…you’re probably not in Spain.
If you’re a vegetarian, I’m sorry. Truly. But beware that it would be difficult to live in Spain. It is possible, but they believe that vegetarian means eating tuna instead of ham. Sort of like this scene….
While my parents were here and while it was the holiday break I had a lot more time to explore new restaurants and eat great food all over La Rioja and Madrid. The Menu del dia/ plat du jour is the best idea/ thing ever. Someone do this in Chicago. PLEASE.
Now here is my attempt at being Rick Steves in terms of food.
I´ll give you the low down on my favorites starting in Madrid.
Txakolina: C/ Cava Baja 26 Madrid, Spain
This place took me back to the AMAZING world famous pintxos (peen-chos) of Donostia/ San Sebastian. They had Txakoli which of course is one of, if not my favorite, drinks. Sparkling white wine more or less- similar to “cider” or Sidra I suppose.
Vinoteca Barbechera: Plaza Santa Ana http://www.vinoteca-barbechera.com/index2.html, and as you can see they have many other locations….
We got the croquetas de espinacas y de bacalao (spinach and cod) And the tortilla de la casa ( the traditional spanish tortilla or rather “omelet” their way.)
Plaza Santa Ana is a cute area right by La puerta del Sol. Plus the area has the best street names, and one of my heroes used to live in the area….see below. I would say go there and walk around and you’re sure to find a lot of good tapas places.
Museo de Jamon: There are a few locations, and this one was between Plaza Santa Ana and Sol. It’s basically an awesome ham filled deli where you can eat sandwiches and grab a beer. DELIGHTFUL.
In Logrono, you can’t go wrong on Calle Laurel or San Juan.
First of all, Logrono isn’t that big but this street has a website. http://callelaurel.net/
Some of my favorites are: Blanco y Negro for Matrimonio o queso de cabra con frambuesa, Gargonich for patatas bravas, Los Rotos, legit sized bocadillos, La Taberna de Baco because once there was a cute bartender? I could go on forever…just go.
La comida: Menu del dia! *
* Menu del dia: The most awesome thing ever. At lunch time most restaurants will have a fixed menu usually around 10-12 euros, up to 18 if you want to get really fancy. This includes a 1st plate (primer plato) usually a pasta, salad, soup option. There might even be some vegetables sprinkled on your ham 🙂 . A second plate (segundo plato) is usually the meat and or fish option. You also get a bottle of wine, water and you can choose between coffee or dessert. GASP. It’s so much food and you barely need dinner. $ave that money.
Imagine that on New Years Eve in a big City you have no real plans, no reservations, and no amigos. How do you end up at a fabulous restuarant 50 meters from your hotel with private service at a reasonable dinner time (7 or 8 p.m i think)? Be the Campbell’s. Or, go here….
Caffe dei Poeti: C/Prado 4 Madrid, Spain
It’s more Italian style, but that doesn’t weird me out as much as eating Sushi in Spain. I had a delicious lasagna and the menu had cute quotes about poetry all over it.
“Yo se que la poesia es imprescindible, pero no se para que.” Jean Cocteau.
On our day trip to Toledo we had a recommendation to go here…
La Abadia: Plaza de San Nicolas, 3
We arrived just before the rush around 1:30 so we could put our names in as a reservation. It’s right off the main plaza area and by what else but a church. sheesh.
Then por fin, Logrono. What other restaurant could I take my parents to besides the King of Ham after almost everything we ate, including salad, had ham in it?
El Rey de Jamon: C/ Portales 45 Logrono, Spain
It has an amazing location by the Cathedral, and plaza del Mercado. Sometimes when a restaurant has such a good location you question whether the place is really good, or just lucky to be there. This place is GOOD. Of the 3 dessert options, we got them all. Just in case. Time to slip into the leggings….
I’ll leave you with this last restaurant in San Millan de la Cogolla which has a population of about 200-300 people and a total of 2-3 restaurants (from what I saw/ looked up).
Asador Serrano: C/Mayor 116 San Millan de la Cogolla, Spain
We all make assumptions for better or for worse. I assumed that this restaurant would be very cozy and village-y and offer some good hearty food with a fire blazing in a stone hearth. Are you with me on this image? Well from the outside it appeared that this would be true, while inside was sleek and modern. I mean, white, silver, fancy napkins, flowers, cool wine bottle holder……Really confused. The food was great and we all got something good even though our waitress whispered the options.
I haven’t officially made any resolutions since I rarely do, but I think I should probably start eating more fruit again. I started off strong buying apples at the supermarket once I figured out how, but I think I need to unclog my arteries of ham and olive oil for a few days.
I also resolve to not give in to pretending i’m from the U.K. It’s just “Z” for me. You can say Zed all you want kiddos. I also haven’t got a rubber, but I do have an eraser. More later.