We had been to Laia once before (read about it here) and for the most part enjoyed a delicious menu del día lunch on the terrace. The single negative aspect was our waitress, who was the size of a decent rugby player and about as communicative & pleasant. But we were able to ignore that and savour the meal.
But our Aussie Melbourne mates David & Carolyn had dropped by for a sweet visit and for their final Hondarribian meal we put Laia at the top of our list. It is a real menu del día (€22 per person for 3 courses, wine, water, bread & coffee) with excellent food and stunning views of the Basque Countryside – away we went.
And we were in luck – our brunhilda of a waitress was nowhere in sight and instead we were warmly greeted & seated by about as effervescent a Basque person I have ever come across. She was particularly tickled by the fact that David & Carolyn were Aussies as her son was living & studying in Sydney.
For starters, the crowd went 50-50 with 2 of us opting for the potato, leek & smoked bacalao (cod) salad, and the other 2 decisively picking the salomoreja (tomato gazpacho). We all exchanged tastes and defended our choices as the better of the two, but no one really lost out. Although I’d still make the case my ensalada nudged out the gazpacho!
When it came to the mains, we had a difficult but ultimately simple choice. The pesca del día (fish of the day) was once again the Basque favourite – bacalao (cod) – which we’d all had a fill of in the past couple of days. The next option was ‘callos y morros a la manera tradicional’ – tripe and pig snouts in a traditional manner. Safe to say no one picked that…so we all went with the grilled hamburger and excellent it was too. All washed down with a weighty white Verdejo from Finca Montepedreso, that was a deep golden hew more akin to a Chardonnay than what I know of Verdejos. We will be on the look out for that white winner for summer quaffing…
The dessert choices covered 3 of the 4 on offer…Alex & Carolyn chose the white chocolate ‘brownie’ with strawberry sorbet, David made a bee line for the rice pudding (sorry, no pic as not too photographic) and I chose the melón mojito with fresh cheese ice cream. All were yum…
So if you find yourself in Hondarribia, and it is close to lunch time (Spanish time that is), and you want a menu del día several notches above the median for a fair price and beautiful views – go to Laia Erretegia!