Category Archives: Madrid Menú del Día Martes Madness

MMDDMM – Recession Proof Lunching For €6!

84_gAfter sowing the seed of beginning a group whose only primary intention is to get together for a cheap feed of a Tuesday afternoon, never did we think we would get such a feed for so little. It was advertised, the ravens had been sent and 14 titans of taste turned up for our regular weekly grub get-together. This week, Aristocratas del Lumpen on Calle Ave Maria, just around the corner from metro Anton Martin, it was time for you to take your turn on the wheel of gastronomic fortune.

So what was on offer? Well for starters, Gazpacho, salad, crema de calabacin, revuelto de setas and flaminquin (fried cheesy battered pork) with peas, estofada, Panga (fish) and sausage in wine for mains and all this for only €6! This week was a little different though, vino and casera did not accompany our meal but then again, for €6 you can’t really complain! The service was friendly and the bread was fresh from the oven but the food wasn´t and some of the main dishes came out as if they’d been left on the side for a while! One thing I have learned on our culinary escapades is that there is no excuse for cold food. I won´t say that this is a bad place for a mid week lunchtime meal but they could have done better and when everything on our check list was taken into account, i.e. food quality, price, service, surroundings, etc. This little luncheonette comes away with a just better than average 3 out of 5.

Having paid up and wished the birthday girl (Andrea) a surprise birthday celebration we made our way up the street to a very trendy, bit hipsterish, cheap as chips bar called Mariak where we partook in beers, tintos and bellyfuls of banter.

Next week we head north, a largely un-foraged territory for the gang and it certainly has been a while since we´ve paid a visit. For those of you who work and live up in the top of this, the “layer cake” that we call Madrid, it´s now your turn to get involved! No excuses. The invite will be sent post-haste, but until then, from all of us at MMDDMM, it´s chow for now!

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MMDDMM – Educating The Masses!

Como una cascada de agua we descended on this week´s contestant who was chosen to run our gastronomic gauntlet and yes, Restaurante Cáscaras on Calle Ventura Rodriguez and only around the corner from the metro of the same name, your number had been called and it was time to prove yourself in the big bad world of cost effective cuisine!

With a few new faces and the return of some weary wonderers we took our seats in this busy little luncheonette while we were presented with our options; cheese salad, gazpacho, guisantes con jamon and seafood spuds for starters with ribs, steak, chicken steak and fish for mains. The menu del dia in this place never changes and each day has its own pre-destined platos with the first two starters and second two mains featured every day and the usual grape goodness making an appearance as always and all for €10. With regard to service, it started out good and our waitress was on top of her game but as our meal went on we were left wanting and not all requests were looked after as promptly as we would like but I will say, it was busy so I can´t be too harsh! The restaurant was bustling and with good reason, the food was pretty good, or a step above average at least. All in all Cáscara scored a respectable 3.75 out of 5 when all votes were tallied, making this a definite “stop by if you´re in the barrio” sort of diner.

The time had come, the delights had been tasted and the bill had been ordered. It was time to make our escape for more refreshment and having already eyed up the bar across the road, we made tracks. After a few cheeky swift ones we then made our way up through Malasaña… A favourite hunting ground of ours. We found a nice little terrace and soaked up some sunshine while we shot the breeze before catching the last hour of 2 4 1´s at JJ´s and the rest was history. A fine afternoon had been had by all as dusk fell on another decent days dining!

Next week´s event will be post imminently and I for one am looking forward to it. The question is though, will YOU be there? Until then though, it´s chow for now!1276583_579951195401404_1301364225_o

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MMDDMM – Keeping it in the family!

la-fogata xlso_be7758dbb2e79ba1a43ed2943d088ecdLa Fogata, just across the bridge from the bottom of Calle Segovia, only two blocks down from Metro Puerta del Angel and the scene of this week´s edible onslaught. This Colombian eatery nestled in a corner with ample amounts of space for terrace dining and amazing views of the Madrid skyline as you peruse the palace, Mazanares and rooftop after rooftop of the quirky casas that line this city while tucking into some great grub with that ever present pinch of better banter rearing its head as it does every given Tuesday!

