Monday, September 11, 2017

Dinner at La Antigua Hueveria

Basics
Location
Website



Per Person
Three shared tapas, 1 dessert, bottle of tinto.
(30% El Tenedor food discount) €15

In Short
Hopes?
Relaxed atmosphere, quality food.
Reality?
Relaxed atmosphere, ordinary food.
First Impressions?
Smart shabby decor.
A USP?
Exceptionally cheap drinks prices.
The food in three words?
Just too simple.
Can they get the staff?
No problems, but also no other customers at 2030.
Service with a smile?
Amiable, but not polished.
Would you take your friends?
No. There are so many more interesting alternatives.
Rating for a dating?
If I am he as you are he as you are me and we are all togetheryou might meet your eggman.
Tip?
Small one.
Change one thing?
We'd have chosen our other option.
Going back?
There's really no reason.

Compare and Contrast
Good value lunch at El Rincon.
Just along the street at La Prodiga.

In Pictures
On Google Images

In Depth
There aren't a whole lot of egg shops left, are there? There must be the odd one lurking about in a market, but a burly fella loading up his fridges with cackleberries of many colours? Something that's almost gone.

So, the old egg shop? Is it worth shelling out on a visit?

It doesn't sell its connections too strongly, although there's an amusing eggbox decoration on a wall. Keeping to the theme, our first choice, half a dozen croquettas, turned up in a very nice ceramic egg box. We experimented with a tomato and cheese option - a rare thing, a vegetarian croquette that doesn't have mushroom in it. And we liked it a lot. More cheesy with a hint of tomato, but a nicely different take on something is always welcome. A doubt would be if it was cooked seperately from the meat-filled options. Worth checking on, for some.

Antigua hueveria

Aaand here comes the essential egg dish. Surely this should be good stuff, considering where we are? You'd hope they have egg-xacting standards. Well, this decent-sized huevos rotos was second on the bill, and we can't begrudge a decent amount of grub for €9. Sweetish sweated green peppers were a very odd inclusion, though. Had they run out of pimientos de padron? Something as sweet as they are isn't the ideal flavour to add to rumbustious ingredients like these.

Part three was a spud 'n' sauce combination, with the potatoes served up in another egg-shaped dish. A nice touch, but this should have either come second or at the same time as the eggs, which is a bit of a basic error in serving terms.

The spuds were cooked OK; but lacking seasoning. The sauces were a major disappointment. Homemade perhaps, but they didn't taste it. The alioli lacked garlic. The blue cheese was watery. Something red wasn't as good as ketchup with a dash of tabasco would have been.

Antigua hueveria
Dessert? Go on then. It's a short list so we'll see what this way comes. A generously large beer glass of tiramisu was creamy enough, but could have done with more boozy sponge to keep me happier. No complaints, but no prizes.

So, cheap? Yes. With an El tenedor discount, even with a bottle of wine we were only just scratching €30 for two. Cheerful? Yes, while not proficient - it's Madrid, asking for bread is not something you expect  to do - the staff were amiable and friendly and kept things moving at a good rhythm.

But it comes down to the food, doesn't it? We needed at least a smidge of pizzazz or passion. A surprise. Some, and I know you want this, egg-citement. That's not really what TAH seems to be aiming for.

The objective seems to be dishes which are safe, unchallenging and conservative with a cosy, small c. You're not going to scare the horses with food like this. You're not going to startle a stallion. Or mesmerise a mule. You're not even going to mildly dazzle a donkey. Perhaps it's up to us to get off our ass and try something a bit bolder.

That's no yolk.


Monday, September 4, 2017

馃攷 Modern Times

Highlighting spots we've seen and been this year so far.

This time:

Madrid, a la mode
Chasing the modern or getting ahead of it?

Perrachica


Read our review here.

What's the story?

Trying hard to be somewhere, Perrachica wants you to think you've seen something really special. The Emporer had the same idea about those new clothes of his.
Try?
Popping in for a look at the impressive decor, and maybe a drink at the huge bar.
Price?
€30 plus

FYI: If you need to impress with superficialities, there's no arguing, this is the place to come. Sadly.


