At a time of crisis, we stand with our common man (and woman), side by side, we realise our mortality and discover that we are all but mere humans affected by the same tyrant. As we stand here now, we stand together and stare into the eye of that which now affects us all, our common enemy…The economy. Do we run and cower? No, for the only way to beat a bully is to join forces, take them on and smite them with what tools you have to hand. Our tools for this fight however is our cunning ability to gather friends and break bread regardless of our financial flurries, our hawk eye to see a good deal and the always ever-present “craic” and “banter” to lift spirits on any given Tuesday afternoon.
Now, this, our culinary club that meets each week to explore the multiple pockets of gastronomic gems around Madrid was not always the juggernaut that you now see before you today, no no! You may ask “So where did it all begin?” Well, two Irish men walk into a bar… Only joking, well partly! It was started by two friends who stepped out to lunch one day, meandered down Lavapies and stumbled on a restaurant that offered a 3 course meal and all wine included for €10, “why not” said one Irish man to another. That afternoon, galaxies were knocked out of orbit as the brainstorming came thick and fast as the seed was sewn and MMDDMM became real.
Two years on as we celebrate our anniversary, we look back at well over 100 restaurants rated and reviewed and all the fun in between with many post lunch watering holes discovered and many friends met along the way. So, “how ironic” you might say, that it was that this, the very first restaurant that those two Irish lads wandered into that faithful day was so aptly named, El Económico.
As it was early days and the reviewing process was only a twinkle in our eye, they escaped without evaluation of what it is that “menu del dia” means to them. So it was only fair to go back to where it all began and fill in such a paramount piece of this pabulum puzzle before we turn to what lies before us on this appetising adventure.
This week, El Económico Soidemersol on Calle Argumosa, a stone throw for Metro Lavapies, was our pre-determined diner and so with the troops in tow we descended on this lunchtime local to sample that which we have seen before but never reported, their menu of the day. So, what was on offer? Well, veggie soup, arroz a la Cubana and salad for firsts with beef stew and Calamares Andaluza for mains with plenty of grape goodness to wash it all down and all for €9. The food was hot, which you may think is an absurd aspect to point out but you´d be surprised by how many restaurants fall short on this fundamental property of the food they serve (obviously, we´re not referring to gaspacho, salmorecho, ect.). The choices however were limited but the quality was pretty okay and the service was certainly friendly and efficient. All this said, it really only made for a better than average experience and when all votes were tallied the best they could come away with was a 3.75 out of 5. So not mind blowing stuff and nor was it as galaxy displacing as we´d thought it was two years previous but they will send you on your way with a full tummy and a smile on your face.
We bade our fair wells and continued our journey along the Camino de MMDDMM as we´d done that first day and headed towards Plaza Lavapies. Deciding to take advantage of the sun drenched terraces for some thirst quenchers before then diving in and out of the sporadic showers that loomed overhead with the ever essential pit stops while en route to one of our favourites… Rastro bar. It was here that we decided to park our saddles for the night as dusk descended on the gang and another fine days dining.
Next week´s adventure shall be posted forth with but until then… I raise my glass to all of you fine people who´ve been a part of what has become and thank you for all of your help and participation, so here´s to you all, cheers!