The first of my Mallorca reviews, a little slow in coming, I know, but I have been bogged down in work since we got our delayed flight home, was from the last day of work today our visit, although after eating and drinking half of Banyalbufar, I promise there will be more to come! After some confusion over which bus stop we needed to use to travel back to Palma, we got chatting to a fellow traveler who was celebrating the anniversary of a journey he made by public transport and hitchhiking through the Americas from Canada to Panama, so he offered us a ride. By way of return we offered him some food.
I typed the familiar “gluten free near me” into google and the closest place that came up was Buscando El Norte. Their menu is on their site and explains which dishes are either suitable for coeliacs or can be easily adapted. This filled me with confidence! The warnings I read online about it getting busy and it being advised to reserve were true, as we were very early for lunch service we managed to sneak a table, although it quickly filled with locals.
The menu was easy to navigate, and our server Ximena was very helpful, even checking if the crisps they put out on the table were gluten free. Sadly they weren’t although that just made more room for the delicious things I ordered. We opted for a Mallorcan octopus dish, a king prawn salad, some yucca fries and some gluten free bread for me. Many of the dishes from the small plates could be adapted for coeliacs, but I’m not sure if you would have got the full effect of the dish, because the full gluten versions were paired with some amazing sounding specialty breads.
The star of the show was the octopus dish, 2 locally caught baby octopus, on an apple based sauce, with chilli oil and topped with toasted quinoa. The octopus was tender, and the sauce and the chilli oil combined well to compliment it, sweetness and spice in just the right quantities. The quinoa gave crunch, texture and a more savoury flavour.
The GF bread was very good! I’m often complaining that I struggle to find a decent baguette that I can eat, but this was toasted, crunchy on the outside and quite soft in the middle, but with plenty of bite. Ideal for soaking up the amazing sauce from the octopus! As were the yucca fries, which to the uninitiated sit somewhere between potato and parsnip flavour wise, with a slight sweetness that really worked with the other dishes we ordered.
We also had the king prawn salad, with mango and papaya. The dish was plentiful and the prawns were big, fat and juicy as they should be! The dressing had a tasty punch of sesame which helped balance the sweetness from the main ingredients. I was really pretty full by this point, and although the salad was described as something to compliment your meal, it was quite a generous size, although the deep shape of the bowl made it a little bit difficult to share.
They have a good house red, plenty of choice across their wine list, and I noticed from their social media that they serve a GF beer too. Next time we travel to see friends on Mallorca I would love to visit Buscando El Norte again, and to try a few more things on the menu. All of the dishes I saw going past the table looked colourful and inviting, although it might be difficult to resist a revisit on the octopus dish! The restaurant is conveniently located a few blocks from the Estació Intermodal, so if you are travelling through Palma to another part of the island by bus or train, this place makes for an easy and delicious refuelling point.