Time Management

I’ve been working full time for more or less the last 30 years. In that time I’ve worked with thousands of different people. One thing I have noticed is that those people that go on about how much work they have and how little time to do it, tend to be the people you rarely see actually working. Sure, you see them AT work, but more often than not they are making tea or drinking tea or asking people if they wouldn’t mind putting the kettle on, or they are going off to have a fag while their tea is mashing. I’ve suddenly found myself complaining about how much work I have to do and how little time. That’s because I have too much to get done. More tea? Don’t mind if I do.

My employer recently did some sort of streamlining of the workforce and streamlined 85 people. Streamlining in the way that the Imperial Japanese Army Air Force streamlined Pearl Harbour; or the way Thatcher streamlined British Industry (see how well British Industry is performing now? British what now?). This Streamlining was as successful as Mayhem/Gove/Bojo the clown and the Pigfucker’s Brexit if you added in extra absolute incompetence. I said EXTRA incompetence What this means is I’m currently doing the job that 4 people used to do. Unfortunately one of those people is still employed, its just we can’t decide what he…or she, it could be a she….what he actually spends all day doing…but in any case, I’m doing what he used to do. or she. Don’t worry, if he is actually forced to do some work without managing to pass it off to someone else, he…sorry, I forgot, or she….he goes on like it’s the first time anyone in the history of the world has had to actually do something and we should be grateful that he….or she…was there to do it and that next time it’s our turn to do whatever “it” was.

Anyway, that’s one reason I’m rarely able to update this blog. I go to work, I come home, I go to bed, I wake up early in the morning panicking about the work I was unable to do the day before and which will bite me in the arse today, then I go to work…then I come home and I go to bed. and repeat. This has slightly changed recently because a great sandwich place has opened up near my work. So in the bit that says “I go to work” I often (but not always) manage to nip out and buy a sandwich and eat half of it at my desk, and have the other half when I get home, before I go to bed.


the sandwich at my desk….

oh cry me a river! turning your head to one side is sooo fucking difficult.


the sandwich at home before bed. yes that’s a badger.

Now, before this place opened there was nowhere to get a decent sandwich in Madrid. Unless you’re talking about a deep fried squid sandwich, of course.

There is a chain of sandwich shops called “Rodilla” (meaning “Knee”) but I wouldn’t call them “sandwiches”…they are small slices of sweet shitty bread with the crusts cut off…I know! like as if you were a spoilt, fussy 3 year old…which then has mush shoved into the front of the bread. the mush comes in various colours. Madrilenos have great affection for these shit coloured mush “sandwiches” and the chain itself. But I imagine in the same way that Yorkshire people (officially “The Worst People in The World”) have affection for Sir Peter Sutcliffe…”call that a ripper, your southern jack ain’t owt compared to god’s own ripper”

This place is called Dilieto and is the answer to my hopes and dreams. My hopes and dreams are small and pathetic, solely based on a decent sandwich shop opening up in the desert that is Madrid and preferably near my work.


The place is run by two sisters from Gijon whose brother has a successful sandwich shop on Fleet Street in London. I have a “melt” with focaccia (they have with olives, with herbs, with sun-dried tomatoes or with jalapeños…the least nice of these is the latter) and filled with chicken escalope, cheese, bacon and salad, This costs 5euro and is bigger than my head. As I say, I only have half for “lunch” and the other half when I get home at around 10-11pmSnip20181024_2.png

“lunch” is when you eat something at your desk while getting work done. In the old days, before Neo-liberalism and the failure of capitalism, lunch was a meal you enjoyed somewhere between the hours of getting up and the hours of going to bed. I wonder what medieval surfs called “lunch”

Yes, I know…I’m not moaning. I do realise how lucky I am to actually have a job and how lucky I am that I have a job that pays me enough to live on. Not many people these days are lucky enough to have any job, let alone a job that pays them enough to live on. More than that. I even managed to stick 4 and a half grand into a savings account last month. but can’t help wondering if it’s worth it…at this rate I’ll be dead before I turn 50. Not that I’m paid to wrestle hungry and angry tigers, but constant stress has pushed my blood pressure up to worrying levels. thankfully, I lost my hair in my early twenties.

Slutty pasta sauce

After all that solipsism, I thought I’d go back to eating, or actually helping you to eat well.

We all know that the Spanish don’t really get pasta, they don’t get the texture…you could say the same for mashed potato, they think both are closer to some sort of puree than they should really be. Non-italian cuisines don’t fully get pasta either…they dont really get that there are reasons for different pasta sizes and shapes and that they go better with the sauce due to their size and shape…which is why you just wouldn’t get spaghetti with ragu sauce…because you eat the spaghetti and you’re left with the lovely lumps of meat and veg from the ragu…which is why you serve it with bigger pasta such as rigatoni or pappardelle.

this sauce doesn’t have particularly large bits in it so I’d suggest spaghetti or bavette

first thing…boil water for your pasta. add a wee but of salt. when it boils add your pastapasta.jpeg


Take a tin of decent tuna (from your press/pantry/cupboard)…I’m not suggesting you just take it from a shop without paying. But whatever gets you through the day and allows you to sleep. Open the tin and pour the olive oil into a pan, add some chopped onion and a tooth of crushed garlic into the pan and let the onion soften on a slow to medium heat. put the tuna from the can in their and continue to fry. add salt and pepper to taste. also a chopped red chili to taste (which, if you’re Spanish means, throw away the chili and dont even bother chopping it. dont buy it either. you can probably avoid the black pepper earlier too, come to think of it). add in some capers and some olives (doesnt matter what colour but I’d suggest without stones). add a squeeze of tomato paste and a glug of white wine.

you’re thinking this “this is just puttanesca, Dave…do you take us for eedjits that cant even make a puttanesca?”…it’s similar yes but bear with me…it’s more of an amateur slut that a full on puta. which is why I call it “slutty”

chop a tomato or two and add them to the sauce. as the wine has cooked off more or less pour in about a glass of the pasta water (the pasta should have almost cooked by now…how long do you need? 8 minutes?)sauce.jpeg

finally, drane the pasta and put the pasta into the sauce and serve. how long did that take? ten minutes?pasandsauce.jpeg

a story…if your a facefriend, you’ve already read it

I wrote this story on facebook, and face friends liked it so I thought I would put it on here…my blog has become far more, or far less depending on how you look at it, than just eating and drinking in madrid on a budget.

So, I’m going to tell you a story. it’s not a pretty story but it’s the only one I’ve got! and you can laugh at me and think I’m a nob. I have no solid media connection with anybody mentioned. and my facebook name isn’t even my real name, so I;m thinking its not going to embarrass anybody other than me (Daze is what my godson calls me cos he cant say Dave…the little idiot)
the start is a bit sad but bear with me, you’ll laugh later….

the context:
I was going out with this lass…wonderful lass and astonishingly beautiful. after about a year together she dumps me…its not you its me, at this point in my life I cant be in a relationship with anyone…nobody has ever heard that before! “with anybody” does mean “you specifically”
I heard, from her directly that she was now back in a relationship with her ex fiancé…who she had left because of his multiple affairs…he had then emptied their joint bank account and left her stranded penniless in a foreign country (Mexico). she managed to get back to madrid and started to get her life back together slowly…then he arrived back, stricken with grief and intent on getting her back, which meant constant phonically and insistence on meeting because ge was so depressed and wanted her back so much. she even cried on my shoulder once due to his constant attempts to get her back. so she was lucky that she met a (not so) handsome (not so English) Englishman (me, you idiot!). she dumped me in march….though possibly was earlier…I;m a bit slow and we didnt see her as she was a bit ill and work and the ex fiancé was taking up a lot of time. so she told me recently that she was now back with the ex fiancé. so…I felt…not so good…this guy treats you like shit and yet you’d rather go out with him than me. thanks.

