These two posts are about us trying to explain ourselves…mainly for the extra amount of fat we came back with from our Spanish adventure. Initially I wanted to only do a single post on the food, but to be honest, it would’ve ended up missing lots of details as I am really trying to keep my word count in check. I hope that by the end of these fattening series posts you will understand why we probably won’t expose perfectly toned bodies at our first pool party… But maybe we’ll be lucky enough to not have pool-appropriate weather until we’ll be back on track with our body-fat percentage!
First of all, aside for the tapas, I found Madrid food to be more to my taste than the food I ate in Barcelona. But that might only be me, because Barcelona’s food is mostly based on sea creatures, which I can’t stand, while in Madrid I found a wide variety of all the things I love: cheese, salads, cakes.
We ate at six different places during our stay there, though we didn’t take any pics of the first place we had dinner mainly because D left the camera at the hotel (yes, I’m talking about the first day we got there). It wasn’t a notable place anyway, as the food was plain at best. This terrace was located in Plaza Mayor, and we each had a paella that wasn’t taste-bud amazing for any of us. This just goes to prove that one should not dine in tourist-popular locations when visiting a big city.
Let’s just cut the small talk and get down to analysing all the other five places we ate. Most days we only ate dinner at about 6:30 in the evening, mostly because we don’t really eat late when we’re at home either so why change that. The complicated thing about that is that in Madrid most restaurants tend to serve dinner at about 8:30-9:00 p.m. We didn’t get discouraged by that and found some beautifully delicious locations for those of you that like an early dinner just like us.
After purposely ignoring our first dinner in Madrid, let’s start with the first photo-documented day:
Here we had our one and only proper (if you only take into consideration the time) lunch. After wondering the alleys of Buen Retiro Park for about six hours at 17 degrees, all we really wanted was to find a nice terrace to have a green tea break. So we stopped at Vips and after a thorough analysis of the menu, we decided to have a quick bite as well. While D was at the bathroom (another problem that Madrid has: no public bathrooms anywhere!), I decided on us being healthy and opted for two things for both of us from the Fitness menu. I had a salad (can’t remember what it was called) and for D I chose the lean veal with sautéed green beans. He seemed satisfied with my choices when he found out that we were having lunch as well as a hot cup of green tea and patiently waited for our food.
To my surprise, the food came really quick despite the fact that the terrace was full, and that, in my book that is mandatory for any restaurant that gets praising from me as I hate waiting for food for too long. I become all cranky! At first glance the food looked really appealing and after we both tasted it we decided that this place needs to be recommended to other people as well. For the first time in my adult life I wasn’t able to finish a salad. Yes, it was that big! I have no idea how it got to be on the Fitness menu, but D had to eat a third as I was way beyond full.
This specific Vips (as you can find numerous Vips in Madrid) is located near the Westin Hotel at Fuente de Neptuno. I wouldn’t say this is an expensive food option, although it’s not on the cheap side either, as our entire lunch came at about 50E. Overall, if you’re in the area, you should really give this place a try. I can’t really say that this one is a must-go-to place as we only had one course which in all honesty was very good.
That evening, after yet another few hours spent exploring the streets, we found Hard Rock Cafe. We do admit that we are biased when it comes to HRC, therefore, to compensate, we are going to put it last on our must-eat places from Madrid. I say we are biased because we always eat at HRC when we’re away and D always has the Local Burger. On top of all that, we spent last Christmas at Hard Rock Hotel&Casino in Punta Cana. Maybe one day we’ll do a top on HRC’s Local burgers.
D obviously had the above mentioned burger, while I had the vegetable (shocker!) fajita. Now I kid you not when I say that I am the type of person that eats their pizza with a fork and knife, so imagine my surprise when my food came and I realised that I had to assembly it myself. I do admit the playing the shawarma-guy role was a lot of fun and the food was incredibly good. To accompany our dinner, we also had a glass of white Spanish wine, which, to be honest, didn’t really impress us at all.
In the end, since we were quite full, we decided on sharing a dessert. When our waitress came, we were almost sure that a mistake had been made as the thing was enormous! As you can see in the photo, D used me for scale. We had to sacrifice ourselves and we managed to finish it and it was really really good.
I’d say that the check wasn’t in anyway a surprise, HRC keeping it’s prices globally, so however much you pay at your local HRC, that’s exactly how much you are going to pay no matter where you are.
The following two days we had dinner at Cappuccino because, yes, the food was that good! We hardly ever do that when we are abroad as we are always on the lookout for new and exciting restaurants, but every once in a while, a place like this one comes along and we are basically hooked. We only did this one more time, in January in Ischgl, but that is a story for another post.
First and most important of all, this was the first place in Madrid where we found Sangria de Cava, our favourite Spanish drink ever since we visited Barcelona, and to top it all, this was the best we’ve ever tried. You can say that they got us hooked on the booze and you wouldn’t be wrong. Until the food came, that is…
On Saturday I ordered the kale salad and it was absolutely amazing. I’m not the biggest kale fan, so when I find something that’s that delicious and contains mostly this superfood, I tend to be very excited and willing to try everything on the menu. Surprisingly D ordered the Pepperoni Pizza. Surprising because he always orders either steak or burger, almost never pizza. Since I’m a big pizza fan myself, I couldn’t resist and took a bite and you could actually feel the great quality of all the ingredients used. It was a pleasure for my taste buds and D agreed completely! Since we were having such a lovely evening we decided to try some desserts as well: the Banofee and the Apple pie. Those two desserts got me obsessed with the idea of coming back there the following day, and got D to being obsessed with trying their in-house made burger.
Since I’m not the type of cruel person to deny my man his burger, we came back the next day and even before we took our seats we ordered the usual Sangria de Cava. D ordered his burger which actually came in the form of two mini-burgers, that honestly were the best burgers he’s ever had in his life, and he’s had quite a few. I second that opinion as I couldn’t stop drooling over his burgers once I got a bite and tasted their heavenly aroma. I think it must be the spices the cook puts in the meat and the sauces he makes for these burgers. Either way, this is definitely a must-try in Madrid.I ordered the Mozzarella di Buffala salad, which was extremely good, just like the Kale salad from the day before. At the end, we both shared a Carrot cake, that quite probably is the best Carrot cake we’ve ever had.
I loved this place because, besides the extraordinary food, had a magnificent decor designed by Jaques Grange. You can find this place quite easily, as it’s located at Puerta de Alcala. Both times we ate there, the price was barely the same, around 90E, but it’s worth every single cent. The staff is very friendly and well-trained, and the food comes very fast.
Since I don’t really want to make this post too long, I’m going to stop rambling now and tell you about the other two amazing restaurants from Madrid in another upcoming post.