up with a plate of sheep's eyes.
Carne is meat and will mostly be beef. Beef is ternera but you might see vaca (cow). Filete de ternera is just steak, it is not fillet steak. That is solomillo de ternera. Minced beef is carne picada or carne molida.
Cerdo is pork. If you just see solomillo on its own it will normally be solomillo de cerdo (pork fillet).
Lamb is cordero and will mostly be chops (chuletas) or shank (pierna).
Chicken is pollo. Be careful here as polla is not the same at all. Breast is pechuga.

The link below is to a list of words that you might see on menus or just while browsing shops.
Food words


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Last updated 31st May 2019