I honestly don’t have any ill will towards this girl. you cant help someone not liking you as much as you would like them to. she is, though she is in the past so we can use the past  tense, she was…a lovely and loving person. she just made bad decisions…possibly going out with me in the first place was one of them. we’ve all made bad decisions. mine tends to be constantly going out with lasses that really really aren’t for me. ok, by her actions getting back with the fella she is officially an idiot..but most of us are idiots. and its weird that I keep going out with Spanish lasses whose father is a fascist. or are all fathers in Spain far right pieces of shit?

so, I tend to apply SOP_B after a breakup (Standard Operating Procedure for Breakups). Block and delete on phone and social media..try to forget about them, help this by getting back on the horse as soon and as often as possible until that person or those memories that hurt you are distant and innocuous. to help get back on the horse, I use dating apps. hey! they’ve worked before…I was a massive slut before I met the girl I;m talking about. and basically…if you meet someone in reality its just incredible luck that you were in the right place at the right time. I spend my life at work or at home. I don’t meet people at home cos I live alone and that fella I see in the mirror on the odd occasion I shave…well, he’s not my type. and I dont meet people at work…cos I;m not mental. and I dont meet people between work and home because I;m looking where I;m going…I dont want to bump into people or step in shite.

I;m registered on a dating app. I;ve got the search engine set to 35-55 as I’m 47. although I look 46 in the right light. I suddenly get a message from a 27 year old nurse. we have a chat and arrange to meet. maybe I didnt look at the profile because was a bit of a surprise. we meet one Friday night. she’s a fairly good looking lass but tall, almost my hight…with broad shoulders and blimey she can put away the beer. but a really nice girl. date ends earlier than she seemed to want as I was falling asleep…I was up at 06:30 and at work at 07:40 and hadn’t had a siesta. second date was much the same…I felt a bit of a paedo as she was so young and told me her first concert was Britney Spears! but at the end of the date I take her to the station so she can get the metro back to her home in the suburbs. we have a bit of a snog. mouth, tongues, she’s a really good kisser. so next day she has sent me a wink or something on the app and I actually read her profile and right there it says “chica trans de madrid”…so that would explain the broad shoulders and the beer drinking.

the denouement:
now I felt awful. not because I had kissed a trans person…but because I thought she was a really nice girl,,but suddenly I didnt want to see her again. maybe I am a conservative and closed minded piece of shit. but to be honest, I didn’t particularly fancy her and because she didnt have a word of english, after two long dates I was running out of things to talk about easily in Spanish…I have to think what to say and then how to say it…and I;m pretty rubbish with those in English.
What did I do? I partly lied to her. always a good option. I sent her a message saying that she was a wonderful girl and I was really glad I;d met her but that I;d met someone else. the someone else wasnt better in any way but was closer to my age and we had a lot in common and I thought we had a future. she responded well, I;m sure my charms hadn’t made her fall in love with me or anything and she was very nice and said she had enjoyed spending time with me and wished me luck with new girl.
I didnt feel disgusted that I;d kissed someone who was born a bloke. she was a really good kisser and she was attractive as a girl. not like she had a deep voice and I thought she might beat me up
I just felt stupid because its probably the main reason I read the profile….they are almost always the same…love life, love laughing, travel, travel, travel, I;m so happy, no ONS, love life….but I;ve already swiped left when they write “chica tran” before my brain decodes that they had written “china tranquil”
and the trans thing…its still leaves out a bit of information…if your trans it means you live your life in the gender you weren’t assigned at birth…so you have no idea what is going on down there until you come across it…so to speak. I’m not penis-phobic…but I dont really want to have much to do with one that isn’t mine.

so thats my story. I suppose the moral is to read profiles a bit more carefully. I told the woman I;m spending the day with on Saturday the story…and she laughed…but I asked her to wear a skirt rather than jeans or trousers just so it will be more obvious if she has a cock.


see the pic above…you’d never know she was born a boy

I love Travelling!

Anybody who knows me, knows that the title is not true for me at all. OK, there are places I would like to be, but the place I like to be most is home. And getting home is extremely easy. And when I’m home I understand everything I’m going to say…I don’t even have to read the menu to know what’s good for tea.

As I may have mentioned, I’m back using dating apps for the simple reasons that A) the (almost) last person I was seeing decided that she preferred her life without me in it, which is fair enough, it’s her life and she should live it the best way she can…obviously, I think it was a terrible lapse of judgement on her part, but that’s by the by and bye-bye…and B) my life is spent at work, at home or travelling between the two…and I don’t meet people at work because I’m not mental…and I don’t meet people at home, except myself and even I don’t want to shag me…and I don’t meet people on the way between home and work, maybe because I’m too busy looking where I’m going and avoiding dog shit. Dating apps are kind of great because whoever you meet IRL (In Real Life, for you old people) it’s just  random circumstance anyway…you happened to be in the right place at the right time, said the right thing, at the right time in the other person’s life story, you were born attractive, you happened not to give the impression you were a serial killer, you hadn’t gone out forgetting you had left a mackerel in your back pocket for the last month, you found the courage to speak to someone or at least didn’t rub baked beans in your hair and burst out crying when they looked in your direction. See? Matching IRL is just a matter of random circumstances all falling into place at the right time. Matching on an app means you don’t have to be in the right place, you can be in completely wrong place and you don’t even have to worry about that mackerel. One particular negative side of dating apps or dating online is a very simple one, and is also just as true for IRL dating/copulation/relations…most people…OK thats way to general…a lot of people….fuck it…let’s KiR (Keep it Real! I just made that up, it will be the new TMI or TLDR, mark my words)…almost everybody is fucking dull. Especially the ones that have done amazing things with their life…cos they drone on about those amazing things or at least mention it once or twice, “yeah give it a rest, Leonardo, you did a fucking painting and invented some shit”. A life hack I’ll share with you is that…if they mention how much they love travel…if they have a picture of a place they have been…or any place…then avoid them, they are dullards and why waste your time trying to have sex with a dullard. unless, you really want to have sex of course. with someone.

99.9% of the 100% dullest people say that they love travelling on their profile. If I read one that said “I love sitting on a overcrowded bus for hours when I;m desperate for a piss” or “I love having to take my shoes off to prove there’s not a bomb in it…I even do it when I enter the supermarket and when I get on the bus” ” Sometimes I just pretend I’m on a plane by pouring away 80% of a bottle of wine and overpaying for it by 700% and sitting in a chair solely designed for the comfort of Toulouse-fucking-Lautrec”…yup! I’d swipe right. I saw one that said “I like travel, travel and travel” and I have seen countless profiles that say something like “Visited 36 countries and counting”…Well, for your information I’ve had two shits today..and the day is still young. OK, the last one who had visited x amount of countries, she had a massive knob and a six pack so I swiped right, and boy was I glad I did.

