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Revisiting one of my favourite restaurants on the Island

18th August 2017

Early coffee at the 17th Century Plaza opposite the village church here in Sant Francesc Xavier (San Francisco Javier)

Then some shopping for souvenirs, a cup and a shirt

and then lunch at my favourite place on the island Can Simonet

For sangria


Melt in-your-mouth gnocchi with salmon in a cream sauce


and then a salad with cheese, grapes, peppers, and tomatoes

Followed by chocolate cake and coffee and watermelon…………..

A previous visit in 2016

If you want to know anything about the island you go ask Marina. She is a wise woman in most subjects. She is the "fixer". If you need something done or need to be connected to the right people you just follow the ancient stone walls to her100-year-oldd farmhouse and ask for Marina.

Yesterday I was eating paella with Marina and friends and after we all went swimming naked in the sea. Marina of course knew the best secluded spot on the island. I was out there in a depth of 20 feet in the water dog paddling trying not to be overly alarmed about how far we were from the shore when I turned to Marina casually to hide my fear and asked about the best place on the island to eat.

She said without hesitating "S'Abeurada de can Simonet in In Sant Francesc Xavier (San Francisco Javier) there is a place only us locals go to and it is owned by locals from La Mola and they put out a chalkboard and you choose two dishes from the list and you get a dessert for €9.90 (Now €11 in 2017) and this food is made with love and is the best on the island."

I immediately turned around and swam 100 strokes to get to safer water and made plans to get a table at S'Abeurada de Can Simonet.

The directions were clear. Go down a street with high white walls and right across from the town post office is the restaurant which proved to be a cheerful place full of light and art and air.

We sat outside and chatted with the server who said to wait 20 minutes for the blackboard. After 3/4 of an hour (because this is Spain) it appeared with a list of maybe 15 items to choose from. I was ready but the server informed us we were to wait another 20 minutes for the kitchen to open. Whatever…..

I had fast wifi so it was cool to sit outside on the street and enjoy a cafe and surf the net. Finally, about half an hour later I gave my order of pulpo (octopus) grilled and gnocchi stuffed with potato in a mushroom sauce. Homemade cheesecake for dessert.

My designated dining companion, the vegan, ordered gazpacho and a salad, and melon for dessert.

Each dish was served separately and I was delighted. The octopus was grilled and charred perfectly in a white sauce that was pretty tasteless but that did not deter me. It was the tentacles I was more interested in.

Let me tell you a story of the first time I tried an octopus. I was a 20-year-old hippie hitchhiking in Europe for a year. It was 1973 and me and Star, my girlfriend, hitchhiked from Paris to the border with Spain.

Not an easy feat in those days and we walked across the border in the mountains and it was cold. We came upon a small town and discovered a simple fact and that was that absolutely no one in Spain spoke English and we did not speak any Spanish.

We were hungry and it was early morning and I was anxious to get some bacon and eggs. I looked at the menu but couldn't understand a word so I pointed and hoped it would be ok. Presently a plate with a big ugly octopus was set in front of me. I was terrified. I managed to bravely eat a bite before I spit out this rubbery atrocity.

My Jewish stomach kicked in. Feh!

I bravely pointed to another thing on the menu hoping that would be better. Presently a boiled chicken with fatty skin was set before me. I had just discovered the Spanish word for chicken. Pollo!!!! This was not a good moment.

I enjoyed the grilled tentacles.

My designated dining companion immensely enjoyed her gazpacho slurping up the soup studded with fresh beets.

Her salad was nice dotted with many nuts and seeds.

Then the server brought the gnocchi and it was a delight with walnuts and herbs and zucchini chopped fine and mushrooms in a light savory sauce. A perfect dish. I used the bread they served to sop up the sauce.

I asked if the cheesecake was homemade

and I was assured it was and for the island, it was the best cheesecake I have had compared to the blah stuff that is commercially made.

Marina was right of course because she always is.

It was a fine meal and for 9.90 euros you cannot find better.

All photos in this article © Bernadette Mundy & Jonathon Lipsin

Words © Jonathon Lipsin.

You can find Jonathon's other Formentera adventures here:

Returning to the Island made Jonathon relive some of his early favorites in music the mixes below have some of them. Jonathon's music picks can be found here:

S'ABEURADA DE CAN SIMONET Carrer des Pla del Rei, Sant Francesc Xavier, Formentera

+34 971 32 35 62

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