December 28, 2014

Madrid: Our 8 Favorite Tastes

Disclaimer: don't read this if you're hungry!

This little entry is dedicated to the most delicious foods we enjoyed in Madrid. We spent about half of the time of our five days there eating out. Because we rented an apartment through AirBnB, we did do a significant amount of cooking and picnic packing to save some money and take breaks from heavy restaurant meals.
Chocolat Madrid
I will go back here every time.
Sometimes a place is so good, I have to go twice...the first time, I went alone. I walked into the cafe, the three waiters said, "Hola," and waited for me to say something. I said, "Chocolate?" And it was all good. The "hot chocolate" is more like awesome warm pudding with very buttery (not cinnamon sugary) churros that matched perfectly with the dark-chocolate-sauce-in-a-cup. When I went back with Marc, I tried the porras, which tasted a lot like donuts. Yummmmmmm. The other great thing about this place? Extremely reasonably priced, especially when taking places like Parisian Angelina's into consideration.

D'Ch Churros
Who knew churros could be so exciting?

These were the teaser churros.
Churro creations at
the Christmas market.
The Americanized/Mexicanized version of churros is only with cinnamon sugar. To the Spaniards, that's just one idea for a churro. A normal churro is buttery. Special churros get toppings. Like every kind of chocolate, oreo cream, coconut, sprinkles, ham, cheese, you name it. I ordered mini churros with bacon and maple syrup. They gave me 6, I could have eaten 20. D'Ch was right by the Atocha train station, and a perfect pre-trip or post-trip snack!

Their menu had pictures!
This huge place had a very cozy feel to it, made possible by the specialized areas of the bakery, bar, and the upstairs and downstairs dining rooms. We only stopped in for coffee, but the pastry selection was incredible and the food we saw served looked amazing, too.
High table at the window, please.
Based off an Instagram recommendation by Kate at Oh hello, Spain, I ventured here solo on our last morning in Madrid. I ordered the French toast. I want it to be my last meal before I die. Fresh grapefruit orange juice. Expertly grilled thick bacon. Chocolate caramel drenched bananas. I see from the photo that syrup was included, but I don't remember needing it.... It may not look like a lot of food, but it was one of those meals that was so perfect because it was like the main dish and the dessert combined.

Here's another place that was so good, we went twice! Fried calamari with wasabi mayo was our favorite. I hate mayonnaise, but the wasabi flavor was incredible! We also tried fried snap peas with syrup, caprese sandwich, pastrami snack plate, bread rolled teriyaki sushi, fried potato bombas, and I had a fun red wine called "Bicycle." No pictures of this place, but for a guaranteed creative tapas tasting experience in a cool ambiance, go to La Musa.

Toro Tapas

While this may clearly be a tourist trap on the way to the Palacio Real, they still had good prices and very tasty tapas. The three tostas you see on the right were salmon, shrimp, and ham with brie cheese. The sangrias were full of fruit, and it was open on Christmas! It made for a completely satisfying Christmas lunch.

SwagVil-Style Tapas Crawl
On our last night in Madrid, we totally winged it. From Plaza Mayor to Cava Baja, it will totally work in your favor. We only lasted through three restaurants (three wines/sangrias...), but I'm sure the more determined can last through five or six! Here are notes from the best two places we passed through.

Mesón Don Carnal 
The service was a bit confusing (the waitress tried to force a more expensive item on us when we had really ordered the half-serving), but aside from that, we really liked the tapas we chose here. The chorizo and burgos really tasted well together. 

Diaz y Larrouy
Cheesy applesauce and honey sobrasada!
This place was my favorite of the evening. There was just one guy who acted as host, bartender, waiter, busboy, server, and cook! He did a great job, and their menu had two of the best tosta tastes ever: sobrasada (pork sausage) over honey and melted cheese over applesauce. The tastes were unbelievably delicious and interesting with the perfect harmony of sweet and savory on perfectly toasted bread. These are the tapas I will try to replicate in the future.

We know all too well from living in France that Paris is the "moveable feast." However, we found Madrid to be much cheaper and just as competitive in their tastes. Does that make Madrid better? For us, yes. It all comes down to the kind of food you like...and if you prefer to enjoy it under the sunshine or the rain.

Madrid: Our 8 Favorite Tastes on iOS & Android
Find the rest of my navigational GPSmyCity app article cities HERE.