So, before I begin this blog post I’ll just remind you that your travels just show you had time to go somewhere and enough money to get there. the end. it didn’t fucking change you, you didn’t change the place other than taking up some space there for a time. You didn’t do anything heroic or even interesting, you went on fucking holiday, big fucking deal

So..what I did on my holiday….I got the train to Girona. Nice place. the best restaurants seemed to all be Basque pintxo placesP1000302.jpeg

Fairly decent local wine 20180715_191352.jpg


I was there for 4 days which was possibly one day too long. No nothing happened on that day, I didn’t kill a man just to watch him die…but I had seen everything and was getting a bit bored. I think that might be my dislike of travelling…I have to go places with me..I don’t really notice what a twat I actually am when I am home…I can be distracted by films and the internet or sitting on the bog. So I took myself to Aix-en-Provencepalace.jpeg


I went to Aix (I learned it was pronounced Eks) simply because it was in France and I’d seen the Keith Floyd shopping at the market on an episode of Floyd on France.

It really is a beautiful town but I don’t really understand why there is such a lack of French food there…almost everywhere is a pizzeria and one night I succumbed and had a pizza and it weren’t all that.

Having said that, I was thinking the most amazing thing about France was the incredible beauty of the women there, their effortless natural grace and ability to be French and speak French. But actually, I had the cheese and really its the cheese that is the most amazing thing. Maybe cheese just tastes better when your pair it with a really fucking expensive glass of local wine. Prices in France be cray cray yo. a beer will cost you 6euro, a glass of wine anywhere from 3,50 to 8…they are just making it up as they go along.


the Charcuterie weren’t all that though.

My travel tips are:

  • go with someone that isn’t yourself. someone you can put up with for the entire time you will be away.
  • dont go for too long
  • dont go too far. how far away it is tends to mean it takes longer to get there and to get back from there. Although I didn’t do geography O’level, so I could be wrong
  • if you have to travel further away than walking distance, travel there in comfort and style. Pay the extra and go first class. On the train this tends to mean you get to use the first class lounge while you wait for your train. Free drink (including beer and wine!!) and snacks, excellent comfortable and clean toilets, lack of proletarians
  • avoid having to travel by plane. because planes are shite and travelling by plane is the opposite of travelling in comfort and style and almost always requires the need for an airport. Airports are miles away and exist just to piss people off.


more cheese porn! 20180721_130515.jpg

oh..the other thing about France is…or just Provence or just Aix is….the fecking mosquitoes fucking loved the taste of me. They must have been walking around like fat dogs, full of my delicious cheesy blood. I’m probably half the size I was when I left.P1000357.JPG

Oh…I had a conversation in here…with an actual person. American girl from Washington, America. was a bit odd as we started speaking in Spanish while we were both native English speakers…ok, I’m a native…she was German-Dutch genetically and didn’t Scooby a word of Soux. I was really grateful to be speaking to someone in any language I could understand…cos I don’t voulez vou a word of the Park Bench and had barely said two words in a week. The waiter had started speaking to her when she came in and ordered a glass of wine, in Spanish. He was obviously put out a bit when I started speaking to her, cos he turned up the music so loud it was hard for us to have a conversation. Men are such childish dicks. He needn’t have worried, dont think the mosquitos had left me enough blood to waste on an erection without me fainting.

La Portuguesa


If you know me, you know I don’t really hold with maths (or mathematic as the Americans like to call it)…it’s some voodoo shit and I avoid it. I can barely count. I get anywhere near eleventy and I will flip the table and make an ungraceful exit. I mean, they didn’t even have zero until 3BC in Mesopotamia, and the mayans were happy without it until around 4AD. Before that it was like…how many cows do you have…less than ten…how many less? ten….ok, I’ll take 2…no you bleeding won’t. I say this because in the first paragraph I will be using some percentages that may not reflect anything that anyone that can make percentages will understand. Think of those percentages not so much as number bound but colour bound…and those colours are hues and shades rather than anything strictly clear. You get me? Here goes…

I’ve spent about 30% of my life living in Spain, and only 10% of it in Portugal. And I’ve spent almost every summer of the last 15 years living and working in Madrid most of the summer. Yet it comes to summer and I go all Portuguese. I’ll take myself all the way up to El Corte in Sol to buy vino verde and White Port (Portonic is THE summer drink…lot of ice, slices of lemon and lime, a 3rd of white port and a tin of tonic water. you’ll thank me. I’m not a fan of gin tonic…but the dryness of the tonic really works with the port…white port not as sweet as its red sister/brother/cousin but still slightly sweet)


I’m not sure why summer and Portugal seem so synonymus for me. maybe its because I never had my heart broken by a Portuguese woman, while the Spanish girls I’ve been involved with seem to take it as a point of honour to hurt me. And usually at the beginning of summer. Dunno.

While Lisbon is not the same city I used to live in, it seduces anybody who has spent time there. While I prefer my life and love my barrio in Madrid, I cant help but feel a stab to the heart if a see a picture of Lisbon or hear somebody talking about it. I describe Lisbon as my beautiful ex wife, an ex wife who has seen better days but has had some work done recently which I’m not sure if I like or not…Madrid is my plainer, current wife, who treats me well20180710_162935.jpg

(thats not a male leche picture…it’s a matter of privacy. all the photos I took in Lisbon last summer were of the person I went there with. Oddly enough, in reality her face is exactly the same as mine…fat, bald and with a salt and pepper beard)

anyway, I started my holidays officially yesterday. And what is a holiday but the absence of working, and going out for lunch…and drinking booze. and spending a good 18% of the day in the shower. If you get to become a zen master like me, you can combine the shower AND booze…but don’t try this at home yourself. Or anywhere else. Years of practice yo..

So I decided to combine my holiday and summer lovin’ with my saudades for Portugal and went here…20180710_133605.jpg

La Portuguesa c/Juan Alvarez Mendizabel no.39…not far from Templo de Debod.

Oddly enough, there are very very few Portuguese restaurants in Madrid even though the whole country is just around the corner. There have been some decent ones and some terrible ones, but they haven’t lasted very long. It might be because the Spanish think, and say, that Portuguese food is “just bacalao”…although if I said that Spanish food was “just badly cooked rice” I’d be shown the door pronto. Unfortunately the Portuguese restaurants haven’t dispelled this myth by always advertising their bacalao dishes. I haven’t helped, when people have asked me why I love Portuguese food more than Spanish food, I have listed at least 8 fantastic bacalao dishes and they basically won’t hear me if I  mention pork with clams or claim Portuguese chicken a la brasa is just so fucking good.20180710_134123.jpg

so there it is. no I didn’t reserve it. or have my assistant reserve it. You know you’re not in Lisbon when you see the prices…vinho verde of the house was  16euro and main dishes were around 25. but fuck it, I’m on holiday and my knees too dodgy to get me to Portugal.20180710_134622.jpg

cold bottle of vino verde, obvs. bread and sardine paste to start, obvs.20180710_140124.jpg

bacalao with onions was what waiter suggested. I’d say what we portofiles would call bacalhao a braga…though I could be wrong. really was phenomenal. drop of wine in with the onions?20180710_140128.jpg

I’d have gone for the Carne de porco alentejana but it was only for 2 people and I’m not 2 people. Which is lucky I did cos I could barely finish my bacalao for one person and I am one person.20180710_141730.jpg

the very pleasant waiter/owner must have guessed there was something Portuguese about me…maybe my fucked up Spanish…because he just assumed I’d want a coffee. no bad thing…Portuguese coffee is the best in the world…just means I am not having a siesta now…I’m having a portonic and writing this. cheers20180710_142937.jpg

oh..the price…doesnt do a menu del dia…and you’re paying for the exoticism of not eating Spanish food for the nth time 20180710_144704.jpg

come on! I’m worth it, papi #pouting #flickingbackhair

Easter eatin’in

Why do we have Easter? Nobody knows. It has been suggested that someone once had such a Good Friday they decided to keep the party going on. I’ve had a week off work, so I don’t really care why we have Easter.

