M A D R I D
We are all well into the month of January 2017 (thanking our lucky stars we survived the shitty shitty year that was 2016 - I know I am!). Now that I am back at work at full force, battling the well-known January blues, and trying to make sure everything I do is the right thing to do, as if there was such as notion; I found this to be the perfect time to look back on the trip I took in late December to Madrid.
I flew to Madrid over Christmas weekend to visit my cousin who was living there while doing a semester abroad. I came prepared to eat, drink, shop, walk and give the city a serious once over. Luckily, my cousin was there for long enough that she knew the ins and outs of the city, and knew some amazing Spanish (mine was not as good as I remembered it AT ALL).
Come, in Spanish, means eat. That's all I needed to know.
The city commands, I oblige.
By the second day I realized I need to start writing down where and what I was eating, especially the places where I had a full blown love affair with my meal. I mean that almost literally. People were staring.
Back to business. The first day my cousin and I were wandering around (after I finally bought myself my super extravagant holiday gift of an iPhone 7 Plus; which is the supplier of the great photos I managed to snap) we happened on this cool looking restaurant that even my cousin hadn't heard of. At this point we were downright starving so we had to go in, andddd lucky we did!
We ended up walking into La Mucca. Cousin and I each got the oxtail risotto for lunch, along with a glass of Rioja.
The dish was i n c r e d i b l e; the meat was so soft it needed no chewing, the entire dish was cooked in a beef broth that was enhanced by an added touch of truffles. Little fact about me: I have a slight obsession with truffles. They make everything better. EVERYTHING.
Like I said, Madrid (and I) have a thing with truffles. Another thing they favor? potatoes and eggs, preferably all together.
On the second day, my cousin invited a couple of her college friends to join us for brunch at Maricastaña. This place is not only super cute to sit in, but the food... holy crap, the dish I ordered was probably one of the most scrumptious dishes I have ever had the pleasure of tasting.
I ordered huevos rotos, their version of the potato and egg dish is a base of sweet potato fries topped with two fried eggs, shaved parmesan cheese and a hearty dollop of truffle paste.
This dish was without a doubt a drop-the-mic kind of moment. I was so full by the end of it but I would have easily licked the plate if it was socially acceptable. The coffee was also very good, and the little details and design made everything that much better.
So after all of that, we walked around the city for hours, seeing the gorgeous buildings, people watching, and sitting in the garden belonging to the Palace of Madrid. The weather could not have been better - clear skies and cool and crisp.
We sat there for over an hour (awesome meditation spot if you're into that sort of thing - I got me some serious zen-time in this spot).
Later that evening, we decided it was time to go out. I needed a drink.
Cousin took me to Ojala. This place was unlike anything I'd ever seen. Walking in it doesn't seem like much, just a regular bar, but walk downstairs and you find yourself in an underground beach. Not kidding. There is sand on the ground. The cold fruity red wine sangria was just what we needed to sit back and chill after a long day of wandering.
On one of the other nights, we were around a new neighborhood in the city when we found ourselves, yet again, starving - we really should monitor ourselves better. We looked up where we were and went to Makkila. This place was adorably designed, somewhere between a bar and a restaurant and boasted a menu that had something for everyone.
Because cousin and I seem to have pretty similar tastes in food (and clothes!) she and I ordered the same thing: a starter of prawn croquette and a main of beef burger with truffle mayo, with a side of a bottle of Rioja to share.
Sadly, we were so hungry that I forgot to take a photo of the food, but I promise you, it is SOOOOO worth it! I'm still having withdraws symptoms from the truffle mayo.
I DID manage to snap a photo of our place mats. I couldn't handle the Jo, jo, jo! instead of the Ho, ho, ho! Both of us went full on LOL.
On the last day my breakfast was a heaping pile of churros (sans chocolate or sugar, I like it the old-fashioned way), washed down with a giant cup of coffee.
We then continued on to Mercado de San Miguel, and had us some seriously delicious seafood paella. The whole place was bustling with people who were standing and eating, looking around, and soaking up the Spanish vibe. This is also where I bought myself some truffle salt - have I mentioned my obsession with truffle yet?
Long story short: I came, I saw, I ate.
Madrid is full of culture, history, warmth, character, and fun; I can't wait to go back.