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Sunday Madrid Recommendations

shermanoaksfoodie May 2, 2010 09:16 AM


My husband and I are heading to Madrid in 3 weeks. We're 30 and well-traveled, but this is my husband's first time in Spain and I haven't been back in 10 years. We arrive on a Sunday and we're staying near Plaza Santa Ana for only one night before leaving for Sevilla. I've been reading the boards for quite a while and still need help with some specific recommendations.

Could you please help recommend an easy tapas place or two nearby for lunch (we'll be headed to Museo Reina Sofia afterwards) and a place for dinner where we can have paella and sangria? Or, if you think we should wait to do paella in Sevilla, let me know that too. I really appreciate your help! Thank you!

  1. j
    JuanDoe May 3, 2010 12:55 AM

    Jamón (cured ham), chorizo, anchoa (salt anchovy) at Alhambra 1929, Calle Victoria 9
    Gambas al ajillo (garlic shrimps) in "Casa del Abuelo" at Calle Victoria 12.
    Oreja a la plancha (chunks of pork ear cooked on a very hot griddle) at "La Oreja de Oro", Calle Victoria 11.
    Pimientos de Padrón (small green peppers fried and salted), zarajos (deep fried lamb intestine wrapped around a stick. They are crispy) at Casa Toni, Calle de la Cruz 14.
    In Plaza de Santa Ana: "El Lateral" tapas bar.
    My recommendation near the Reina Sofia is "Los Zuritos" tapas bar at Calle Atocha 110
    Not far from Plaza de Santa Ana is located a very good restaurant to have paella. It is small and not "touristy", so that the "sangría" is not available. Locals don't drink sangría.
    Restaurante "El Ventorrillo Murciano" at Calle de los Tres Peces 20.

    Live jazz in Café Central

    6 Replies
    1. re: JuanDoe
      arobmadrid May 3, 2010 06:13 AM

      nice rec.s - although I must say oreja and zarajos are not for the faint hearted!

      1. re: arobmadrid
        JuanDoe May 3, 2010 07:05 AM

        Well, oreja and zarajos are for advanced foodies!

        1. re: arobmadrid
          JuanDoe May 3, 2010 07:16 AM

          Something about the sangría:
          The sangría is often a chaotic alcoholic mess for tourists, just an expensive tourist trap.
          We, locals, drink the cheap "tinto de verano" --while doing a bars crawl, NOT IN RESTAURANTS--. The "tinto de verano" consist of common red wine, casera (popular Spanish soda) and ice cubes.
          Anyway, heard about a good sangría in a bar called "Las Cuevas de Sésamo" at Calle Príncipe, close to Plaza de Santa Ana.

          1. re: JuanDoe
            Reignking May 3, 2010 07:20 AM

            You may think I'm crazy, but try a calimocho -- coke and red wine. That's something you can't find everywhere, and is actually a lot better than it sounds. Sangria IMO is more expensive than it is worth.

          2. re: arobmadrid
            JuanDoe May 3, 2010 08:49 AM

            If anyone is wondering about the look of the oreja & the zarajos:
            Oreja a la plancha con salsa brava (pig ear with spicy tomato sauce).

          3. re: JuanDoe
            Reignking May 3, 2010 07:11 AM

            I'll second Lateral. It's right there. There's also a beautiful bar around the corner, but I can't find it.

          4. j
            JuanDoe May 3, 2010 08:34 AM

            Well, the calimocho is popular in the youngest crowd outdoor parties but it is not usual in standard bars.

            4 Replies
            1. re: JuanDoe
              shermanoaksfoodie May 3, 2010 08:42 PM

              Thanks, this is very helpful! Also, thanks for the feedback on the Sangria. Haha...good to know. I'll focus on your quality food recommendations!

              1. re: shermanoaksfoodie
                arobmadrid May 5, 2010 01:22 AM

                If you see that a bar has vermut (like martini rosso) on tap, you should try it - ask for it "con sifon" (soda water) it's a delicious local aperitivo.
                The beautiful bar around the corner that another poster mentioned might be La Venecia, a sherry bar, also good for an aperitivo before dinner - it's on Calle Echegaray, very near Plaza de Santa Ana. Careful with the sherry though; it seems innocuous but it's pernicious stuff and if you drink too much can give you a cracking headache in the morning.
                Another lovely bar near you is Casa Pueblo almost on the corner of Calle Leon with Calle del Prado. Good for a post dinner mojito - good music and a fun vibe but with a traditional look.
                There's a nice little restaurant that does rice pretty near where you are staying; I've seen a few posting about it - it's not touristy but small and friendly, and I recommend the vegetable paella they do. It's called "Mano a mano" and it's on Calle Lavapies.

                p.s. stay off the Calimoxo - it's nasty and nothing you can't do at home if you really want to try it!

                1. re: arobmadrid
                  JuanDoe May 5, 2010 02:59 AM

                  I second that! my fav brands for vermut on tap are IRIS and YZAGUIRRE.

                  1. re: JuanDoe
                    shermanoaksfoodie May 5, 2010 09:59 AM

                    Thank you, Thank you, Thank you! I am loving your suggestions and appreciate your time to give me thoughtful, memorable and non-touristy suggestions. I can't wait to check it out!

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