I’m 12% Viking and 12% Iberian genetically, so I had a hankering for Bacalhau yesterday. Decided to try my hand at Novo’s classic Black Miso Cod


Marinade very easy and bloody delicious…2 tablespoons of mirin, 2 tablespoons of sake, 2 tablespoons of miso paste, 2 tablespoons of brown sugar and just mix it


Cod loin. I had to go frozen as there was no fresh cod at all in fishmongers…maybe there are more of us luso-vikings in south-central Madrid than I thought. So I put the loin of cod in a freezer bag and poured in the marinade then vacuum sealed the bag with its contents. Then went to the pub. Didn’t have most pleasant experience in the pub, I was quite happily reading my book when this woman attached herself to me, almost literally, and started conversation asking what I knew about pharmaceuticals as she’d taken something I’ve never heard of…my go-to don’t’ disturb me or ask me for money is to just deny I speak Spanish and then deny English if they happen to speak that too, they get the message and don’t tend to disturb me more…this lass was having none of it and proceeded to read aloud my book word for word without knowing a single word of English. This went on for an uncomfortable amount of time, made more uncomfortable as she was pressing herself against me more and more, possibly in an attempt to stay vertical and so I was almost falling off my seat trying to get further away. All of this is being played out in front of the bloke she came in with who, I just assumed was her fella. Also she’d obviously smoked a fag earlier and so stank, I was hoping she’d fuck off outside to smoke again but no sign of it. Finally someone distracted her and I said I had to leave as I had my dinner in the oven, leaving half a pint undrunk there in a bid to escape. She didn’t really want me to leave because our bond was obviously so great, but can’t really argue with having to get tea out of the oven, so she let me go as soon as I gave her a kiss goodbye. The end.

I’m like catnip to drunken lasses who stink of fags and who may or may not be overdosing on pharmaceuticals. Maybe I should have given her more of a chance, maybe she was The One, after all last Friday night I was unceremoniously dumped by the lass I’d been seeing for the last 8 months . Actually, i’d probably been dumped some time before last Friday but she let me know in a very clear way that our time together had come to an end even at some time previously. Unnecessarily cruel way of doing it too, if you ask me. But she believes honesty beats crualty . 99 problems, man.

Anyway, so I got home and set the water-bath for 50c and began to think what to have with the cod…for no reason I thought it would go well with gnocchi and beans in a tomato sauce…so I made a simple tomato sauce, chopping an onion finely and softening that, bit of garlic, drop of wine, passata, can of white beans, bay leaf


that’s a really small dish by the way, which is why it looks so messy


bit of oil in the skillet with some chilli oil mixed in. opened up the bag of cod and marinade and reserved the marinade which I put in a pan on a high heat to thicken, then fried the cod


e voila.

I overcooked the cod, like a twat…but the gnocchi and beans were a revalation. I also managed to forget about the thickened marinade sauce.

merry easter

Augmented Humanity

Great title, innit! Unfortunately, after having come up with this great title, I googled it and somebody had already coined the phrase, in fact the ex CEO of Google. I should have firefoxed it instead. bollocks. Actually though, this CEO had a completely different use for this/my phrase.

What this is about….apologies that this has zero to do with eating, drinking, in Madrid or anywhere else…is about the way our relationships and friendships have changed in these interesting times we live in. And how these relationships and friendships come to be.

My mate Dan told me that his brother had gone missing and had been at the Ariana Grande concert in Manchester and that he was worried as nobody seemed to know where he might be, they’d checked all the hospitals in the area, phoned all his friends, and the most worrying thing was that Dan’s brother had such a hefty social media presence and nobody in cyberspace seemed to know where he was either. Dan feared the worst and a couple of days later his brother Matt’s remains were identified. I didn’t know Matt, the brother at all, but my shock and sadness were no less real for that. I realised that I had known Dan for almost twenty years but we’d only met a couple of times when he visited Madrid to do a vomiting in metro stations tour of the city with his girlfriend-now-wife-motherofhischildren. We’d actually become friends on a Brit forum a bit like a third rate Reddit, mainly populated by porters in an Oxford hospital. We’d probably had more contact over the last ten to fifteen years than I’ve had with my more analogue friends that I made at school or university or various jobs.

I also remembered another similar friendship. A few years ago I was putting it about a bit, as you do, and I e-met a lovely woman on tinder. we never actually met never mind the ONS* that tinder exists for (which could become a TwNS*, a ThNS* or even a TWYNS* depending on what the pair of lovebirds decide) as we matched while she was waiting at Barajas airport for a flight back to the US of America after a holiday in Spain. But we kept in touch cos she’s nice and she’s funny and she’s interesting and she’s haaaatttt, and you never know, she might visit Spain again. I’m certainly not going to visit the shithole™that is the US of A. Too many guns, too many racists, not enough hospitals, not enough schools, not enough public transport, too many coppers who would probably want to put a cap in my arse. Well, this lovely woman, has quite a big presence, on social media and off it (I’m not saying she has a big arse, no…she’s quite well known as a businesswoman and activist) and she received a worrying message from a friend who seemed to be having a breakdown or was in some sort of trouble. She missed the call and the fella wasn’t replying when she rang back. To make matters worse she had no idea what part of the big country he might be living in these days. So she activated her social media resources and the guy was tracked down by a copper who was a cousin of a friend of a friend of a friend of a friend, on the other side of their shithole™ country. He wasnt in the best of states but he was unhurt, he was safe and was able to be looked after. Hurrah for augmented humanity

*ONS=OneNightStand…nobody wants them apparently. I think it’s considered a sin or some shite.

