Ponderosa Beach, Platja de Muro
I make no apology for choosing a ‘chiringuito’ as my Restaurant of the Week. Hey, it’s the height of summer, and where do we want to eat lunch out in the heat of a Mallorcan August? Maybe within mere steps of the Caribbean-like turquoise sea at Platja de Muro? Ponderosa Beach ticks the boxes for location, delicious food and drinks, friendly service, and holiday vibes.
This family-run – and family-friendly – establishment first opened in the late ‘50s, serving refreshments to beachgoers. Today, Ponderosa Beach is in the hands of the third generation – Carlos, Marga, and Balta – who ensure the professional running of this trendy place while managing to maintain the laidback vibes that attract holidaymakers and locals. I’ve been eating here every summer since 2014, making many great memories along the way.
Sink your toes into the sand beneath your table and gaze at the beautiful Bay of Alcúdia, while you sip a cool drink. Ponderosa Beach offers cocktails (10 €) and mocktails (8 €), as well as wines, beers, and spirits. It’s a popular drinks spot after the kitchen closes at 17 h.
The menu offers starters, salads, paellas, dishes ‘from the land’ and ‘from the sea’, kids’ dishes, sides, and desserts – it’s worth saving space for their lemon pie or a couple of scoops of home-made ice creams or sorbets (lemon and basil, anyone?). Each dish on the menu is marked to show potential allergens. Daily suggestions are offered in addition.
Favourite starters include the zingy sea bass ceviche, croquetas, and Mediterranean squid with an orange-almond ‘Alioli’ dip – which can be gluten-free on request.
Steaming pans of paella and ‘fideuás’ are constantly leaving chef Rafael Serrano’s kitchen, and if you crave a well-made paella, it’s a place to satisfy that craving. Freshly cooked to order, prices range from 19 € to 30 € for the indulgent Barroco, made with queen scallops, red prawns, crawfish, prawn tails, cuttlefish, and mussels. The 20hr ‘Duroc’ pork ribs are a sticky-fingered delight if you prefer meat.
You need to book ahead for a table at Ponderosa Beach and once you’re at that table, it’s yours for two hours. And be sure to turn up on time – only 15 minutes grace is given before that lusted-after table becomes someone else’s.
In previous years, parking has been available on the rough Ses Casetes des Capellans car park but restrictions this year mean parking elsewhere – the library car park, or on the service road opposite Eroski are suggested. Nothing like a short walk to build an appetite for a memorable summer lunch at the beach.
Photos: Jan Edwards/Ponderosa Beach
Prices correct at time of writing.