I was recently in Huercal Overa, transacting some business. Being hungry and being close, I popped into Claire’s Bakery, on the street down from the top motorway exit to the main throughfare (same road as the Pepper Tree and Choice Entertainment, if that helps).
I was enticed in by the sign on the door promising “fresh home cooking” and felt sure that there would be something tasty for a snack in the car, given the time (lunchtime).
Sadly, this was not the case. Despite having a few customers in, drinking tea and chatting, there was nothing -zilch- in the takeaway cabinet that didn’t need to be cooked at length. It reminded me somewhat of the café in Last of the Summer Wine – more of a social club than a business. A couple were in from Arboleas, “out for the day in the big city” said the husband with not a trace of amusement in his face. I didn’t care to ask further, this sort of story in Huercal Overa usually ends up with a long explanation of how they’ve spent the morning in the hospital having tubes inserted.
Owners were friendly, yet didn’t seem overly keen on selling me anything. Eventually, after talking about the weather, the economy and the fiesta, the possibility of food was mooted. We went through the menu, slowly discarding options as it became apparant they were only for eat in / would take far too long to cook.
“I could do you a sandwich” I was eventually told, about three minutes after I should have been offered the option, and in a manner that suggested the boat was being pushed out for me. “What sort?” I enquired with care.
“Tuna Mayo?” I was asked. “What else have you got?” I replied. “Just tuna mayo” was the firm response. So it was tuna mayo. No brown bread, either. At that point I was so hungry I didn’t much care.
A suspicious aluminum foil wrapped package was handed over -several minutes later- and I was relieved of €3,50, which I felt excessive.
The bread was white, Bimbo, somewhat stale. Two slices, sliced diagonally. The tuna mayo was more mayo than tuna. The second half of the sandwich ended up for the birds.
No, I have no idea what the food in there is like, but frankly the owners aren’t taking it seriously. You can’t have a takeaway pasty shack with nothing in it but stale bread. You are either running a café or you are running a social club. Make your mind up.
And €3,50 for that piece of stale bread with mayonnaise on you gave me is, to be frank, extortionate. I had a tostada -delicious fresh warm bread – with real jamon serrano, coffee, fresh OJ and a bun for €4 this morning in Granada, for heaven’s sake. No wonder the Levante is empty.