Dstage


Read our review here.

What's the story?

Simply, one of the best restaurants in the country, if not the planet. Not on any of the best in the world lists, which is either a crime, or the rest must really be something. You'll need to book three months in advance, probably to the day you want to go.
Try?
Whatever is put in front of you.
Price?
Cheapest tasting menu is €88 excluding drinks.

FYI: Get a table overlooking the kitchen. Ask for the raviolis on your menu when booking.


Mercado Vallehermoso


Read our review here.

What's the story?

Eye-opening evening reinvention of a previously near-moribund market space, which should help keep the stallholders in business for a good few years yet. An almost exclusively Spanish crowd, food from all over the planet.
Try?
Great empanadas  from the Argentinian place and an excellent value Asturian speciality stall. Try the cheese board!
Price?
For €20ish, you should be able to try a mix of dishes and come out well fed. 

FYI: 
Many places operate table blocking and need to be booked. Check before travelling.



Sunday, September 3, 2017

taste test: Empanadas














Quequ茅n



Eat In or Take Away?
Both, at €2.20 a go.
What's on Offer?
Half a dozen flavours.
We tried
Spicy Meat/Carne Picada & Ham Cheese Tomato.The Picada was a bit dry and really lacked spice and peppers. There was some egg in there. The HCT was better, a nice juicier mixture.
We thought
OK to take away, but there are more polished options around.
馃憤馃憤馃憤

La Prodiga


Eat In or Take Away?
Eat in
What's on Offer?
Spinach and Cheese, Spicy Meat
We tried
Both of them.
We thought
They were so good we not only went back but order a second helping the next time round. Did have to ask them to give them a bit more of a baking once as they were a little soft. Delicious when done right.
馃憤馃憤馃憤馃憤馃憤

Graciana at Mercado Vallehermoso

Eat In or Take Away? 
Both
What's on Offer?
Various flavours
We tried
Spicy lamb and Popeye
We thought
Another top notch piece of cooking. Peppers and juicy lamb meant we were back in for a second helping. Excellent bechamel and spinach made the Popeye offering well worth a go too. 
馃憤馃憤馃憤馃憤馃憤


Thursday, August 24, 2017

馃攷Avanti!

Highlighting spots we've seen and been this year so far.

Is Robert De Niro waiting?
We're Talking Italian

Menomale



Read our review here.


What's the story?

We reckon this is good a p矛zza as you'll find in town, with excellent modern alternatives in the pasta department. It's a relaxed, quiet, classy location, only missing red and white checked table cloths. A place to take a visitor to Europe after something not far off a genuine taste of Italy.
Try?
The gnocchi with pesto are a must at the right time of year.
Price?
Daily menu at less than €12, coffee excluded, is a great deal.

FYI: Tables at the front recommended, families tend to be in the backroom. 


Sapori Italiane



Read our review here.


What's the story?

More decent pizza. Not as polished as Menomale, but a good budget option inside the market. It's a very short menu (we're probably supposed to call it a market menu, but not going to happen, that is) with a simple red/white/rose wine choice. Desserts are limited too. If you like nut spread, you're going to be happy.
Price?
Less than €20 per euro. El Tenedor discount may be available.

FYI: Find it on the second floor of the market.


Nap


Read our review here.


What's the story?

Another first class pizza, this time in a modern canteen-type setting. That said, this is the kind of place a Rough Guide would call buzzing, so don't expect a peaceful lunch. Again, it's a shortish menu, with limited drinks which have been known to run out on busy days.
Try?
Anything in the pizza line is worth a go. Calzone is lighter than you'd ever have expected.
Price?
€15ish per person.

FYI: Service can be a bit variable, waiting time for tables on busy days can be a bit lengthy.



Thursday, August 17, 2017

馃攷The Mexican

Highlighting spots we've seen and been this year so far.

This time:

The Whole Enchilada

Maria Bonita Tacobar


Read our review here.

What's the story?

