Espetos; in other words, impaled fish grilled over hot coals, are the essence of summer on the Costa Tropical, as well as Costa de Sol.
For this reason chiringuitos all along our coast have old rowing boats filled with sand, on which they grill sardines and octopus. Before, they just used to dig a hole in the sand and grill them there, but then Costas turned around and decreed that you couldn’t make a fire on beaches, unless it was San Juan. So everybody had to go through the expense of finding an old boat (or knocking something up) if they wanted to provide these dishes.
Yet, chiringuitos don’t only have to put up with finicky Costas because you have people who come down to spend their summer holidays at the seaside… and complain.
Quite why people come to the coast with its bulging summer population in search of rest and peace, is a mystery, but some evidently do.
So, it should come as no surprise that a chiringuito on Playa San Cristóbal has been ordered to stop grilling sardines because of the smell. That doesn’t stop the complainers going to another chiringuito which is not opposite their flat and enjoying a portion or two of grilled sardines, cooked over open coals, of course!
During last summer the Town Hall sent out several warnings to the chiringuitos that have these grilling boats (barcas-barbacoas) because they had no devices for limiting the smoke or pong. Bear in mind that the Town Hall is quite happy to charge them fees each year for the priviledge using a barca-barbacoa.
So, when somebody spending the summer in a flat opposite the Paseo San Cristóbal, sent a complaint concerning Chiringuito Dorada de Plata via email to the Town Hall, the Policía Local came and shut the barca-barbacoa down.
No matter that Forbes has rated the Dorada de Plata as one of the best chiringuitos in Spain, nor that it has been grilling sardines for nearly 40 years!
Now, readers might remember that there was a similar situation on Puerta del Mar where a chiringuito had to foot the bill for erecting extensive measures to keep the smell and smoke down.
In conclusion, the mystery is why the Town Hall didn’t tell the moaning seafront, summer resident – one in 400 dwellings on that paseo, to go spend his summer holidays elsewhere?