San Bruno – stalwart

Second day running I’ve not been able to get a table at Los Chuchis, so we turned around walked up the hill (with a brief stop in Lo Maximo for a spritz, which is a manly drink…only for them to be out of campari…which is equally manly on its own. you heard it here first) into the welcoming arms of the Taberna San Bruno.
I’ve been a regular in here since moving to Madrid….well, since my second year in Madrid, in my first year I was working for an international academy (which will remain nameless) who prefer to keep teachers on starvation wages to keep them lean and hungry for a spot of teaching.

San Bruno has even entered my spanish lexicon as a verb…

¿Dave, qué estás haciendo?¡Estoy sanbruniando!

While there’s always a friendly welcome and a vermouth while they prepare my table, the food can be hit and miss. It’s almost never actually bad but it can occasionally be pedestrian. The litre carafe of wine and post lunch digestif of patxaran sort of makes up for this occasional slip. Just as occasionally though, they outdo themselves. Today started with a bit of a miss.

The revuelto de marisco (scrambled eggs with prawns) was a bit so-so…and i didn’t fancy much else on the first course menu.

The roast leg of lamb for the main course, however, was a triumph. Very meaty and tender and bloody tasty. Served with sliced spuds cooked in stock

Homemade flan to finish, which was lovely although possibly difficult to eat while driving or parachuting…if only they could invent some sort of mobile flan for such occasions.

(That’s a film reference btw…)

I forgot to take a photo of it though.

As it was almost xmas, Willy the cuban waiter (who speaks german as well as he speaks english..which is very well) gaves us two free glasses of patxaran.

Weekends and fiestas the menu is 15€ and during the week it’s 10. Was 7,00€ when i first started coming here. During the war

Place up the road has just put its weekend menu up from 15€ to 20 in one fell swoop. Thank god for the 1% pay rise i got for the last three years

¡Hoy he estado sanbruniando!

 

Los Chuchis

I was told about this place by Bryn from rastrobar/linguafranca…lucky he did as I never walk up that part of Calle Amparo and it would have gone unnoticed and untried.

It’s a great example of an old man bar that’s been done up with taste and passion…but there’s even better news….wait for it…

…wait for it….

The chef is English!!

You might be able to see from there that they have a couple of real ales in there…and a menu del dia at a very reasonable 9,50€ or 12€ at the weekends. Closed on mondays.

This was the menu today.

I went for the soup, which was very nice indeed.

And of course…sausages and mash…with onion gravy. The sausages were lush…i asked where they bout them from…but they said they imported them themselves.

I’m not a fan of hp sauce…but i took a photo of it anyway.

I had a coffee instead of a pudding…but it came with a biscuit and a hazelnut chocolate.

There aren’t many tables in there, so i’m imagining that when word gets out that there’s an English chef plying his trade in the ‘hood there’ll be people fighting over tables.

mercado san fernando

Following the recent trend for doing up markets in the city, like the san miguel in austrias and san anton in chueca, the people’s republic of lavapiès has done the same with the mercado san fernando. I get the impression that this new incarnation has been…incarnated…without what might be left from taxes after the PP has creamed off their cut.

As well as a host of new stalls and bars, they’ve got new opening hours…no more closing for a couple of hours in the afternoon and it’s even open on saturdays and sundays.

Lavapiès seems to be at the forefront of the new “real ale” movement…well, not exactly real ale…widening horizons from mahou and….err…mahou sin alcohol…to…other beers. There’s a bar on calle argumosa called el pedal which claims to carry 200+ beers…and in the mercado there’s a shop selling all sorts of beers…german wheat beers to british IPAs…if you can’t wait to get your new beer purchase home, you can drink it there. Big bottles of german weizenbier are about 2,50€

There’s all your normal market stalls such as fishmongers and greengrocers…as well as delis selling weird foreign products

…like mint sauce, apple sauce and dijon mustard. Looking at the price he’s selling his coleman’s for…i’d guess he won’t be open that long. He does lemon curd too.

There’s a place that sells ready made greek food and greek products. There’s also a bar that sells wine by the litre from large vats

As well as the new places, there’s still the traditional old boy bars

…cañas in all the traditional bars seem to be 1,20€ including a tapita.

Just another place that adds to Lavapiès’ reputation as “the best barrio in madrid”