La Dominga

ladominga (6 of 6)I found myself wandering around Malasaña on a Wednesday afternoon and the window of lunching opportunity was about to close so I picked La Dominga almost at random. What I liked was that there was a choice of two first courses and two main courses, so I’m less likely to be racked by regret and the feeling I’ve made a terrible error.

ladominga (4 of 6)1st course: cream of beetroot,carrot and leek soup with a touch of goat cheese or prawn gyosas served on aubergines done in spicy honey

2nd course: beef stew with tomato and rice or crunchy fishburger with provenzal style chips.

ladominga (1 of 6)I asked for the prawn gyozas and told them to make them blurry.

Nice. I’d only ever had gyozas fried before, but these were boiled. Nice. The aubergines weren’t particularly spicy or honey-y but nice all the same.

ladominga (2 of 6)Crunchy fish burger for main course. Nice and crunchy. Looks like in Provençal they put some chopped parsley on their chips.

I had cuajada (milk curd) with honey for pudding. Didn’t take a photo, it’s only a dessert. Not worth my time.

ladominga (3 of 6)The food was good and not too much of it and it’s a nice enough place (quite dark, so ideal for dates if you’re ugly) but there is a caveat. Instead of the traditional jug/bottle/carafe of wine they just give you a glass, and it’s impossible to make one glass of wine last 3 courses and the waiting time between ordering and the courses…well, maybe not impossible per se, but not very enjoyable or even natural…and they charge you for any subsequent glasses which drives up the price of your lunch quite significantly. So bear that in mind if you’re thinking of investing in lunch here.

La Dominga

Sunday caña crawl

Decided to leave the house and cross the rubicon of Gran Via to see if a café’s claim, backed up by a friend of mine, that they served the best coffee in Madrid was true. Toma cafè on calle palma. Teeny tiny place which wasn’t helped by a couple of bikes being parked in there. Group of six americans and a trendy japanese couple filling the place meant I had to get my coffee “to go”

Coffee was good and was nice to see those two great nations putting their histories behind them and choosing to ignore each other and enjoy their coffees instead. Best in Madriz? Iunno to be honest, it was good but i made a tactical error and took a cappuccino…think i’d need my usual cortado to truly make a judgement. I should fall on my sword like Brutus.

So, i found myself in a part of town I don’t frequent too much and thought…instead of studying, why don’t I throw lager beer and free tapas down my throat instead? I couldn’t come up with a decent point against this proposal, so that’s what i did.

First stop: La Pomerada

A bit incongruous in an area that would like to think it had its hipness turned up to 11. Asturian place. Marca to read, telly in the corner. Caña for 1,40€ and decent free tapa. There’s a comedor out back and their menu del dìa was advertised at 12€…which ain’t bad for a sunday

Taberna de Abajo


On a street parallel to the last one. Old skool. Barman has no voice. Judging by the silk scarf he wears around his throat, it’s something medical…or he’s very gauche and chooses not to speak. Must be hard in his line of work.. He has crabs too. And clams and percebes. I just got a small plate of crisps as a tapa though. The spanish can’t say “crisps” it’s a consonant cluster which doesn’t occur in spanish…actually,i can’t think of any that do….so it comes out as “crips”….obviously not a worry for our barman as he can’t speak. Caña was 1,40…which ain’t easy when you can only communicate with fingers. I’d be tempted to make them either 1€ or 2€

Bodegas El Maño


An old favourite. Not much to say. Paella as a tapa, 1,40€ for the caña. Couple of decent old skool places on same part of the same street. Possibly my caña goggles had kicked in at this point as was a group of women of a certain age who were very attractive. And i’m almost exactly that age!

Carmencita bar


Seems to be american run. Doing a roaring trade in brunch and burgers. Mimosas are bucks fizz to us, and they were serving them in jugs. I do approve of that. Caña was 1,40€….but the tapa was mixed nuts! (Add your own ” for fucksake”)

Decided to head back to la republica de lavapiès

Stopped for a drink near anton martin martin. I couldn’t actually remember the name of the bar…but i googled “perroflauta bar anton martin” and it was the first choice…that tells you enough…

Parrondo


Not much to say. Perroflauta is the spanish for crusty. Perro=dog, flauta=recorder. Nice enough in there, though i don’t think i got a tapa.

Lamiak

Not the shit one on cava baja, the one just off the top of calle ave marìa. Turned my nose up at offer of crips or olives as a tapa. Beer goggles fully functional. Fell deeply in love with a woman in a tartan skirt and boots.

Vinícola Mentridana

An old favourite. Wine bar. Vermouth on tap.

Bar that used to be called los nogales but iunno now


One of the best examples of a shitty old man bar that has been taken over by people with either enough taste or not enough money to fuck it up. Turn the lights down a bit, hummus as a tapa, couple of comfortable chairs, rolling gnomes instead of el fary and bob’s your giddy aunt.

Tapa was russian salad on bread and some olives. Barmaid was doing a good deal of talking to herself. Although she could’ve been talking to my food

Almost home…O’Pazo de Lugo


Opposite my gaff. Inscrutable old gallego barman and to offset that, a very friendly young cuban barman. Prawns always there as a tapa. Neil diamond was playing. Not live, obviously.

El Pico

I’m not often in Malasaña, but I found myself there and hungry and at the latter end of the window of opportunity that is lunchtime in Spain.

I’ve been coming to El Pico very irregularly for years. When I first started eating here it was a straight-forward, good value for money madridleño menu del dia…gradually the food became more inventive and more care was taken with presentation (you know the sort of thing…bit of parsley sprinkled on the edge of the plate, a pattern of balsamic reduction)…but despite this, the place itself or the quality of the food never changed or suffered…nor did the price shoot up.

I went in there today…maybe a year after i was last there…and the change was obvious…bare brick walls…fancy new bar…posh looking printed menus. As time was a factor..and i still had a fair amount of trust in the place, despite these trendy looking london-stylee changes…and, unusually, i had ’nuff money in my pocket…i decided to chance it

Here’s the menu. I went for the fabes con gambon y mejillon..a bean stew with a massive prawn and a massive mussel in it. And for the main course, merluza rebozado…got a wee plate of spare rib paella while they were preparing my first course..and it was delicious…wee crunchy bits of pork mixed in with the rice and the spare rib itself was lovely.

Weekend…so a bit pricier than you’d expect…

The first course was great. The big white beans massive, and the sauce tasty. Quite difficult to shell the big prawn with a knife and fork…and can’t really do with fingers as covered in sauce.

Main course was battered hake with onion, pepper, courgettes done in a wok. The veg was great, really tasty and the hake was out of this world…seemed to be done in the cadiz style…i imagine using chickpea flour and a pinch of cumin.

I was impressed that the waiter came and asked me how my first course was…and then again when the second course came up and asked “how’s the hake, lovely isn’t it”…you don’t normally get that level of pride with your average menu del dia.

I could hardly finish my main course, so i eschewed chocolate tart or various fruits in favour of a coffee