Of course everyone knows the famous spain Sherry but there is so much more to order. Spain produces a great deal of whines, actually, its next to France one of the worlds most productive wine-countries. There is also Spanish beer, yet i am not that much of a fan of the spanish beer. (except for damn cerveza) You have of course the famous Sangria but there is also a good deal for non-alcaholicdrinks. All the pubs and bars have at least mosto, some of them have non-alcaholiccocktails, and naturally there is the variation of coffee, which is normally espresso, called cafe solo. very strong by the way. So what are popular drinks? 1. Cava (sparkling wine) 2. Rioja/tinto (red whine) 3. Sherry (fino is dry and a good aperatif, amontilado is a very strong sherry) 4. cerveza (beer: in Madrid you mostly will find the Mahou branch. beer is served from the tap, in a small glass (cana) or in a big glas (jarra) 5. Sangria (a mixture of red wine and limonade, with fresh fruits in it, vey cold served. 6. Cubalibre (rum-cola) 7. chupitos (all sorts of strong liquors served in tiny glasses meant to drink ad-fundum) 8. warm chocolde (very popular amongst party people before going to bed: they drink the chocolate together with Churros, a sort of paste in the form of a stem and dip the churro in the chocolade..yummiie!) 9. mosto (very popular drink, non-alcahol yet it tastes a bit like vermouth) 10. cafe solo (espresso, very strong served in tiny cups)
There is not such thing as the typical Madrelenian food: Madrid possesses restaurants who serve food that comes from all the different corners of the country, food from Andalusia, Valencia, Asturia, Castilia etc. Yet there are some very popular dishes. Normally your meal consist out of: soup or salad, the a fish/meat dish, followed by flan (pudding) or ice. The following dishes are highly recommemndable. 1. Paella (originall y the idea was that it is a dish containing all the leavings from other coocked dishes of the week. it contains therefore a variation of seafood, chicken, rabbit, pork,gamba's, mussels, beans, tomatoes and paprika. the paella always is served with rice) 2. Pisto (just like ratatouille, a mixture of paprika, tomatoes, onions, courgette) 3. Fabada (beans, bacon, sausage, ham) 4. Pollo Ajillo (baked chicken in white wine juice) 5. Sopa de Ajo (soup which is filled with bread, eggs and paprika) 6. Cocido (leek, cabbage, potatoes, turnip, carrot, sausage, chicken, ham) its very popular in Spain, yet the madrilean variant seems to be the best one. 7. Gazpacho (its a cold soup, a mixture of bread and cumcumber and tomatoes and olive oil.vedgetables and croutons) 8. Pimientos rellenos (hot red paprikas filled up with fish or meat)
The ultimate Madrelian thing is the taberna: the typical pub/bar dating already from the medeaval area. Since the 14 th century the taberna is a phenonemon that is typically connected to the city of Madrid. These old bars are charestically decorated by decorative tiles on the wall depicting different cheesey images, the wooden counter from behind which food and drinks are being served, the grand clock above the bar, and the tables of the places are mostly made out of marble. Madrid has some 100 old tabarnas amongst which the following ones are the best known and the most striking. 1. Viva Madrid (in the near of Plza santa anna, its very popular amongst youth and students) 2. Casa Carmencita (originally a pub for artists, politici and itellectuals, it has a pleasant interior dominated by wooden decorations, tiles and gaslight) 3. La Bola (a red couloured pub, wich is about 200 years old and serves the best cocido in Madrid)
Mostly it is like this: if you order a glas of wine or beer (or a delicious glas of Mosto) you get tapas along with it. After these first appetizers you continue on having more tapas either being raciones (bigger tapas) or small portions. Eating tapas is not only having a bite going together with your drink, its more: its a way of life. Its a sort of cult that combines drinking, eating with a good conversation, cosy atmothshere and meeting new people. There are many sorts of tapas of which the following are the most popular and best known. 1. Patatas Bravas (baked potatoes in tomatoe juice with unions and spanish pepper) 2. Banderillas (little snacks sticked on a cocktailstick, like fish, shrimps, eggs or vetgetables) 3. Albondigas (meatballs in tomatoe sause) 4. Tortilla a la espnola (the thick omelet made by onions, potatoes, eggs and spices) 5. Jamon serrano (ham with bead) 6. Chorizo (a sausage whith paprika taste eaten cold) 7. Salpicon (a salade containing sea fruits like shrimps, lobster and tomatoes and paprika's very hot spices over it) 8. Calamares fritos (fried cuttle fish with lemon dressing) 9. Fritura de pescado (baked seafruits with lemon dressing: its mostly fresh fish or cod) 10. almendras fritas (pistachos, peanuts or sunflower pitts, all of them very very salty!)