*TwNS=Two night stand, see above

*ThNS=Three Night Stand, see above

*TWYNS= Twenty Years Night Stand, see above

+ my own…NKaNA=No Knights and No Anal. Just so you know, if we match on Tinder, Grinder, Scruff, Snapdirt©, DirtyChat©, H8R© or FaceTwat©

While I’m on the subject. internet dating is the modern version of the old 80s meme, voting tory being like wanking…nobody admits it but everybody does it. Actually, I take that back…voting tory now is quite open and those that do don’t just wank, they also put their dicks into dead pigs mouths and try to foment racial hatred and try to sell off the NHS all at the same time. Our ancestors met their SO (Special Other) at school, or at university or if they were paricularly gross, at work. But luckily they were able to die of TB at the age of 32. We have to live well into our 70s, which is lucky cos we can then have about two weeks of retirement before our body gives up and we become less of a burden to the tax dodgers. Meeting an SO, or a ONS for that matter, is just chance anyway, so why be proud of it or ashamed of it…you happened to be in place A and uttered the words Y and Z and you happened not to be with your X. If you meet on tinder you don’t have to be in place A, you can decide how far away you want to look…1km, 10km 100km or whatever. And what if AYZ and X all align perfectly but he or she turns out not to love laughing or life or travelling, doesn’t ski or do yoga, isn’t a friend to his/her friends? you’ve just wasted your damn time, Holmes, I hope you didnae pay for his/her drink. shit happens, bruv


here’s a picture. of madrid. you could eat or drink or do both nearby

Sous Vide ribs

Why do I keep going on about sous vide? Well, I’m like an apostle or an evangelical or some sort of fanatical shit. I think, at the heart of my mission is my hope that people live their lives better in terms of eating and drinking in Madrid, and outside Madrid. Sous Vide might look like unneccesary faff or fashion… but it delivers outstanding results and turns the cheapest cuts into five star shnizzle. and the faff is outweighed by the lack of faff…it means you can set it all up and pop off to the pub for a few pints before finishing it off before you eat.

My mum still goes on about these ribs I made for her years ago…I think I slow cooked them in a stock and then roast. So if they were good slow cooked, I reckoned they’d be even better sous vide. and they must have been good ribs in the first place…because I made them and my mum has something positive to say about them.

I’d tell you pork ribs are cheap as chips, but that would be a lie. They are cheap but slightly more than chips. you could get enough meat out of them for 6euro for 6 people, especially if you cook them right. There’s 1 of me so I spent 6euro on ribs and divided the rack into 4 so that they would fit easily into a vacuum pack. I poured honey over the ribs and then some mustard, then stuck them carefully in the bag trying to make sure not to get the marinate onto the front part of the bag…wasnt careful enough and had to clean with kitchen towel a few times. then vacuum sealed the bag….set the water bath to 70c and when it was ready I put the 4 bags of sealed pork into it. let it cook overnight and most of the morning (this was about 9pm at night). After watching Match of the Day on Sunday morning/afternoon…I peeled two spuds and sliced them hasselback style..salt and pepper and pinch of paprika and a spoon of butter then vacuum sealed a bag. took the pork bags out and left them to cool to make easier to deal with. put spud bags in the water bath and went to my local to read while drinking beer.


Flashforward 3 beers later. I went home, took the spud bag out of the water bath and turned off the Anova and put it away. Opened up the pork bags and poured the liquid from it into a pan. Put the pan onto a high heat until the liquid had reduced. carefully put the meat onto a raised oven shelf thing (bearing in mind, this meat is so soft it could just fall apart)…poured over the reduced liquid and put the pork into the oven until they browned


the meat was so tender and tasty. and still had some of the reduced liquid to pout over a wee bit onto the butter braised hasselback spuds

Still a load of meat left the next day, so I pulled out the ribs by hand (just a matter of pulling them out, the meat is so tender) and put the meat into a nice bread roll with melted cheese and topped with fresh spinach

endangered, threatened, at risk

Not till we are lost, in other words not till we have lost the world, do we begin to find ourselves, and realize where we are.

What am I talking about?

Yes, menu del dias. The greatest thing Spain has to offer. Our light. Our rock. One of the reasons we love this country, this city, this barrio. The menu del dia is threatened with extinction and when it is completely lost,our lives will be poorer for its loss.

You might suggest that I am exaggerating, that menu del dias do exist, but my reply to you would be to look hopefully at you but then snort because I have realised that you understand nothing, Jon Snow. A menu del dia needs 3 courses (or a coffee instead of pudding), bread and enough wine and casera to last 3 courses and the space that lies between those courses, so a bottle at least. A glass or a mini carafe just don’t get the job done does it….what you going to do, sip it slowly like you’re lost in the dessert? We are trying to enjoy the good things in life, not just barely managing to survive. A real menu del dia used to be ten a penny, but that’s what the Khoikhoi said about the Quagga, until they turned around and couldn’t find a quagga for love nor money. We need to discover or rediscover the few remaining menu del dias and we need to show them the love that they deserve, we need to keep them safe. for ourselves, for our children and for our childrens children


Last week I went upstairs in Anton Martin market in Lavapies Alta to have a menu del dia in the wee place run by the South American family there. a good, honest, authentic menu del dia. full bottle of wine, nice chips and a chupito to digest with. single figure price too. Was it open? Was it fuck! it doesn’t even exist now. Instead it’s a new Italian restaurant. I didn’t even see any mention of a menu del giorno. I wandered out of the market, in a daze, my sense of loss fighting with my hunger for dominance. I found myself on Calle Fucar


I remembered A’Cañada, somewhere I hadn’t been for years. I stopped going there simply because the menu del dia was always huge and would bury me for the whole day.


yes. It’s still there and exactly the same. Not been replaced by hipster beard tattooist or flooglehorn dealer. The menu is still hand written, includes bread, full bottle of wine, and closed with the traditional chupito. We still have our culture. We are not become Malasana or worse

Calle de Fúcar, 20
28014 Madrid

I had cuban rice followed by plancha grilled sea bream with salad followed by pudding and a chupito of orujo. short walk home to collapse on the sofa and fall asleep to BBC Radio Nottingham Matchtalk and Forest losing to Hull

Casa Benteveo

Cafe Benteveo is one of my favourite cafes in Lavapies Alta (Anton Martin) run by Argentinians and an English bloke and part owned by the bloke who played the prison officer in Celda 211. They have taken over the restaurant that used to be called La Otra Casa and now it’s called Case Benteveo. Serves Argentinian specialities as well as other things. Yes, I can feel you looking at me all annoyed that I don’t update this blog very often….you walked all the way to La Otra Casa and the fucker had closed down

casa benteveo1.jpeg

they do a menu del dia during the week, but being able to go for a menu del dia on a weekday is now just the stuff of dreams. so I went on a Sunday. I think it was my birthday. celebrations came much later…although not much to celebrate at my age.


I dont remember what this was called and cant find on their menu on facebook. but it was basically slow cooked cochinillo which was then pushed down and fried…came with spuds, salad and a delicious sauce. was really really excellent.


my partner (partner in crime or cowboy partner, not sexy partner) had the Milanese of beef with mozzarella. No first course other than a vermut each, nice bottle of Rueda and a coffee for my pard’ner.

Around 20 each

nae bad at all. very nice folk running it, if that sort of a thing bothers you. oh and great bar almost next to it for a pre lunch aperitif or post lunch digestif. or both

here are the deets

gardening leave

You may have noticed, or you may have been blissfully unaware, that I haven’t posted any new eatings or drinking in Madrid. Here’s why…

First of all, work has been mental and I’ve barely had a moment for the last few weeks. not that I’ve ever spent any time at work eating or drinking or writing about either….but I’ve been getting home and just collapsing on the sofa or the bed and on the odd day off I get, I’ve just wanted to stay home and recover for the next round of constant harassment and work. The whole thing is completely the wrong way around your work five or six days and then get two or one day….should be completely the other way around…5 or six days off followed by 1 or 2 days work.