This week we went for something a bit different and considering we hadn’t tried Colombian before, it was time to notch off yet another off our banqueting bucket list. On offer were a choice of 5 starters and 4 mains for €11 with just the right amount of liquid lubrication in the form of vino and Casera to wash it all down. For starters, a choice of seafood salad, mixed salad, berenjena al bolognesa, gazpacho AND salmorejo. For mains there was a selection of Lubina, steak, secreto de Iberico con cebolla caramelisada and deep fried chicken steak or pollo milenesa for short. A special shout must go out to the steak and secreto de Iberico which were delish but the overall food and choice brought down the mark when all votes were tallied. Although this is described as a Colombian restaurant, nothing really set it apart from just another Spanish eatery. The service however was snappy and all requests were satisfied with a smile but all in all, La Fogata gets a well deserved 3.75 out of 5.

With knowing a little about the lie of the land, we headed back across the river to a typical Spanish bar we´d been to before where drinks are cheap and cheerful and hours of conversation and debate were drowned before heading to the last bar on this weekly whistle-stop tour of Madrid´s social scene at JJ´s to catch the last of their 2-4-1 specials. Needless to say, a fine afternoon’s entertainment was had by all.

Next week we head out for more fun and frolic´s under the careful guidance of our master David Sheilds with the return of one of our weary wanderers Jenifer Riggins from Barcelona and obviously the usual group of gourmet goliaths. The only question is… Will YOU be there??? Stand by for invite. But until then, it´s chow for now!

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MMDDMM – La Paloma en La Latina es la leche!!!

Like a dove from above, the festivos de La Paloma have dawned on our culinary club once again. There was no other place to be, there was no other option, the allure of one of Madrid´s favourite festivals was far too great to resist! Especially after last year´s shenanigans, La Latina, the host of this crescendo of partying, dining and drinking hit its annual all time high and so our venue Aroca XI on Plaza de los Carros was booked for our regular Tuesday table thrashing!

Having collected in our herds with a mix of some new and old friendly faces, not to mention a whole host of different nationalities, we marched from metro La Latina around the corner to the said Plaza and to this chic and stylish eatery.

The menu del dia here isn´t cheap at €14 for terrace dining or €12 inside where one can bask in the cooling relief of air conditioning and escape the soaring temperatures. Considering our impressive surroundings it gave us an air of expectation of things to come! So what was on the menu… Gazpacho, mixed salad and spaghetti carbonara for starters and southern fried chicken steak or pollo milenesa for those of you who are not so “street”, “word”! And a beef in tomato sauce dish with rice for mains.

The starters were enjoyed by all and portions were plentiful so things were looking good! The service was very friendly and efficient except for when it came to our mains. Although most people were happy enough with their choices, there were a few, myself included, who were not overly thrilled at the sight of tomato puree all over our milinesa´s. It was not specified on the menu and although I did ask if it was possible to change it for a sin puree, I was told “no” as they´ve already been prepared! The potatoes were cold and this ultimate in cardinal sin to an Irish man was enough to say “I will dine again but it won´t be here”. Thankfully there were no vegetarians with us this week or rather, luckily for our hosts we had no anti-carni´s with us to help hinder their overall rating any further! Every restaurant should provide a vegetarian menu del dia combo in this day and age and please specify all main ingredients in each dish! They were a bit tight with the tinto and we were charged extras on the bill which, all in all, left a bad taste in our mouths. I won´t say it was all bad and they did bring out a small cake with a candle to help celebrate Karen turning 21 again at the end of the meal but we´ve had much better for cheaper and leaves this lil luncheonette with a generous 3.25 out of 5 when all votes were tallied.

Moving on, we decided to head to a nearby terrace on plaza de la paja where drinks are expensive and small and that’s all I have to say about that!

We then found a typical Spanish bar to continue our merriment where gallons and gallons of all sorts of vices were consumed before a few, the hardcore ravers, headed down to The Rastro bar to see the evening out to its very end!

Next week sees our hungry horde head out for more adventures and the invite will be posted promptly but the decision is down to YOU… Are you going to read about it or are you going to live it??? IMG00171-20130813-1554 IMG00170-20130813-1553 017 03_maricastana

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MMDDMM – The Mad Madroño Menu Del Dia!!!