Smartly decorated and bustling(™ Rough Guides) taco place, food is fine, but not as creative as others in the area. A little lacking in spicy sauces and attention to detail.
Try?
Pisco Sour is slightly lost in a Mexican, but very good.
Price?
€20-25 per person

FYI: Operates table blocking at times. Sitting one is 2030 to 2200, but they want you out earlier if they can push it.


Taqueria de B茂rra


Read our review here.

What's the story?

The most popular terrace on the most atmospheric square in Malasa帽a. Consistent quality and an extensive range dishes, which while not quite what they were ten(!) years ago in terms of portion size, are still first class. Green and red sauces with nachos are excellent.
Try?
The best margaritas around. Jug/jarra version is less potent than the cocktail one, which is still shaken to order at your table.
Price?
€25

FYI: Booking not available for terrace. Arrive before 2000 for best chance of a quickish sitting. 


La Jalape帽a


Read our review here.

What's the story?

Decent selection of Mexican dishes, but a little underpowered in the spice department. If only the food matched the intensity of the likeable decor. Some nice attention to detail -everyone likes little extra pots of stuff. Just add some oomph!
Try?
If it's on, order the amazing chocolate-orange dessert.
Price?
€20
FYI: Margaritas are sadly too icy to have any decent kick.


Monday, August 14, 2017

馃攷East is East

Highlighting spots we've seen and been this year so far.

This time:

Hurry to the Curry!

Baiyor



Read our review here.

What's the story?

Inexpensive and fairly uncompromised Thai cooking.
Try?
Pretty much all the dishes work well. Banana empanada was an amusing finale.
Price?
€25

FYI: Seats in the back half get better visibility from the staff if you're a bit tight for time.

Moharaj, Ave Maria 26


Read our review here.

What's the story?

One of the flurry of curry places around Ave Maria. Seats outside make it a pleasant afternoon's eating. 
Try?
The peshwari naan. The chickpea curries. The tandoor dishes.
Price?
Less than €20 for enough to leave you booking a gym visit.

FYI: Technically the same as BV 44, but the kitchen seems better, but, apparently, not the same as Ave Maria 18 even though it looks identical.

Lamian


Read our review here.

What's the story?

Tapas-sized dishes, with various Spanish elements mixed in to chinese formats. Mostly works very well. Aiming for ambitious standards. A few years - or a new project - away from Michelin consideration, but it feels like that's the goal.
Try?
The Mustard Pork.
Price?
€30-€35 per person for enough dinner.

FYI: Try to avoid tables around the entrance.



Thursday, August 10, 2017

馃攷Open Your Eyes

Highlighting spots we've seen and been this year so far.

This time:

Mad for the Madrile帽@!
When in Spain...

Cafe Ruiz


Read our review here.

What's the story?

Classy cocktails. A traditional setting. It's leather chairs and cast iron and marble tables. There are snacks and cakes to try too.
Try?
Any cocktail going will please you. Brandy Alexander and Classic Daiquiri are highlights
Price?
Expect to pay a bit less than €10 a drink.

FYI: Head round the corner to find the hidden second bar.


Camara Agraria


Read our review here.

What's the story?

Madrid's best market. Not - yet - overwhelmed by food tourists, you'll follow a stream of shopping trolleys to the hive of activity that is the Camara once a month. The cheap wine tasting and tapas is matched by a couple of artisan beer sellers on duty too.
Try?
In season, tomatoes. Indluge in some excellent oil. And everyone seems desperate for leeks.
Price?
For 3 wine tasting tickets - €2. For 2 tapas €3.


FYI: First Saturday of the month 10-1500. Arrive early.


Riberia Do Mi帽o


Read our review here.

What's the story?

A taste of Galicia in Chueca. The menu's full of Spanish and Galician classics, the quality is top notch. Meats and fish are on offer too. Finish off with a fiery bowl of traditional queimada, and don't forget the incantation.
Try?
The seafood a la plancha is not to be missed. Not the best place for desserts, but the tarta santiago is as good as any of the main courses.
Price?
€25-30

FYI: Book in advance. Sunday sitting starts at 1345.