As said before: comida (the meal) in Madrid has different rules. In case you want to join the habits of the locals be aware of the following. When you want to have a warm meal, go to the restaurant around 3 pm, and expect it to be open till max 4.30 pm. So if you arrive at 6 pm at a bar or restaurant dont be surprised that they are either closed or dont serve food. If you want dinner around 6 pm you have to go to the moore touristic restaurants which is of cuz less fun. At around 10 pm its dinner time again, either you make a reservation for the restaurants (the neighboarhood of Chuecca has many trendy and cheap restaurants) or visit some tapa's bars (La Latina is exactly the right place to find them ; near the Plaza de la Paja there is a street with some 20 tapa's bars which are every night overcrowded by locals and have an excellent atmosphere)
As if the Madrilenes make a game out of it, they really are eager to set themselves apart from the rest of West- and Central Europe as it comes to eating-bussiness. As for the morning, the Europeans have a normal breakfast like bread or porridge, yet, the Madrilenes only have a cup of coffee eventually going to gether by eating a coockey, buiscuit or little peace of cake. At 3 pm its dinner time: they then eat their hot meal whereas other European countries have that dinner at 6 pm. Then, at around 10 or 11 pm the madrilenes are hungry again so then they start having their tapas, t.i. a variation of small portions of delicatesses like anjovis, olives, cheese, salads, suasages etc. This goes on till early night as the tapa-bars cloose at 2 am. Therefor its easy to guess why the next day at morning they only have coffee in stead of a full breakfast
Spanish in general, and Madrileños in particular, are ‘nomadic drinkers’; they will very often hit 8 or 10 bars in a quiet night out. With bars open 24-hours, however, the atmosphere is more one of a relaxed ‘migration’ than a frantic pub-crawl.
For real Spanish flavour the tiny, tobacco-stained, barrel-lined dive of La Venencia (Echegaray, 7) is Madrid’s homage to Jerez (sherry) and is worth a visit to try some of the many tipples on offer.
While every Spaniard is a wine and sherry aficionado, of sorts, beer remains totally undistinguished. A bar is unlikely to have more than one brand of beer on tap (Mahou, San Mig or, if the place is really cosmopolitan, Andalusian Cruzcampo or Heineken) and it is unusual for a local to have any preference at all. Typically he will simply ask for una caña, which is small enough so that it will never get warm at the bottom and leaves just enough time for a conversation and a tapa before moving on.
Every Spanish waiter will be au fait with more than twenty different coffee mixes and can guarantee just the right hue in your con leche, cortado, corto-de-leche, corto-de-café, sombra, semi-cortado…without the aid of a colour chart.
Guía del Ocio, the essential weekly publication of what’s on in the city, lists more than 500 restaurants in Centro catering for every taste from Afrodisiaca to Vegetariana. But the best way to sample the great variety of Spanish food is to spend an evening dining on tapas. Although some proficiency in Spanish is useful, the courage to give anything a try is more important, as you can simply point at what you fancy when you order your drink. The streets between Plaza Santa Ana and Sol are packed with tapas bars and some are renowned for particular specialities: try the chorizo in cider at Cervecería Alemana (Hemingway’s old hangout); garlic prawns at La Costa de Vejer; red-pepper salad at La Taurina; the patatas bravas (‘savage potatoes) at Las Bravas…
The most cost-effective meals are usually the midday menus del dia, which often consist of a choice of three courses, with wine, followed by dessert or coffee for around ₤6.
