One bite: The Taste ~ Two bites: The Love
C/ Verí 4, Porto Cristo, Mallorca
971 820 932
Wednesday, March 1, 2017 (Balearic Day Holiday)
It was a sunny Balearic Day, so a day off for the island. A recipe for any seaside restaurant open, to be manic. It was around 1:30 in the afternoon just the start of the Spanish lunch. We were trying for another restaurant nearby but they were not open until dinner but they recommended Sa Pedra as a very good place to eat. We have eaten here before many times over the years living in Mallorca and have always been pleased with the food and service. As it was still slow in the dinning area we were greeted immediately, We did not have a reservation but were offered an open table along the street side verses the marina side, still in the sunshine and a beautiful view. Hungry and knowing not many restaurants are open this time of year we took the table. Menus given and water ordered we settled in for an afternoon feed.
All went well until the realization our first course of food had not arrived while 3 other tables that sat down AFTER us received their Paella. Clearly the restaurant was full and very busy at this point, the manager had shown up bouncing around the dining room shortly after we received our wine and he was clearly not dressed for the occasion, looked to be called-in to help with the growing tables to run. He was dressed in construction work clothes, and some sort of plastic like cigarette hanging from his mouth the entire time, even during order taking. I asked him where are our appetizers, we have been waiting a good 30-45 minutes. We only ordered Melon with Ham, and Fish Croquettes, our bottle of wine was nearly finished! His excuse was “we are very busy it is winter time and a holiday”, “I will check”, he says in the end. Yet another table that sat well after us received their main dishes(didn’t order a appetizer) we are still waiting, the manager made a comment to the helper that that food was ours, the helper insisted it wasn’t. It wasn’t. A few more minutes our first course arrived. Again I mentioned this was unacceptable with no regard to us being upset. Our appetizers were cleared quite quickly as our mains were immediately after. We never saw our waiter until the end as he was in the kitchen helping. No one poured our wine during the entire meal, no one offered if we wanted another one since it finished, or check to see how our dishes were. Service was a zero in my book. Very disappointed. When I finally saw our waiter I called him over to tell him this was a catastrophe, that we waited so long for our first course, his excuse was also we are busy, winter and a holiday. I asked did you not expect this to happen? But it is winter he says, and wasn’t the food good? “You have to wait for good food” was his answer!! We were never apologized to or offered to remove our appetizers from the bill or a dessert. Nothing. There was no care for the customer. Another couple will fill our seats and we will be forgotten about.
The choice of wines are limited, most from Mallorca are known and worth trying but as we live here we get tired of the same choices so I looked for something imported, in the Rose section you have 2 very old wines that are not my choice at all, no French Rose, but this is the norm here, catering to the tourist that wants a local wine. So we went with:
Albariño Mar de Frades. Rias Baixas 26.00 €
100% Albariño del Valle del Salnés, frente a la Ria de Arosa
Very nice to go with our fish but a bit on the tart side for my taste. The Castell Miquel, Sauvignon Blanc 22.00 € would have been better, stick with what you know I guess.
Again as mentioned above in “Service” our first glass was poured for us and that was it. We do not mind pouring for ourselves, it is very rare a restaurant will have the staff to do this for you anyway. The wine was cold which which is rare also.
Well what can I say, the food here is very good. It is very frustrating to have such good food, fresh and local but then to have the service let you down terribly. Out of spite I do not want to return, and it might take me a long time, but it will be hard to stay away on a warm sunny day and we are in the area. I believe they do a wonderful Paella so worth trying.
First Course: Melon with Ham(Melón con jamón 12.00 €) melon was ripe and the ham was melt in your mouth tender, topped with a splash of olive oil. Also the Homemade Fish Croquettes(Croquetas caseras de pescado 15.50 €) crispy on the outside and soft and flavorful on the inside with a hit of spinach or parsley I could not tell. Croquettes I have found are very hard to get right, they have done it. Little bite size gems.
Main Course: Grilled Sole (Lenguado a la plancha 16.00 €) This tends to be my go to fish of choice. Whenever I see it I order it. The dish came with boiled potatoes tossed in olive oil, which needed seasoning and grilled mixed vegetables(the normal red and green peppers, eggplant/aborigine, oyster mushrooms and zucchini/courgettes) The whole fish was delivered with caramelized sides and fresh lemon wedge. No bone, plate was brought so it fell to the table cloth. My husband had the Cod(Bacalao Sa Pedra 26.00 €) For once we didn’t share or taste. The fish came in a cast iron like pot with similar vegetables as mine with added tomato and roasted potato wedges. We both enjoyed our food.
As leaving I noticed a plaque on the wall outside the restaurant door, it is of quality in the tourist industry for Spain, you have to ask to join, but you do have to take some courses to prove you are of the quality that they endorse. One of the big points in this is the customer satisfaction and service. I would really like to know how they received this certificate. Based on our visit I would revoke this location as a member. Not sure if complaining to them would help either.
So if you are willing to endure very slow service, unpredictable at the busy times you will enjoy some very good local food with a view to match. The absence of service was a big issue, it “ruined” our delicious meal. Unfortunately this is the Spanish way for service, they do not care about you as a paying customer, tourist or local, oh wait a minute, yes if you are a local or regular you are treated much differently. The hoards of tourist that will invade this little town in the summer will come and go, so your complaint will just be forgotten about as a shrug of shoulders. And sure enough our table was cleared quicker than we could get up from it, our dirty table cloth was just flipped over and set for the next couple waiting. Sad.
No food photos, I was all consumed by the bad service.