El Paraiso -
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The El Paraiso restaurant is one I've been to on quite a few occasions during my stint on the island through the 1990s, found up the hill out of Los Cristianos towards Arona, in the town of Valle San Lorenzo.

The following revue is about that particular establishment, but, since I left Tenerife, there have been some developments.

The first thing to happen was for there to be a second Paraiso restaurant opened on the opposite side of the road, owned and managed by the same person as the original one.

The most recent news I've managed to find out is that the original El Paraiso has now been closed down and all management and staff have moved en masse to the newer venue.

So, here's my experience of the old El Paraiso. As the new one employs all the same staff, it should be reasonably accurate for that other venue.

Although it was presented as a Canarian restaurant and attracted plenty of locals, it also catered for British (and German) tastes and customers from these countries ate there often.

With three nationalities frequenting the venue, it could often be very full. At times, it could be quite bustling and noisy and on these hectic nights, there was a tendency for customers to be packed in like sardines.

Despite being rushed off their feet, staff always attempted to be welcoming and friendly.

Even though prices were very reasonable (being away from the tourist areas), portions were always absolutely huge. It was considered an achievement to finish the mixed grill!

It was said that it wasn't a good idea to order a starter as well, unless you'd not eaten for a week.

On being seated, you used to be given some complimentary bread and dips, together with a small plate of sliced meats. I understand that, now, you will be charged for these items.

Because the place can be so busy that it's bursting at the seams, it was always best to phone and reserve a table.

The New El Paraiso

So, it seems that all this has been transferred across the road.

This new location comes with a few innovations. The dining area is light and airy and, if they have the window blinds up, offers stunning views.

Unfortunately, I understand that they've retained the slightly uncomfortable straight-backed chairs that the original restaurant featured, but that's a small issue.

There's also a new section at the end of the menu detailing barbecued dishes and, apparently, the restaurant excels in these.

A novel item to try is ternera a la piedra. They bring a thick piece of beef to your table sizzling away on a red hot stone and it's your job to cook it!

Other notable dishes include burbango cordon bleu, which consists of slices of courgette, ham and cheese, deep fried in batter, covered in mushroom sauce, or shoulder of lamb, an enormous portion so tender that, if you touch the meat with your fork, it will literally fall off the bone.

There have been some comments on forums that the new place has gone more "touristy", but native Canarians do still go there in droves.

As I said above about reserving a table, that probably still stands. The phone number is still the same: (+34) 922 766006.

To find El Paraiso, take junction 27 off the TF-1 motorway and take the TF-28 road towards Arona.

From Los Cristianos, just take the road out of town towards the motorway and keep on the road that passes under it.

Stay on the TF-28 and this will eventually take you into Valle San Lorenzo. You'll soon see the restaurant, on the right.

There is parking on the street, but, if this is full, you'll find a parking area round the back.

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