Feel free to treat Gran Canaria Local as your own personal tour guides. We’ll share our favourite spots on the island. Allowing you to worry less about your itinerary.
Of course, Gran Canaria Local isn’t only a tourist resource. We help out our fellow residents too. Which is why we’re reviewing Bar Restaurante Tagoror. Hey, we’ve all got to eat, right?
Before making our last Friday visit to Bar Restaurante Tagoror, we assumed there were two distinct groups which this Ingenio cave restaurant attracted. 1.) Tour parties during the week. 2.) Locals on weekends. Imagine our surprise then when a blonde Brit eating with her family on the next table wished us “buen provecho“. We also now know the following:
- An ensalada mixta truly can be tuna-free
- The owner of Bar Restaurante Tagoror moved mountains
- You can sleep off a hearty meal at Bar Restaurante Tagoror
1. An ensalada mixta truly can be tuna-free
Unless he’s making one himself with sweet red onions from Gáldar and Mogán’s creamy avocados, Mr Gran Canaria Local has struggled on the salad front on GC. Why? Because a mixed salad invariably contains tuna. Even if you ask for one without.
Mr GCL has lost count of the number of times he’s ordered an ensalada mixta sin atun and received one con atun. He then sends it back to the kitchen, expecting the waiting staff to bring him a new one. Only to get the old one back minus most of the physical evidence of the fish, but with its lingering flavour.
Tuna’s a bully. The beauty of the salad is that the ingredients combine; to create a brand new taste sensation. Not if that salad contains tuna, as atun‘s just too dominant an assault on your palate.
Mr Gran Canaria Local therefore smiled when the Bar Restaurante Tagoror take on the mixed salad arrived to the table, sans tuna. There were red onions and avocados, though, along with olives from Temisas. And the ensalada mixta came with other tasty veggie-friendly dishes, including pimientos de Padrón, papas arrugadas con mojo, and champiñones al ajillo.
2. The owner of Bar Restaurante Tagoror moved mountains
We leave the coolness of the cave to take in the view of the Barranco de Guayadeque from the sheltered terrace as we enjoy a post-meal coffee. Where were run into Don Bartolomé Rodríguez López, Bar Restaurante Tagoror’s owner. He’s keen to know who’s been taking photos and why.
After explaining, Rodríguez López asks one of his waitress daughters to fetch a copy of En el corazón de la Montaña: La vida de un hombre que hizo realidad un sueño. The owner signs the inside cover before passing it over to Mr GCL. This book narrates the immaculate conception of Bar Restaurante Tagoror.
The restaurant’s also known as the Cueva de Bartolo, after Don Bartolomé. The owner was, in fact, born and bred in a cave house in the Barranco de Guayadeque. But one without the mod cons these abodes have today.
What started off as a modest bar developed into a restaurant in 1966, after years of excavation. Rodríguez López and wife watched as the ravine’s population shrunk from 600 to 80 in the 60s, with the younger generation moving to Agüimes and Ingenio for work. They decided to continue to work from home so to speak, by extending their business.
Their setting has been both cruel and kind to them. Kind in that both locals and tourists love to escape to one of the most beautiful and accessible locations on Gran Canaria. Cruel in that they lost one of their sons who fell from a cliff whilst out hunting nearby.
3. You can sleep off a hearty meal at Bar Restaurante Tagoror
As well as catering for hungry visitors, Bar Restaurante Tagoror have cave houses you can rent out. So you can live the life of the canarii. These were the original inhabitants of the Barranco de Guayadeque and beyond on Gran Canaria, before they were conquered by the Spanish in the late 15th century.
Tagoror’s the canarii name for meeting place. The elders of these Berber-descending people covened at a circular enclosure of stones to discuss either legal or religious matters. The meetings were chaired by a high priest.
There are plenty of references to the canarii in the restaurant itself. Look out for the idol of Tara, the canarii‘s fertility of goddess. And taste it in the mousse de gofio, the toasted cornmeal which formed the staple diet of Gran Canaria’s aborigines. After filling ourselves, we left with some regret that we weren’t booked into one of the restaurant’s cave houses.
Disclaimer: Mr Gran Canaria Local ate a complimentary lunch at Bar Restaurante Tagoror. Along with driver Francisco and guide Juan Carlos. This was paid for by the Gran Canaria Tourist Board as Mr GCL was on a press trip for a forthcoming edition of Cara Magazine.