Monday, November 3, 2008

My First Time Eating Baby Goat

El Chamo - El Barbecho S/N La Escalona, Vilaflor Tenerife, 38614
+34 922 725 314

You might find the title of this post strange but it's true--I tried baby goat on my trip to the Canaries! I was reluctant to try it at first but our charismatic waiter convinced me otherwise. Here's a bit of background info...

We spent the day in El Teide National Park, which boasts the highest mountain peak in all of Spain. The sights were spectacular but all that driving and walking made us tired and hungry. We stopped at a local winery where we got advice about a nearby, authentic Canarian restaurant called El Chamo.

It wasn't hard to find and glancing at the menu, it looked inviting and not that expensive.

The inside was traditional with various Canarian pictures and artifacts. You can tell that it was a family run establishment--the kitchen staff was loud and boisterous and even brought out some of the food to us. It was cool because it seemed like everybody pitched in when needed.

Our waiter told us about the specials and mentioned that Chamo's specialty is fried baby goat. It was even highlighted on the menu as the thing to try so how could I not? Dan ordered the fried rabbit--also an unusual dish. Here are the details of our late lunch:

Bread and Mojo - This was the first thing that we received. It seemed like your customary bread on the table type of course so we didn't even think twice about it. The truth was that we were charged 2 Euro for this. It came as a surprise and I'd suggest asking the restaurant if they charge for bread when travelling in the Canaries--most of the time it's free but you never know unless you ask.

Despite the annoying trickery, we loved the mojo (sauce) that accompanied the bread. There was the green, red and also mayonnaise. The sauces were garlicky--the green enhanced by vinegar and lime while the red was enhanced by paprika and chili powder. I loved the green because it wasn't overly spicy and the garlic gave it a nice aroma and a good aftertaste. The red was too spicy for me.

Dried Chorizo - We ordered this as our appetizer because we were eager to try chorizo somewhere besides at the airport. This one was dried and served cold. I liked it a lot--it had a pretty gentle taste that was enhanced when you topped it with green mojo. Dan on the other hand didn't care for it at all because it was too generously marbled.

Fried Baby Goat - I didn't know what to imagine when I bravely ordered this. When it came out on the plate, it looked like rabbit--very bony and not too fatty. The taste was delicious and it wasn't unlike chicken, except that it was tougher. It was seasoned with plenty of paprika, which I love and of course some garlic too. I used the mojo on this as well and it once again, brought out more flavor. The only negative thing about it was that because of all the bones, it was a little hard to eat.

Fried Rabbit - Dan's rabbit dish looked very much like my baby goat--they almost looked identical actually. However, I preferred my baby goat instead, as it was meatier and not as gamey. I think that I got a lot more meat off the bones than Dan did.

Papas Bravas - This was our side dish of circular fried potatoes. The portion was huge but we ate almost all of it because it was that good. Once again, it was fun to dip the papas into the mojo and even into the mayo. These were like little french fries but thinner and very crispy around the edges.

Our meal set us back about 37 Euro or $48, which is kind of expensive for lunch but we didn't end up eating a dinner that day because we were so full.

I would definitely recommend El Chamo the next time you're in the Canaries--it's a lot more authentic than some of the eateries that you'll find in the touristy, Playa de Las Americas.

3 Mmmms

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