993692_566352916761232_934011981_n 1098000_10151597303443105_853810222_n 1004841_566352670094590_593551372_n “One of the very nicest things about life is the fact that as we age, we mature in all ways, especially our taste buds”. No, not Oscar Wilde but some other genius wordsmith (myself) who shall remain anonymous. But I digress. Another jornada, another aventura.

 

This week, we lasoed ourselves the usual collection of multi-national nosh lover…s and paid a visit to a neighbourhood we know and love, La Latina. Our chosen eatery, El Madroño on Calle Latoneros, just behind Plaza Mayor and 2 minutes cattle ride from Metro La Latina. Due to El Madroño having a sister bar with the same name just across the road, there was some confusion on my behalf as to where the festivities would be happening. Because of my muddle up, I can confirm that El Madroño: Part deux is a beautifully styled and traditional Madrid diner, well worth the visit alone for its healthy helping of tapas. Back at the crime scene, we had booked a space on the terrace and were delighted to find our banquet table ready to rock and roll. While there was a tiny grumble about being less than we booked for, we were quickly seated and checking out our flavours of the day.

    Our menu was a choice of 5 & 5 for €10.50, a great price considering you´re only 5 minutes from Puerta del Sol and on the terrace of a happening area. On offer, the usual summer salad, gazpacho, pasta and chorizo, steak, breaded steak, roasted chicken and of course a reprensentitive from the deep blue. Special mention must go to the wine which was exceptionally awful and was the perfect example of what wonders a little casera can do.

 

So was our saunter over to El Madroño worth it? Let´s get the microscope out. SERVICE – Commendable. No one area merrits crticism or applause. Time between servings was minimal, sufficient plonk was always on the table and all requests were met on the spot. EDIBLES – Good. While every plate was emptied with glee and special mention must go to the chicken which was moist and, if I do say so myself delish, it just didn´t merit that extra step to very good. Decent but average best sums it up. EXPERIENCE – Again good. Our waiters were attentive and friendly and the general vibe and banter was top shelf. And we all partook in a new and wonderful experience, the edible shot. El Madroño produces its own berry liquor of the same name which is delightfully served in a chocolate waifer shot glass. THAT´S RIGHT. You get to savour a sweet digestive AND have a little dessert afterwards. Very original. All in all, El Madroño comes up with a more than decent 3.5 out of 5. You´ll be happy, you´ll be fed and you´ll have no complaints. You just won´t make a point of celebrating your anniversary there.

 

After settling our debt with the appropriate authorities we headed off on a post meal power walk through La Latina´s many hidden mini plazas, stopping off here and there to recharge the batteries with some grape and grain, before finally settling on what has always been the light at the end of our tunnel, The Rastro Bar on Calle Mira el Sol. With the kind of prices that leave you happily stunned when you check your wallet the next morning, Bryn the Biermeister serenaded us into the wee hours of the morning.

Next week sees us head back to La Latina. “Why?”, I hear you cry. Well, it just so happens that next week is the Fiestas de la Paloma, another god given party which has its ground zero in the heart of this wonderful barrio. What does this mean? It means a surefire day of quality grub, untapped watering holes and adventures abound. Go, on, go on, go on!! Hasta la proxima MMDDMMers.

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MMDDMM – Making Tuesdays great, since FOREVER!

This week we returned to one of our favourite barrios, Malasaña, a hotbed of MMDDMM rated and recommended restaurants in Madrid and a hub of eateries that stood tall in the face of evaluation when given the third degree on the ultimate Tuesday three course meal lunchtime acid test. Now, we always knew that there were going to be casualties along this path of finding perfection but was this week´s contender going to join a long list of named and shamed gastronomic goblins or was Naif on Plaza San Ildefonso, just around the corner from Metro Tribunal going to prove itself in the big bad world of the bread breaking business?

With our table booked and hungry tummies in tow we made our way to our designated diner. This week the options were a little different from our usual Latino lunching list. This week´s restaurant specialised in gourmet sandwiches, wraps and burgers with humus, nachos and salads also on option. With the temperatures now soaring in the city, the last thing we wanted was a heavy hearty meal and for that, Naif provided the perfect blend of light bites and choice. With a long menu of variations of the pre-mentioned provisions, there really was something for everyone. The service was top notch with no one left wanting as our waitress was very attentive and helpful. The only points we could criticize was the lack of grape goodness for the group that we normally get of a Tuesday afternoon as they only offer one drink included with your meal for €10 and once again the food quality, although nice, was just lacking that “je ne se quoi” to leave this joint just shy of that top accolade. When it came down to all votes being tallied; Naif sits on the edge of excellence and comes away with a very respectable 4 out of 5.

