A good meal in Madrid
- CW Mar 7, 1999 09:04 PM
I am looking for a restaurant in Madrid (preferably
patronized by the local gentry) where I can find a
reasonably priced meal. Nothing fancy--just a good
honest meal. I hope that I am not asking for too much.
I live in Soho and would be hard pressed to come up
with a similar place in my neck of the woods. I would
appreciate any suggestions.
1)asador fronton @ plaza tirso de molina? 2nd flr.
This is a basque grill. Amazing simple food. If you go
before 10:00 you can get in otherwise make a
reservation, it's no big deal. They also have another
branch w/ a bigger menu though I didn't eat there.
There is a Gallego restaurant O'something off off
Plaza Santa Ana that has great Pulpo a ferreria. Hell
I still dream of that dish,washed down w/a nice light
white wine from Galicia (the nw of Spain-nickname for
these guys is gallegos.) Madrid is quite possible the
best + most resonable city to eat in in Europe There
is no spanish restaurant in NYC like it. And I think
you can ditch all of the "spanish"restaurants in NYC
Excellent find with that Basque place...I don't know it at all!
"There is a Gallego restaurant O'something off off Plaza Santa Ana"
I know the place, can't think of the name, either. But while you can't go wrong with Gallego restaurants anywhere in Spain, there are a lot more exciting choices near and south of there (on the way to the Prado); that nabe is sort of the Tapas Tenderloin of Madrid. Walk around the twisty streets at 6 or 7 and go in wherever there's a crowd (an EATING crowd, that is). Ask around about the best stuff to eat. Madrilenos are cool; they'll adopt you and maybe even take you around to the best places
"Madrid is quite possible the best + most resonable city to eat in in Europe"
You're raving about the Gallego food...go to Galicia and you'll eat a zillion times better (and more affordably, too). Actually, Madrid's one of my least favorite eating towns in Spain, though the tapas are real good (not as good as in the south, however)
I live two blocks from Asador Frontón in Tirso de
Molina square. It's good but expensive if you compare
with other asadores (asador = steakhouse or
rotisserie). Last time I was there, I asked for some
fried potatoes and they looked at me like thinking
"Sacrilegious!". The menu is too short, I think. Next
time you come to Madrid, drop a line and you will
discover even better food than that.
The octopus dish you quoted in your message is "Pulpo
á feira" which means "Octopus Fair Style" because it's
typical in the Galician festivals, open-air dances and
cattle fairs (you wrote ferreira :-), which means
'blacksmith' in Galician and Portuguese).
Gallego means Galician in English, it's the NW region
of Spain and we talk Galician (same root that
Portuguese) and, of course, Spanish. You have nice
"Pulpo á feira" in Manhattan 14th Street (not sure),
in a Galician bar called Galicia-3. I was there and
they are real gallegos.
Mr. Chowhound's got the recipe for the best "Pulpo á
feira". You can ask him. :-)
If any of you are coming to Spain, just ask!
re: stephen kaye
"La posada de la villa" and "Botín" are touristic but
GOOD restaurantes. This last one was opened in 1725
(as you can see inside). Both are specialized in
Castillian food (not Mediterranean): beans, chicken,
suckling pig, roasted lamb, vegetables sauteé, etc.
It's a good choice for newcomers. In fact, I usually
take US friends there.
But if you want a different flavour: try restaurant
"Extremadura" (Calle de la Libertad, 13 in the Gay
Quarter). Extremadura is the name of a region by the
border of Portugal. It's worth the visit just to try
the free entreés they give you before ordering. My
advice: follow the maître's advice (avg. price: $25).
Some specialties: migas del pastor (bread crumbles
with sausage and grapes), revueltos (crumbled
vegetables of your choice), game (veal, dear...) They
even have grilled lizards (yes). Ask for the
'aguardientes' (home made eau-de-vie) when you order
dessert. You better be hungry before going there.
Spanish country & subtle cuisine. Definitely something
re: Xosé Castro Roig (Madrid, Spain, EU)
I know the good meals in Madrid.They come from the hands of my mother-in-law who is spanish but there are somethings she just cant give me.And that is english speaking company or anyone who enjoys doing sports,siting in cafes or parks,listening to music and just takes it easy.If you are interesting and interested,call me on 655 214 051 or e mail me,
I m staying in town for long.Hasta luego,Nina.
p.s.hablo espanol tambien
re: pat hammond
Golden Rule: Olive Oil.