The other thing is…I’ve gone gluten free. This is actually easier than you’d think if you eat at home and don’t leave your barrio. I’m lucky enough to live in the best barrio in Madrid, I don’t have to tell you that is Lavapies….and our Carrefour has a huge sin-gluten section. You can get pasta sin gluten that you wouldn’t know wasn’t normal pasta…beer sin gluten that is fine (Damm came out with the first one, called Daura…but oddly enough it’s Mahou Sin-Gluten that is the best)…even oven pizza sin gluten (not the best oven pizza I;ve ever had…but hey) and two bars on my street serve mahout sin gluten (La playa and El Automatico)…that said…going gluten free isn’t so easy if you want to eat out or drink out…or write a blog about doing either or both. I-m not allergic to wheat I don’t think and dont even know if I am intolerant but I want to be wheat free for a month at least just to see if I might be.

Ny family are generally quite slight but I eat much less than anybody in my family and I’m very easily full up….so I’m thinking it might be wheat intolerance. Maybe I shouldn’t have left this thought until I was 46 years old. It was also suggested to me by a friend because her husband (or partner…not sure if their gods have condoned their union) used to snore badly and then went gluten free and stopped snoring…and now if he accidentally eats gluten she gets no sleep.

I snore. Badly. It’s a fucking war crime to say the very least. My girlfriend must be a saint for not just getting out of bed at night, going to the kitchen, taking a knife and stabbing me to death as I sleep. I feel terrible guilt for this and although I’m almost perfect in every other way, She really doesn’t have to put herself through this. I’ve tried everything…a thing that goes up my nose;a thing that forces my mouth shut at night; a mouth guard that forces my jaw forward and keeps my mouth open; those nose clips that Robbie Savage used to wear; various sprays…nothing worked. So I’m trying gluten free in attempt to keep the most wonderful woman I’ve ever met. I also have just bought a humidifier and eucalyptus essential oil to out into it. I have an app that records my snoring and gives each night a score (highest being the worst) and my snoring has gone down from a score of 180 to a score of 3. So something must be working.

If a combination of the gluten free plus humidifier doesn’t work I shall have to look into getting exorcised. or worse.

Anyway, that’s why I’ve not been eating or drinking or posting. wish me luck. I might look into selling the blog name, as it is the first thing that comes up if you google “eating drinking Madrid” so that must be worth something.

If anybody wants to send me a review of their own, I’ll quite happily publish it.

Peace out

Gofio – posh Canarian food

Yeah. I’ve sold out. I ain’t keepin’ it real no more
This is definitely not an old skool menu del dia restaurant. Quite the opposite. It’s like a restaurant from The Trip. There’s dishes that come with foam, there’s dishes that get injected in front of you, you get instructions with each course. and there are eight courses of tiny but delicious weird dishes.
We felt like we should be constantly doing impressions. But I find that gets a bit wearing when professional impressionists do it, so the fifth time a scrote like me says “No, Mister Bond, I expect you to die!” you’re actually wishing you could die. “What do you mean Flash Gordon approaching?”…impressions are even worse when you have to say who you are trying to be…”What’s that supposed to mean, Scott?” (Guy Pearce in Neighbours)

So, this restaurant is in Huertas (or if you prefer..Lavapies Alta Norte) and it ain’t cheap. But i’m assured by my brother that for this sort of high class food in the UK you’d be paying an arm and a leg for this sort of an experience. And as everybody there is on zero hour contracts, you’ll need those arms and legs…even though you’d still be considered fit for work and sent back to poundland without them.

this is going to be hard to write about as there were 8 courses and wasnt completly sure what any of them were…mainly when the male waiters brought them over and insisted on telling us about the dish in very difficult to understand English. The female waiters were quite happy to explain the dishes in their native tongue, which made them much easier to understand. I wasnt too worried about what the male weighters were rabbiting on about as they had checked for alergies beforehand (and i’m deathly alergic to all nuts and all dirty bombs. and killer sharks. and i can’t breath in space. not allergic but i dont like beer over 6 per cent. think i got everything covered there)
Basically you have 3 options…they are all tasting menus…menus degustation. you can have short menu of 6 plates/courses, 8 plates/courses or ten. we went for the middle one. 35euro. Bottle of white wine from Lanzarote

first course…now this is easy….chicken soup. I’m sure they’d done something else to it than just chicken soup. Was delicious. “We took a chicken and made it fight a bear. an angry bear like in that film with Leonard Di Capprio. Then we got the chicken to appear on celebrity big brother and get off with an ex-wag and come at least third. Then, and only then, did we turn him into soup. Enjoy!”

next course/plate was a scallop with a foam of something delicious…in a sauce of delicious.

next plate/course was a pie of something, goat maybe. and injected with rabbit salmorejo…which is not salmorejo you know, there’s not tomato in it. there was something about the green veg it was served on and we were warned that we would be shown the door if we didnt eat the greens. fair enough

really not sure what the next thing was. Was maybe pork inside a damson style thing. with a sauce made of super concentrated baby squid

absolutely no idea. was nice though. the crispy thing on top was made from corn. i think. oh the wee gobs of sauce were made from avacado

Octopus. with a sauce. very delicious.


this was the last “salad” course….he meant “savoury”. think it was goat stew with something on top and a slice of strong sheep’s cheese to the side

Pudding one. Lemon mouse thing with mint

pudding two. mine was different to my partner’s. mine was sort of chocolaty. thing the other one had evil nuts in it

all in all, i cant see myself eating there regularly. 115euro for 8 courses for two people and two bottles of lanzarote wine (very nice by the way…sort of smokey and dry) but was definitely a positive experience which i highly recommend. just dont make sure you dont sit next to a pair of dicks doing crap impressions

Meson Valle del Jerte

I once met a woman, no bear with me. This woman said “I don’t like menu del dias!” which to me is a bit of a strange thing to say….i can imagine someone saying “i dont like cheese” and not liking cheese….but if you said “I don’t like lunch” that, to me, is a bit weird. I have a feeling she didnt really know what a menu del dia was and was just repeating something she’s heard someone say, as she kept asking questions like “how many courses do you get?” “do we really get all this for 10euro?”
As i have mentioned, the menu del dia and our very way of life is being eroded and there are some areas of Madrid where it’s nie on impossible to find a proper menu del dia. and even in a civilised place like lavapies-sur (embajadores) they aren’t all over the place at weekends. So when you’re hungry, thirsty, tired and it’s a saturday and the grain of sands left counting down the lunch window are disappearing, it great when you remember a proper Menu Del Dia place is just around the corner.
So i ended up in Meson Valle del Jerte just opposite Frangus just below the rastro. Jerte is a small town near Caceres but for some reason this restaurant has some connection with Portugal. They sell Sagres and Pasteis de Nata, but maybe it’s just because its opposite Frangus and they buy from there.

Look at that! That’s a site for thirsty eyes….not only a full bottle of wine for one person, but a large bottle of Casera to mix with it. To be honest, i generally find myself rationing Casera as much as wine.

hell of a lot of seafood paella. i wont be going thirsty or hungry

Baked Bream (Dorada), the fish being baked atop the spuds and veggies. Lovely

oh and pudding. chocolate tart. Didn’t bother taking photo of dessert. it’s just dessert.

