Monday 22 May 2017

Maracas 2017: a Review

Back in my second home of Benalmádena, I naturally gravitated to my favourite café-bar, Maracas, on Playa Bil-Bil. The popular venue celebrates fifteen years of business and international friendship this year. This is my fourteenth year of frequenting. Dani the waiter raised his eyebrows in greeting whilst serving elsewhere, but once free came over for our order. Sunday is always the busiest day of the week for the staff as the tourists are augmented by the locals on their day off who also want to enjoy the benefits of their blessèd municipality, now grown to seventy thousand registered residents. Maracas is not the cheapest place to eat and drink, but obviously one must expect to pay a small premium for being able to enjoy a cocktail or paella right on the beach and within a couple of metres of the gently lapping sea.

It was a warm Sunday, so we commenced with a caña apiece @ €2, that’s a small draught beer. In Spain, one will observe even respectable-looking women as well as the menfolk taking a small beer first thing of the morning. This does not signify a nation of drunkards or alcoholics: recent research has proven the benefits of this small pick-me-up.

As the afternoon progressed we moved on to tinto de verano @ €2.50, a cocktail of chilled red wine with a sparkling lemon drink, often Sprite or lemonade. It is surprisingly refreshing and not as sweet as perhaps one might anticipate. We chatted with: a group of four German, late middle-aged chaps on a friends’ break; an extended queer family and their beautiful bairn; a very middle-class family from Holland; and, a Spanish mother with her brood of peckish children. One has probably gathered that Maracas is a friendly place for all: child-friendly; gay-friendly; alien-friendly…

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The time to eat arrived. My chum ordered a hamburguesa de ternera - this strictly-speaking ought to be a veal hamburger, but is often made from beef cuts. My companion loved the burger: tasty, juicy and not over salted. He was also content with the filling. The bread roll was not the best and crumbled. Over all, at €4.50, he was very content.

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I opted for a dish Maracas introduced about three or so years ago, ensalada pasta tricolor. In a large bowl were three colours of perfectly cooked pasta twists, with sweetcorn, chicken, walnut halves, diced cheese, and hard-boiled egg slices. One has the choice of several speciality dressings or one can use the balsamic vinegar &/or olive oil brought to table whenever one places an order for food. At €8 this represents great value for such a substantial meal.

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We shared a large bowl of perfectly cooked French fries, patatas fritas (in Spanish this can mean chips [US fries] or crisps [US chips]). Accompanying our luncheon we enjoyed a medium, chilled rosé, vino rosado, @ €2.

After three hours of chilling on the beach in the sun, we were were ready to head back to our hotel for a siesta (nap). Of course, we shall return to Maracas.

Highly recommended. %D

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