That's something I didn't like in 'Xunta', that place
in East Side Manhattan. Even if looked like a Galician
bar. The owner MUST be Galician since just a gallego
(and Jim, of course) knows that Galician wines should
be drunk from a 'taza'. In fact, in Galicia we 'go for
tazas' before having lunch or dinner, that is, we go
to one, two or three bars drinking fresh white wine
and some tapas.
re: Xosé Castro Roig (Madrid)
Xose, yes, Xunta has been known on occasion to commit
the unpardonable sin of putting non-olive oil on their
pulpo. On the other hand, I've also had PERFECT pulpo
there, the likes of which I haven't found anywhere
outside of Lugo. And I've even had good tortilla
I think it's just an inconsistency thing. But I'm going
to take a long, hard look at them before putting them
in my book again for the second edition.
Jim (who has Galician blood--of a slightly different
re: pat hammond
Ok, my translation first, followed by the original
POLBO A FEIRA (Galician octopus, in the style made at
by Xose Castro's Grandmother, Obdulia Roig Vazquez
1 or 2 octopuses (two kilos each)
1 little onion
1 or 2 bay leaves
1 glass (perhaps 200 centiliters) of olive oil
1 spoonful sweet paprika
1 spoonful hot paprika
kosher--or other course--salt
Wash the octopus to remove the dirty stuff inside and
hit it against a hard surface until you note that the
mussels have loosened (three or four times should do
it). Frozen octopus won't need pounding [even fresh in
this country may have been pre-beaten; ask your seller]
Put water to boil in a copper pan, and throw in bay
leaves and an onion
When it comes to a boil, add the octopus to the water,
first dunking it two or three times (ideally using a
Let it cook for 45 minutes and poke with a toothpick to
see if it's soft [it should have SOME firmness, and
definitely catch it before little pieces start breaking
off and floating], then remove from the heat.
Let it rest fifteen minutes before serving. Cut in
slices (not too thick) with a kitchen scissors and
sprinkle olive oil, salt and paprika (adjusting the
spiciness to taste), prettying it up with a salad.
Lo ideal es, por supuesto, servirlo en platos de
Serve on wooden plates if possible
Dada la insistencia y la desazon que causa un pulpo mal
cocido entre los
presentes, ahi va le receta de mi madre, que es la
persona que mejor hace
el "pulpo a la gallega" en el mundo y parte del
extranjero (seguida de
POLBO A FEIRA
1 o 2 pulpos (dos kilitos)
1 cebolla pequena
1 vaso de aceite de oliva
1 cucharada de pimenton dulce
1 cucharada de pimenton picante
Lava el pulpo para quitarle las cochinadas que traiga
encima (date cuenta
que es un animal que viene de nadar desnudo en sabe
Dios que mares) y
mazalo para que ablande (o sea, lo atizas contra un
superficie dura hasta
que notes que se destense la rigidez del musculo, 3 o 4
'viajes' a una
mesa le vendran bien). Si estaba congelado, no lo
Pon agua a hervir en un cacerola de cobre. Si no tienes
cobre, tendras que echarle una cebollita en el agua.
Cuando rompa a hervir, introduces el pulpo en el agua y
lo sacas dos o
tres veces seguidas (en un movimiento tipo "quetecuezo-
madre y las senoras de las ferias hacen esto agarrando
al bicho con un
gancho modelo Freddy Kruger.
Lo dejas cociendo 45 minutos y 'en rondando' ese
intervalo de tiempo lo
pinchas para ver si esta blando y lo retiras del fuego.
Lo dejas reposar un cuarto de hora antes de servirlo.
Lo cortas en trozos
no muy gruesos con una tijera y le echas aceite, sal y
(graduando el picante al gusto) como si alinaras una
ensalada, es decir,
que acabado el pulpo, quede aceite para hacer barquitos
con el 'pan' en
Lo ideal es, por supuesto, servirlo en platos de