Having paid our dues, we packed up and moved out to the land of books, coffee and 2 for 1 afternoon drinks at J and J´s for more fun and frolics as we paraded about like social butterflies under the watchful eyes and careful lepidopterist hands of Erica Edwards and Dave Cardillo. Drinks were dispensed effortlessly at the speed of gun slinging trigger happy cowboy and the service, as always, was without fault. We wiled away the evening and although we had an idea of moving on, one could simply not leave this veritable vortex of “craic” and banter as dusk rolled in on another day and another adventure for this, Madrid´s premium culinary club.

Details of next week´s excursion shall be post as soon as final negotiations are in place. YOU, the participant, will be the first to know about it! Stand by with that hunger for all that MMDDMM offers and those fingers on the “I´m going” button. But until then kids, it´s chow for now!  1085045_562669663796224_710218519_o 603053_10151772088267110_158837185_n

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MMDDMM – No Bulls#%t, just quality dining!!!

As of late, we, your go to guide for cheap quality dining around Madrid or MMDDMM for short, have generally dined in the city centre which is always easy and convenient but this week we decided to venture further afield. The alluring smell, the sun bleached terraza with pockets of shade to escape the sweltering heat that has once again descended on Madrid and the promise of a great Menu Del Dia was far too seducing for us to ignore and so, off we went to meet at metro Ventas and to a close by restaurant called El Chorron on Calle Dr. Gómez Ulla for this week´s feast.

On initial impressions, we were greeted by the usual lazy Mediterranean nature of service that is found in abundance here in Spain with whispers of “mañana mañana” ringing in my ear to calm the frustration building up inside and with others being tended to before us who had arrived later, it was almost enough for us to decide to move camp. But just at that point, like a phoenix out of the flame our waiter waddled over to present us with our choices and vino to cool us off. Those whispers had now faded with that pop classic from D:Ream now taking over my inner voice with a thought that “things could only get better”. So what were the options, salad, salmorecho and revuelto con setas for starters and steak, breaded chicken and fish for mains for €13 on the terrace. There was a sufficient amount of grape juice to keep everyone happy and to be fair; once they had turned their attentions to us, it was smooth sailing from there.

Now normally, when ordering a steak on a menu del dia, it can be quite the Russian roulette as you may end up with the sole of your grandfathers shoe or maybe, just maybe, you may get a genuinely juicy piece of meat. I decided to spin this wheel of culinary fortune and thankfully came up trumps. The whole meal was flush with quality food.

Having paid up with coffee and a complimentary post lunch chupito in hand we quickly discussed the overall mark for this little loco luncheonette using all aspects of our fool proof formula, assessing all aspects of our experience and when all verdicts were called in, a 3.75 out of 5 was all El Chorrón could muster. If service was snappier, price was a little lower and more vino left at our disposal then things might have been different.

With a fear of this Gaelic Guiri´s skin turning a bright shade of pink, we opted to cower in a nearby watering hole. In fact, we were lucky enough to stumble across what felt like a worm hole in Madrid´s social scene in a bar called Cacu on Paseo Marqués de Zafra number 33. This is well worth a visit for any of you out there who have been in Madrid for a longer duration of time as you are guaranteed to see a friendly face or two, characters who´ve been here for a while, the players and move makers of Madrid´s Guiri scene. It´s nothing more than a poke in the wall with a mix of Spaniards and Guiri´s alike but for those who know the magic of this pit stop beer shop… it´s an institution! It is here that we whiled away the evening with all the craic and banter one could want as the sun began to set and turned the final page on the chronicle of this Martés madness.

Next week we will be hitting a place that has come highly recommended and with that said persons previous choices proving to be quite “pucker”, next week should deliver nothing less. Invite will be sent post-haste but until then kids, it´s chow for now!1014040_10151478034385846_364883661_n7991_550755564987634_388079437_n

 

 

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