I like to loosely group L´Escala into three areas or zones. They’re all nice in their own way, it just depends on what you’re looking for.
At one end there’s the peace and tranquillity of Montgo, with its neat little sandy cove, Cala Montgo, a great choice for a family beach day. (playa Montgo). At the other end is the casc antic or old town, which has a couple of much smaller beaches, rocky outcrops suitable for lounging and a greater number of bars, shops and restaurants.
In the middle you have Riells, a more modern creation with a much longer and wider beach and surrounding streets, better geared up for summer tourists with families. From here you can enjoy a 15-20 minute stroll along the Passeig Maritim, a wide walkway that hugs the coast, up to the old town. It’s quite rocky along here and not really promoted as a bathing area but there are fine views across the bay to distant towns like Empuriabrava and Roses.
Once you’ve reached the old quarter you can either keep walking with the sea to your right, or veer off into the maze of surrounding streets. There’s a much greater variety of shops, bars and restaurants within a very walkable area so take your time. It’s also where you’ll find Cerveseria (pub) Frankfurt. Plain looking and down to earth I guess it’s trying to imitate a German bierkeller which it does to a degree.
We liked the cosy looking wooden booths spread out along one side, the walls decorated with kitschy looking pictures and paraphernalia, somewhat adding to its Germanic feel. I’m not totally convinced but the bare stone walls,and the long mahogany coloured counter could be downtown Bavaria-if only for a fleeting moment.
Being English we’re more aware of the large round Guinness sign and plump for a pint of the dark stuff (6€). The laminated food menu is a masterclass in simplicity, tapas dishes to share, hot and cold baguettes, frankfurters/hot dogs and burgers with a variety of sides and toppings customised to your taste.
This isn’t a gourmet burger as such, think more like slightly fancy fast food. Prices aren’t over the top, my Angus 200 gram burger was 7.85€ with just an additional 1€ for extra onion, tomato and lettuce. One of us had the blood/black sausage hot dog- a bit different. Buns and bread rolls are the usual soft, pappy, tasteless kind, the three tapas dishes were what we expected.
If that hasn’t hit the spot there are of course desserts, and we chose a pastis de pastanaga (carrot cake) and a pastis de xocolate (chocolate cake).
Verdict. Sadly no thigh slapping lederhosen or frauleins to be seen but on our second visit, a Thursday, they had live music, a nice twist. On a tiny side note they didn’t mind our two well behaved dogs so that’s always a plus for us.
Final tally for 3, a bit higher than anticipated as the Guiness was going down too well, was 77€.