Wednesday, March 14, 2012

March Musings

Mr. Philbrick joked he was on his 56th plate!

Eating at the Japanese Buffet

Hard to believe it is March already! I love spring flowers, although here on the island of Tenerife we are in a bit of a drought. Farmers are concerned, along with environmentalists because we usually have most of our rain during the fall and winter months and there has been very little rainfall. Normally Mt. Teide is covered in snow during the winter and there hasn't been any to speak of. We depend of fresh water here to fill the reservoirs for crops and drinking water. Along with the drying out of trees brings heightened threat of forest fires. The tourists may have enjoyed the sunny weather this winter, but the rest of us are longing for some rain.

Speaking of Drought.....of another sort

You would think that on an island known for tourism that it would be easy to find good restaurants to recommend. While I am sure that there are some that do exist, our experience here has been disappointing. In January we had a group from the United States visit, and they wanted to experience the culture by eating out. First of all, we don't eat out very often, mostly because we are usually disappointed--why pay a lot of money to eat out when you can make it better at home? So we had a difficult time coming up with places we could recommend. There are plenty of places where you can get a bocadillo (sandwich) for a few euros.....but to find something really fantastic and worth raving about is really hard to come up with.

There are tons of Italian, Chinese, and International offerings, but most are not authentic. One day the group decided to go to a Mexican restaurant and we ordered the only thing they had to offer that day--a mixed sampler plate. They must have been low on groceries as nearly every taco, burrito, and enchilada was filled with ground luncheon meat ham! Doug and I lived in Mexico for nearly 7 years but we never had ground ham in a taco! I would liken it to eating spam on a tortilla. Not the most appetizing food for sure. There were very few beans, rice, or salsa--what you would consider authentic Mexican cuisine.

Another adventure was when for lack of a better alternative we ended up at a Japanese buffet. That was a real novelty--all the dishes traveled around the tables on a conveyor belt covered with a plastic lid--so you really couldn't "see" what you were getting. It kind of looked like food from outer space. One plate might have a piece of pork on a stick, or another a piece of sushi, etc. Someone joked they were on their 56th plate! One dish, a soup of some sort was reported by the group to smell like finger nail polish remover! Others called it dishpan water soup, or dish soap soup......we couldn't really decide what was so odd about it but that it was really ODD! Well, it made for a lot of laughs and memories.

Our family has three places we go when we want a bite to eat......McDonald's (only for what is on the euro menu--a small cheeseburger or chicken burger) Burger King, and Telepizza. They just opened a Subway in one of the malls but we haven't tried it yet--but from our experiences in eating out, we'd rather play it safe than sorry!