To call Bodegon Paraguas inconspicuous is an understatement. When it is closed, you'd not even know it was there, because its entrance amounts to what appears to be garage doors! There is no sign outside and, to compound matters, it is tucked away in some little Puerto de La Cruz side street.
However, come lunchtime, don't be surprised to see a load of people queuing in the street, waiting to get in. Very popular with locals, both agricultural and office workers, it is inevitably packed. Tables seat six, so you'll often have to share one with strangers.
With the place full and everyone chattering away, it can be quite an animated, noisy and boisterous experience. This could possibly be compounded by the fact that Bodegon Paraguas has a corrugated iron roof! Imagine what that would be like, should Tenerife experience one of its rare rain showers!
Anyway, on to the most important thing - the food. Entirely pure Canarian cuisine, it is finely prepared and served. You can choose from such goodies as potaje, which is a thick soup, almost a stew. It is a delicious combination of meat, potato, onion, carrot, sweetcorn, marrow and pumpkin. That should fill you up on its own!
But no, you may then go on to such delicacies as paella, containing meat, prawns, mussels and clams, or oven roasted pork slices, various versions of chicken and chunks of fresh fish in batter. All are served with a choice of chips or papas arrugadas.
To accompany your meal, a half litre of the very palatable house wine will set you back a mere €3!
Indeed, the whole experience is very reasonably priced. Bodegon Paraguas treats you to very generous portions, yet one person could get away with paying a little over €6!
This is a fine example of the Canarian restaurante típico, where the surroundings are a bit rough and ready, but the food is exceptional and the prices are unbelievable. Well worth a visit.
Telephone: 619 760890
Lunchtimes, Monday to Friday
Here's how to find Bodegon Paraguas. From the TF-5 motorway, exit at junction 35 (signposted San Jeronimo, Cruz de Los Martillos, La Arena). You'll end up on a roundabout over the motorway. Take the exit signposted Puerto Cruz, Parque Taoro, Loro Parque, San Nicolas.
Immediately, the road will fork and you need to go right (signed San Nicolas). You need to take the fourth left off this road. Watch out for a sign saying Restaurante El Durazno and it's the turn shortly after that.
You're now on Calle La Esquela, where the restaurant is. Parking in this area is limited, so, if you see a space, grab it. Bodegon Paraguas is on the left along this street. Look out for the queue of people and that'll be it!