Old Skool no frills home cooked Menu del Dia. 14 euro (well, it is a weekend). I was able to get myself home and onto the sofa to siesta till half past seven half listening to a hiphop spotify playlist. Tell me if you had a better saturday!

Anton Martin Market 2nd Floor Restaurant

I was thinking about writing a new blog about the gentrification and hipsterization of Lavapies, gastrofication maybe. And I still might. We’re kind of lucky here at the moment as generally the gentrification hasn’t been overlly negative. Local people haven’t yet been forced to become financial migrants and leave the city centre, the new hipster cafe that charges 2,50 for a cortador opened up in a shop selling equipment for growing hydroponic weed, it didnt take the place of a much loved historic bar. So yeah, we’re not Malasana yet…but it’s bound to happen. We will become a theme park to our past, people will be coming to Lavapies to experience the ethnic mix we enjoy now even though the mix of ethnicities will have been forced out by high prices a long time previously.For the moment, I’m finding the choice to hipsterize or to normalize pretty dope. And the second floor of Anton Martin Market in Lavapies Alta is a striking example

I could go and have bowl of (quite frankly disgusting and weird looking) american sugar and cereal with milk and pay from 5euro for it….or i could go to the corner of the 2nd floor and have a 3 course menu del dia with a bottle of wine for 7. Hmmmm….tough choice

I went for the menu del dia

Full bottle of wine, ice and casera? Check!

1st course…patatas revolconos…I may have mentioned this before. Really? I have? Have I ever mentioned Lovejoy? Well, papayas revolconos are to spanish cuizine what Lovejoy is to UK TV….like only the best thing evarrr!!!Slightly mashed potato with paprika, topped with fresh pork scratchings. Yeah! Genius. Think it must be the only thing the Christians managed to do right

Second course, chicken with “sauce” and amazing-assed chips

Think I had ice cream for pudding.

My friends, we are living in the best of times. Enjoy it while we can. Before we’re forced to consume American cereal for lunch



La Cabana Argentina

Was my partner’s birthday so I took them (non gender specific pronoun) for a steak. I’ve walked past this place a few times and did my due diligence and it had good reviews. Also, did a bit of extra research as I’m a nob. Turns out that the best cut of steak to order in argentina is bife de chorizo or strip steak for you angloholics…it’s a cut that is tender but has enough fat to make it tasty. Your tenderloin or solomillo is apparently like shagging a model…looks good from a distance but not really much to it. and is skinny, smokes and does charlie. If a barbecue joint does a good strip steak, apparently you know its a good place. So i thought that even if its a rubbish meal, we’ll at least leave knowledged up about this place.

So obviously we ordered chicken nuggets and strawberry milk shakes. well done!
No… we ordered, well I ordered as I’m the alpha, 500g bife de chorizo en su punto (which is not rare or medium rare…it’s literally to the point…you’re saying…let the meat decide)
chips bien sur.
bottle of end of the world Malbec from Patagonia. a very nice drop yo.
Total was about 100euro for the two of us.


will definitely go back. but may take a year or so for all that meat to leave my intestines

Coffee in Madrid

I like my coffee like I like my men: hot, bald and slutty

Ok, that doesn’t make any sense. I’m probably just telling you that i drink cofee; I’m bald; I will most probably put out (I tend to let love rule) and in the right light, which is mainly a lack of light and no obvious exit, I could be considered attractive. Depending on how much you’ve drunk and what prescription your glasses that you’ve left somewhere else are.

I think the hipsters have moved on to artisinal beer these days, so I’m on safe ground to write something about coffee. Without being called a hipster, despite living in Lavapies and having a beard. Also, I’m too old to be considered a hipster. No tattoos, no kids, no dog. Guess that makes me a goth. or a hippy or whatever other clique is today’s counter cultural bête noire. I’m probably just a scruffy chav with sophisti-pop tendencies with a passion for Lovejoy, “Africa” by Toto, Soviet art and Come Dine with Me. Don’t think i’m exactly on the zeitgeist.

So, Coffee, Cawfy, CupaJoe,Java…what’s it all about, eh? As an ex-Englishman who became didlyeye culchie Oirish I grew up drinking a mug of tea more often than the jitter juice…but that changed in my early thirties when I left Istanbul and went to live in Lisbon. Fresh milk wasn’t a thing there at that time and nobody sane is going to put UHT milk in tea, are they? so i moved over to C8H10N4O2. Not a bad descicion to be honest, as it turns out that by the far the betterest coffee in the world is served in Portugal. A stint living in the south of Italy kept the coffee monkey on my back, so it was a bit of a shock when I moved to Madrid, 14 years ago now, and drank coffee here. Jesus, how do they make it so bloody aweful? Thankfully, some people are actually getting the hang of it and there are places you can find that serve half decent coffee.

Some basic rules:

  • This isn’t Italy, don’t feel confind by Italian rules of decorrum. You can have a coffee with milk after 10am if that’s your jam. Nobody is going to be reporting a dangerous maniac to the popo.
  • If you want your hot beverage to be more than tepid, you’ll have to make sure you ask for your milk to be muy caliente. Like my men….
  • If you want to be able to taste the coffee in your relaxing cafe con leche, ask for it to be largo de cafe.
  • Look for a sign showing they serve either Portuguese coffee (eg. Delta) or Italian Coffee (eg. Lavazza or Illy

Places that serve nice coffee in the centre of Madrid

Cafelito (near Plaza Agustin Lara)

Mercadillo Lisboa (in Lavapies market)

Go on…have a custard tart and a small glass of vinho do porto or a glass of Licor Beirão

Taberna Tirso de Molina

(Delta coffee)

Bar La Piola (Calle Leon) CLOSED DOWN

Mas Corazon (opposite Anton Martin Market)

if you’re Hank Marvin…order a pincho of their amazing tortilla…you get a fair old wack.

La Cana (on the way down towards Reina Sofia)

they do a lot of various (expensive) fruit juices too. Illy coffee.

*all the photos came off the old there internet, raining so i couldnt be going out and taking fotos myself. mianly from the locations own facebook or tripadvisor page

** new mac and new keyboard, got an english keyboard and so the punctuation has got me all a bit confused. so add in any necesarry punctuation using your own imagination.

The dark side of gentrification

Seems like half of Madrid has today off…hope they worked last Saturday like I did to warrant it. Means almost every restaurant full so I’m in the back up to my back up to my back up..but was running late and my window of lunch opportunity was closing. About as old skool and friendly as you can get. No frills, no Wi-Fi and bad phone connection but the telly on so you’re not completely disconnected with the outside world. Reasonably priced at 9,50€ for 3 courses with bread and wine….

I had the traditional inexpensive menu del día first course of Cuban rice (rice, two fried eggs and tomato sauce)

Main course, bacalao a la riojana (big chunk of loin of cod with a tomato and pepper sauce..with chips)

And I’ll probably have pudding…fuck pudding, but if I have coffee i won’t be able to siesta.

But look at this picture and see what is worrying me…

Yeah..a half bottle of wine. What is this…world war two rationing? Sharia law?

