Tapas!

©mylunchandinner

I love visiting Spain, specially Madrid.  I don’t know what it is with this city that makes me so excited when I get there and so sad when I have to leave.  I remember last year standing on the balcony of the hostel, looking at the Puerta del Sol. My eyes suddenly became watery. I didn’t want to leave, but I had to take a plane back to Mexico the next day and prepare for my move to Costa Rica…

Going back a few days before that awful Friday night, it was a beautiful evening. We had not eaten since having a sandwich at the Copenhague airport. Our plane had been delayed for about two hours, then the two hour flight plus the hour on train to downtown Madrid had made us hungry. Hubby’s mood was totally grumpy. Hunger brings the worst of him.  I can’t stop thinking at times how lucky he is that his bad moods don’t last for long because of this opportunity of having food right at hand and soon.

We left our things at the hostel, and then went looking for the oldest restaurant in Madrid. It is called El sobrino de Botín (Botin’s Nephew). Dad had told me where it was, but I think that the lack of sugar in my system made me get confused.  We went up and down Calle Mayor and never found it. Of course we never were going to, given that the restaurant is on another street. Hubby was furious by the time we went and came, so I decided to make a move to one of the Mesones located under the Plaza Mayor.

The Mesones are located in tiny caves under the Plaza Mayor.  Rumor has it that Luis Candelas, a Spanish Robin Hood kind of guy, used to hide in this small caves from the soldiers. The biggest cave is the host of a restaurant named after him, and of which I’ll talk in a later post.  The Mesones are small, cozy and full of life, but, most importantly, full of food. Each one of them has a specialty. My own favorite is Mesón del Champiñón. The one Hubby likes the most is Mesón de la Tortilla.

Given the conditions of Hubby, we went to Mesón de la Tortilla where the specialty is of course Tortilla Española. Tortilla is kind of an omellete, but it is not. Made with fresh potatoes, usually cut in thin slices, and eggs this dish can be breakfast, lunch dinner or tapa. In my opinion, the one served at the Mesón is the best. The slices of potatoes are cooked with salt, and while they are being turned all around in the casserole they are converted to a thick mash.  They then use the mashed potatoes to make a pan sized tortilla with a couple of eggs and olive oil.

©mylunchanddinner

We ordered our tortilla and a jug of sangria to drink. The sangria was brought first. It was really sweet and tasty. Made with red wine, lemon and orange juice and chopped fresh fruit, the drink has a taste that is not equalled in any other place in the world; not that I have been everywhere, but the places I’ve visited.

The tortilla came a few minutes later.  It is always served with pieces of bread, which I usually think are form a day before because they are kind of hard.  It doesn’t matter. The taste of the tortilla is always sublime. It is kind of salty, but not too much. The eggs feels fluffy and cooked just to the point. And the potatoes mmmm! The absolute best!

So… whenever you visit Madrid, you have to go Mesón de la Tortilla, located on Calle Cava de San Miguel, a few steps away form the San Miguel Market.

© mylunchanddinner 2012

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