Last weekend, thanks to the joys of Ryan Air seat sales, I embarked on a trip to the Balearic island of Mallorca for a weekend away with nine pals. On Friday night, as recommended by the Lonely Planet guidebook, we had dinner at El Pilon.
The memories of this meal are slightly tarnished due to my kicking off the day with a glass of something sparkling at Stanstead Airport’s JD Wetherspoons at 11am. There I admitted it, yes I was in a Wetherspoons enjoying a boozy beans and bacon on toast for breakfast. I’ll never be trusted as a foodie again.
The day’s antics proceeded to include high altitude drinking – a sure-fire way to get you pi**ed, and on to the glorious pavements of Palma Mallorca for cava and Mallorcan-measured G&Ts.
No thanks to my map reading (Palma’s roads are confusing okay), on our way to find El Pilon we took an accidental detour and had the good fortune of whiling away an hour or two in casino-cum-bar Punta de Joc, lured by the neon door sign of four arrows pointing towards an apple!?
This bar is the sort of place to go if you really want a local experience eg. Dodgy old man’s bar Spanish-style. Still, despite beings shoved to the back of the establishment by the waiter to sit in a room resembling a youth hall, the stiff G&Ts,free bar snacks (when do you ever get that at home?) and mini-casino kept us all happy for some time.
Once we’d finally exited the mystique of possibly the best bar ever, we ventured through town and finally made into El Pilon.
What’s the deal: El Pilon is a small, cosy, touristy joint specialising in tapas and seafood found just off Passeig Born.
The meal got off to a great start with lashings of Rioja, garlic bread, and bread with tomato.
Highlights of our starters included the local speciality bacon-wrapped dates, which were absolutely fabulous, a generous-sized seafood platter, and broad beans with calamari.
The main complaint of the evening surrounded the meat. Several of the guys in the party ordered steak. Not only were they a little on the small side and some served up medium when the request was medium rare, but the biggest offence was a fillet steak being passed off as an entrêcote. Grumbles all round.
I opted for the two-person fish shared with my friend, which was nice but not spectacular, but due to prolonged drinking I can’t for the life of me remember what it was. Jess?
The waiters were jolly throughout and allowed us to make a racket and even brought us a nice homemade shot of something limoncello-like at the end of our meal. We then set off to partake in a bit of the Balearic nightlife.
Toilet Watch: Nothing to write home about.
The Final Word: El Pilon was a memorable meal, and ideal for a big group of friends, even if a little on the touristy side. Definitely worth a visit.
Just off Passeig Born, Palma Mallorca
Telephone: 971 717590