Picture this …
A couple walk into a brand new restaurant, are welcomed by the owner and shown to a table. They place their order and then, seeing no credit card signs, when the first course arrives, the male customer asks if he and his wife can pay by card. They do not have enough cash with them.
The owner explains that the business is so new, just four days old, that the bank has not yet arranged the credit card system but “not to worry, relax, enjoy your meal. You can pay tomorrow, the day after, no rush.”
That is exactly what happened to us yesterday when we found this seaside restaurant in the village of Villaricos. We did not know it was newly opened; it just looked good and had a lovely sea view. The fact that it also had excellent disabled access was just a bonus.
We had the splendid meal of the day.
Lisa and I chose seafood paella instead of a sharing salad platter as our first course and then we both enjoyed tuna steak and chips (fries) as our main dish. Along with these we were served bread and had sangria to drink. In truth, the paella alone would have been enough for lunch and we were both so full that we decided not to order dessert and went straight to coffee, in our case cortado, to finish.
All that for just 12€, that’s roughly £8.60, each. I have to say that we were most impressed by everything: the food quality, the cleanliness, the service, the building itself – purpose built out of wood, its position and view and the entrance suitable for everyone of whatever ability.
The restrooms are in a separate building off to the side but can be reached easily. Both are large and have plenty of room for a wheelchair to get in and turn around easily, at the same time allowing for transfer to and from the chair.
In a mixture of Spanish and English, we learned that the new El Faro (lighthouse) restaurant is run by Francisco Rico Rodriguez, his wife Maria Jose Collado Gomez and their son. Francisco takes responsibility for ‘front of house’, his wife is the chef and their son, another Francisco but everyone calls him Paco, takes care of the bar. A perfect family business based on dad Francisco’s 24 years’ experience gained working in his parents’ own establishment in the same village.
We went back today to pay for yesterday’s meal, still amazed that they would let a couple, eat a meal and then leave without paying. Remember, they had not seen us before, we are obviously not fluent Spanish speakers and were not asked for any evidence that we live in Spain. They might have never seen us again but, of course, they did and will do again and again.
El Faro is open from 9am to 11pm, seven days a week. Evening meals are 17€ each, including a glass of wine and coffee. We’ll return soon.