Wednesday, May 15, 2013

A Surplus of Tapas: Small Bites Across Madrid for (Nearly) Wordless Wednesday

First stop: Mercado de San Miguel. A bit touristy, but worth it. 
Inside the mercado ... so many choices
First tapas in Madrid: cheese, cheese, and more cheese (Not pictured: wine, wine, and more wine)
Given that my last blog post was written entirely in sonnet form, I thought it might be a good idea to give the verbal portion of my brain a bit of a rest and attempt a Wordless Wednesday post summing up the mountains of tapas that Poppa Trix and I consumed in Madrid in just six days.

I say attempt a Wordless Wednesday post because look!  I have already failed at keeping my virtual trap shut ... but I will reign in my wordiness as much as is constitutionally possible. Captions don't count, right?

More bites from our first stop in Madrid, the Mercado San Miguel (pictured above):
Foie gras and jamon and odd little faux baby eel things

Fresh burrata
Estado Puro, a high-end tapas place near the Prado, and one of my favorites:

Pig ear and wee fried fishies
Incredible (and so fancy!) "Ali-Oli" potatoes, and a wedge of foie gras
Perhaps the coolest thing ever. A traditional Spanish tortilla - as a soup. 
Another favorite place, though not technically a tapas bar.

Guacamole with plantain chips
Curry mussels

Pulpo (octopus)  in a bechamel-style sauce with loads of pimenton. 
The gazpacho/salmorejo on which I modeled my dish
Not usually one for dessert; however I could not say no to mojito sorbet (l); and after dinner drinks
Part owner and new bestie Hugo, who gave me his family's Catalonian recipe for romesco sauce! Stay tuned ... 
The trendy and unfortunately named "ViCool" ... Love the food, hate the name

A modern take on one of my new favorite things: patatas bravas (left) and fried shrimp (right)
A buttery morcilla, left; a pizza with potato chips, garlic, and truffle oil, right. Yes, that is every bit as awesome as it sounds. 
Of course we visited many more traditional tapas bars as well ... whenever the fit struck (which was almost constantly) and also as part of the  big traditional Sunday afternoon tapas crawl. Behold the wonders!

At Casa Alberto

Oh fried pig skin, how do I love thee? 
Albondigas (meatballs), left; jamon, right
A delicious chorus line
Morcilla, aka blood sausage. Reminds me a bit of Cajun boudin
Oxtail stuffed piquillo peppers. 
Tapas, tapas everywhere ...

That guy on the left very patiently taught me the proper pronunciation of morcilla. Thank you, guy! 
Soprasada ... spicy, meaty, sausage-y, good

A tortilla sandwich with a piece of schnitzel for bread? Yes, I will. Thank you.
On the left is "next day cocido," or the leftovers from the massive traditional meat and chick pea stew; more morcilla on the right
The huevos rotos - broken eggs -  at this place were a revelation - runny eggs and ham on top of a pile of potato chips. Makes me want a hangover just to enjoy this as a certain cure:

Cute little space with traditional tapas:

On the left is a mound of tuna with tons of mayo and egg ... it made me go weak at the knees
Lovely pinchos at Los Gatos

The ceiling. Tapas is my religion! 

Though rumored to be touristy, I only spotted locals at Las Bravas. Had to go here and try their famous bravas sauce - very nice, with a real kick of pimenton. They put it on everything here.

Because who wouldn't want a spigot of bravas sauce?

We got pinchos to go at popular local spot Lhardy:

Very old school:

Tapas Orixe  ... if only I had three stomachs.

We had wine and jamon at this little spot - the name translates to the Three Iberican Pigs:
We had to get a bite at Tapas Potente, given that our dog Franka is named after the actress Franka Potente ...
Gorgeous onion filling in this tortilla
 The requisite chocolate and churros:

Not tapas, but ... a bear, the emblem of Madrid

Ah, eating and drinking all day makes me so happy I could kiss a pulpo. Right after eating one, of course


  1. Well now I'm too visually overstimulated to get any work done. Geesh. It certainly looks like your tappas hole was well tended to on this trip. I'm smiling while I figure out a good way to do mojito sorbet for the summer. (And feeling superior as I use a chemistry beaker for wine decanting as well. How chic am I?)

  2. What a marvelous post. I have never been to Spain, but this taste is terrifically tempting. Thanks!