I worry that we’re becoming Malasaña and our traditional way of life is on the way out. I notice the new cereal bar doesn’t do a menu del día….jus’sayin’…slippery slope innit.

Don’t panic…all is not lost…they still gave me free aperitif. Phew

Calle Lavapiés

La Polonesa

Summer is long gone, so I’ve started feeling a bit ridiculous walking around with my enviable beach body. It’s getting bleedin’ chilly so I thought I needed to work on my draw dropping curves. What better way to do that than get some carbs down me. Now where can I find stodgy food aside from 98% of Spanish food? Something to put some meat on my bones and reduce this infernal cold..I know…northern european food, or better yet, eastern european food. A colleague told me about this Polish restaurant not far from the epicentre of Madrid. It’s in Pacifico/Menendez Palayo…a barrio I have previously mentioned as a hidden gem of a barrio for eating and drinking out…and only a 5 minute walk from Atocha.
I should mention my relationship with Poland. I’m from North Notts and we’ve had a large Polish population there since they came over to help the allies defeat fascism, and while Elizabeth II was practicing her zieg heils in the mirror while wearing some godaweful hat paid for by the tax payer, Poles living in Britain were either flying Spitfires in the Battle of Britain or they were mining coal to assist the war effort. I went to a catholic school so we were mainly Paddies or Poles. This is back in the day, before Rupert Murdoch and the Hitler supporting owner of the Daily Heil decided that they needed to demonise Poles while taking a short breath from making up stories about Islam. Not sure why they decided to demonise eastern europeans, but I suppose it’s the same as any target for these scumbags…less of them and easier to identify as they actually have skills, speak more than one language and are actually hard at work…unlike, say, your Nicholas Faräge type who has never done a proper day’s work in his life and has no obvious skill or talent. Also, if you can tell stupid people that they are being attacked by “others” they won’t notice the actual attacks to their way of life by the greedy priviliged natives…such as selling off the post office, the NHS, the land regestry, child protective services for fuck sake (which will be renamed “Child PRODUCTIVE servicing Inc” and a proportion of abused children will be sold off to a paedophile ring of British aristocrats. No…i definitely didn’t mention anyone whose name was Andrew Prince or anything similar)
Anyway, long and short of it. I grew up among British Poles and we lived quite happily together before they became enemies of the state. I went on a short holiday to Krakow when I was in my 20s…this was in the days before cheap air travel so I went by train as it was cheaper.
What I noticed about Poland as the train crossed over from germany into poland was that it seemed like we’d suddenly travelled back 50 years in time. The fields were suddenly being ploughed by oxen rather than tractors and there were far more carts going down the nearby street than 4b4s. The buffet car of the train suddenly had an actual stove and they were selling hot food rather than microwaived food or crisps….and you could afford it! and a beer!
The week or so I spent in Krakow, I generally ate in a mexican restuarant because i could afford to and it wasn’t something i could ever hope to do back in London, and in my head i liked mexican food. Also, they had really good looking waitresses in the Mexican restuarant….i think they were poles but at the time I’m not sure if i’d have noticed any difference between polish and mexican.

Fast forward to the present day and i can get by in Mexican and can order a beer in Polish (well, just by saying “beer” and holding the bottle up and moving it from one side to the other with my fingers and thumb to show that the glass bottle is empty). A colleague at work told me ages ago about this polish restaurant not far away from my gaff and recommended it. Today is a holiday in Madrid Capital (because of a statue of the Virgin Mary and Jesus that was found buried in the ground. No, don’t laugh…I don’t turn my nose up at a day off work, so keep your titters to yourself!) so i thought i’d try it out.
It’s called La Polonesa (The Polish) so i don’t suppose there are many polish restaurants in madrid to confuse with it.


I thought I was ordering 2 starters…but the light was poor and I’m still not in the habit of taking my glasses out with me, because i very rarely need them. Turns out I ordered two main courses, which might explain why i was full up after the first and had to have 90% of the second to take away in a doggy bag. Because it was a holiday, there was no menu del dia. Hence my strange order and beer instead of wine. To be fair, i’d have more confidence in polish beer than polish wine….call me a rascist.
For my first main course i had the meat pierogi which are stuffed, steamed pies similar to dimsun but way bigger and fuller and came attop fried onions. They were really nice.

For my second main course, I ordered the bigos….which i remembered avoiding in Poland itself but had a bowl of it on the train between Krakow and Berlin, with a cold beer. And it was delicious. a hearty meat and smoked sausage stew with sauerkraut. 20 or 25 years later and in a (stationary) restaurant on the other side of europe, it was still delicious….but just way way way too much of it. If i hadn’t got it put in a doggy back, i’d still be there trying to get through it

wasn’t cheap as i was dining ala carte like Kanye might. two large main courses and two large (pint) bottles of Polish “okocim” beer…21€…though my lunch to take to work tomorrow is sorted too.

La Falda de Lavapiés

Ok, sorry about the ranting and the non-Madrid based eating and drinking. Back in my comfort zone now. You fuckers didn’t want to hear me sing my truth anyway.

Now…look at this photo and tell me what problem you see

I won’t insult your intelligence. If you know anything about how to live life and aren’t clinically insane (no shame in it) it’s more than obvious.
The salad was really nice…i’m not ashamed to tell you I really like quinoa and also everything else it came with was calm…cucumber, tomato, red onion, a touch of mint, crunchy bread crumbs. shitload too much salt in it, though. I’d never imagined or seen people put salt in salad until I came to Spain. Love of salt may explain why hypertension is so popular in Iberia. Can’t just be me making it cool.
For the seriously slow or those that just don’t know anything about how to live properly, what do you notice about the main course (beef-burger made of castrated male cow, I had it well done so i couldn’t hear the screams of the vanquished, tortured, humiliated and murdered cow. was nice)

Yeah obvious, wasn’t it, And you knew exactly what was going to happen from the first photo.
To be honest I’ve not really seen much negative about the gentrification of this barrio. I bought the DaveCave© before gentrification started here….and it has mainly meant that shitty bars/cafes have become nice bars or less shitty bars. La Falda was an odd local, as it was the first time that a shitty old man became a hipster place briefly before turning back into a shitty old man bar and recently became a fairly decent gastro-bar and has been getting a good reputation for platos, pinchos and tapas. I have heard that in Malasaña, where gentrification and hipsterification has really taken hold, that it almost impossible to get a menu del dia. I certainly don’t want Lavapies to suffer the same fate. I don’t really get this thing of just giving you one glass of wine for a 3 course menu. This is Spain and cheap wine is cheaper than cheep, it’s cheaper than tap water. How can you make one glass of wine last 3 courses? You could hide it, you could keep it on the other side of the building, you could maybe order a glass of wine that you really don’t like (but I’m not sure that exists…outside of the UK or parts of what used to be the Ottoman empire)…it’s just ridiculously tight and means I’m much less likely to return here. It’s not that I need a whole bottle of wine. But I want a whole bottle of wine. Or at least not have to sip a glass of wine so slowly that you’d think it was the only drinkable liquid I had and I was trapped on some sort of lifeboat in the middle of an ocean surrounded by dave eating sharks.
So, get it together yo
here is their facebook page if you want more actual information….like the address, or photos…the sort of stuff that I’m way to busy