The Park Slope Gastronome

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Monday, February 15, 2010

18 Hours in Madrid

What do you do when you have 18 hours in Madrid? You drink a lot and you eat a lot.

Our first stop was Madrid Madriz. After a long day of flying, nothing like a heuvos fritos con bistec amid a sea of cigarette smoke to stave off the jetlag.

Molly agrees.

Lolo went with the morcilla.

And then it was off to the Mercado de San Miguel, a renovated, covered market with a couple dozen stalls each with their own speciality: pinchos, oysters, beans and grains, cheese and more. This was the jamon stand. We were too stuffed to try anything after that huge meal, but we got in a drink at the vermouth stand.

Expert carving at work.

Afterwards, we hit the restaurant at the top of an El Corte Inglés department store, where Lolo promised the best view of Madrid. I drank many of these - cañas - basically a small draft beer, kind of like a half pint you'd find in England. This is the only way I want to drink beer from now on.

He wasn't joking! It was overcast, but the view was still great.

And then it was off to meet some more people at another location which I can't remember, where more cañas and pinchos (patata bravas and tortilla de patatas). What I do remember is that despite the tiny size of this place, they had their own jamon and jamonera! I'm sure this is standard.

Our final stop was at Txangurro with Molly's friends Carla and Ernesto - more cañas, more tapas, more cigarette smoke. Pretty awesome despite the latter. We had bonito, and pulpo and more tortilla de patata and to end night, a round of gin and tonics. Want to know how gin and tonics are served in Madrid? You get brought a glass of ice and a bottle of tonic. The server then proceeds to pour and keeps going until you say when. You can make them pour all the way to the top of the glass and that would be fine. These people are crazy!

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