Madrid is obsessed with ham. Madrileños aman jamón. There are ham shops everywhere. There are ham shops next to ham shops. And in each ham shop there is hanging from the wall or ceiling these giant ham hocks. And the best part about it, is that "Spanish ham," o jamón ibérico, the common ham there, is none other than my favorite meat, prosciutto!
I had so much prosciutto in Madrid that I probably gained 8 pounds in 4 days, just from ham.
Last night, for dinner (which began at 11:30, standard time), I had jamón ibérico de bellotas, which wasa huge plate full of strips of prosciutto from "acorn-fed" ham. It cost 18€ and was worth every penny!
Some observations while dining in Spain:
1. They don't give you water when you sit down.
2. You don't tip the waiters, it's reflected in the price.
3. Therefore, the waiters don't try so hard [(sort of like communism)].
4. They charge you for bread!
5. They don't always bring you the check, you need to ask for it.
The food is delicious there, especially the jamón ibérico, the bread, el vino, la sangría, la paella, y los baguettes y quesos! Mmmmmmm!
This tip is for a great new website in English called CataVino. It has lots of information on Spanish and Portuguese wines. Includes some nice links and tasting notes and lots more.
Since Spain is known for its wine and is now being rediscovered, why not learn something about it before coming?
One of the things that can be enjoyed in Madrid is pinchos and tapas. PINCHOS are normally a slice of bread with something(in the picture tortilla de patata with confited onion,mmmmmmmmmm), salmon and salad, gulas, foie with strawberry jam, iberian ham , duck with avocado........
... and TAPAS is a dish with, for instance, potatoes, octopus, cheese, scamble eggs with asparrags(esparragos trigueros), sepia, stuffed peppers, pimientos de padrón, albondigas(meat balls), croquetas....
Spectacular pinchos in:
Juana la Loca
Pl. Puerta de Moros 4
91 364 05 25
Madrilenos like to go to bed late at night and wake up also late in the morning. They usually start their day with Chocolate 'con churros' (lightly fried fritters) or coffee with 'bollos'(rolls). Eat lunch at three o'clock, go back to work at four till seven or eight, and eat dinner at ten --at home; when they go out they eat dinner at eleven or even later.
You can imagine how difficult that was for us to adapt as our internal clock (hometime) was already 2 hours late. Even if we tryed to eat earlier that was made impossible as restaurants do not open (or serve you) before 1pm for lunches or 9pm for dinners, lol!
It's impressive, but I've never seen so many people in restaurants as in Madrid. Most restaurant have reservations, but some don't (I try 3 times over a restaurant and couldn't get a table!!!). As people here eat late (between 8pm and midnight), most restaurants have 2 shifts: one around 8pm and the other at 11pm. If you don't have a reservation, try going at 7:30pm or by 10pm, although you, like me, won't even have the chance to eat. So do make the reservation. For your own sake. For your hunger...
A typical dish that must be tried Paella is a traditional dish of Spain. Its home is Valencia, but variations exist in the different Spanish provinces. A colorful mixture of saffron-flavored rice and various meats, paella’s name comes from the paellera, the flat, round pan in which it is cooked. Traditionally, the paella is cooked out of doors, over a wood fire. To make a paella, first sauté meats, such as chicken, pork, rabbit, or seafood, such as clams, shrimps, mussels, crayfish, or squid. Use olive oil and season with onions, garlic and herbs. Next, cook rice, tomatoes, and saffron, simmering over a low heat. Finally, mix in the meats and garnished with peas, pimientos, and other vegetables.
Well, if you came to Spain, then you came to the right country, the country with reach gastronimic traditions and endless variety of food to offer....
Talking about Spain, Madrid is the quitessence of everything one can find travelling around, however there are some Musts, one shouldn't miss..... one of them is Jamon, or ham prepared in a very special way.... a special breed of big is fed only by acorns and when the time comes, big is killed, and its legs are got fermented in natural conditions for several years.... depending on length of fermentation, the quality of Jamon is graded from low to a very high...