Tempranillo, Madrid

Another favorite stop for tapas on Calle Cava Baja (in Madrid) is Tempranillo. This place is more “old school” than “new school.” In other words if you order a glass of wine, they’ll bring you a small snack. They also have a menu full of delicious items. But first, let’s see all that wine on the wall:

Wall of wine at Tempranillo, Cava Baja, Madrid, Spain.

Wall of wine at Tempranillo, Cava Baja, Madrid, Spain.

You’re sure to find something you like there. They usually have several bottles of red and white open, selections that are tasty and easy. Here’s a look at the chipirones with artichokes:

Chipirones with artichokes at Tempranillo, Madrid, Spain.

Chipirones with artichokes at Tempranillo, Madrid, Spain.

I also enjoyed a salad of various items that was loaded with olive oil. The photo is not the best, but here it is:

Salad at Tempranillo, Madrid, Spain.

Salad at Tempranillo, Madrid, Spain.

Having been to Tempranillo many times, I’m amazed by the consistency. Always good, always interesting. The people watching here can be fantastic. So, go early, linger, and enjoy.

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Txakolina, Madrid (2104)

That wonderful street with tapas bars shoulder to shoulder! Of course, I’m talking about Calle Cava Baja. There you’ll find Txakolina, a place worth the effort, and there is some effort because it gets crowded.

Txakolina, Madrid.

Txakolina, Madrid.

This is a pintxoteca, meaning the items are a bit larger than tapas. Here’s a look at the delicious offerings on the counter:

Pinxtos at Txakolina, Madrid.

Pintxos at Txakolina, Madrid.

They serve these bits of goodness with small glasses of wine and beer. Here’s a close up of two:

Pintxos at Txakolina, Madrid.

Pintxos at Txakolina, Madrid.

As mentioned, this place gets crowded and noisy, but so do most of the taparias. That’s part of the fun. And the food is fantastic. So make sure this one is on the list for your tapas crawl in Madrid. Enjoy every meal. Go slow.

Alma de Julián Becerro, Madrid

On Calle Cava Baja in Madrid, among all those wondering tapas joints, you’ll find Alma de Julián Becerro, a shop par excellence for some of the best jamón in all of Spain.

Alma de Julián Becerro, Madrid.

Alma de Julián Becerro, Madrid.

Inside there are many varieties of jamón to purchase in different price ranges.

Jamónes hanging on the wall at Alma de Julián Becerro, Madrid.

Jamónes hanging on the wall at Alma de Julián Becerro, Madrid.

There’s always a skilled and knowledgeable fellow there ready to give you information about the meats as well as to slice them for you, perhaps from this selection in the middle of the store:

Various jamónes available for slicing at Alma de Julián Becerro.

Various jamónes available for slicing at Alma de Julián Becerro.

Or, you might choose a pre-sliced pack from the case such as one of these:

Prepacked meats and wine at Alma de Julián Becerro, Madrid, Spain.

Prepacked meats and wine at Alma de Julián Becerro, Madrid, Spain.

Don’t forget to select a delicious bottle of wine. There are so many good foods to choose from in Spain that you’ll find yourself wanting to stay for a long, long time.

Puebla de Sanabria, Spain (2014)

Puebla de Sanabria is one of many towns perched atop a hill in Spain. Every square inch is built upon with winding streets giving access to homes and businesses. Here’s one of the wider streets:

Houses in Puebla de Sanabria, Spain.

Houses in Puebla de Sanabria, Spain.

Eventually, these streets lead to a stately plaza mayor with a government building, castle, and a fine church:

Church in Puebla de Sanabria, Spain.

Church in Puebla de Sanabria, Spain.

Although the facade looks mostly blank, you’ll find some weathered carvings of interest near the door:

Carved statues at church entrance, Puebla de Sanabria, Spain.

Carved statues at church entrance, Puebla de Sanabria, Spain.

Many of the homes and posadas in this town are kept to a very high standard as you see in the next image:

Posada in Puebla de Sanabria, Spain.

Posada in Puebla de Sanabria, Spain.

It’s easy to get lost in these streets so pay attention while ambling about looking for photo opportunities.

Another narrow street in Puebla de Sanabria, Spain.

Another narrow street in Puebla de Sanabria, Spain.

Of course there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy a snack, meal, or drinks, such as this one:

Meson Albadero in Puebla de Sanabria, Spain.

Meson Abelardo in Puebla de Sanabria, Spain.

There’s a huge lake nearby where people enjoy all kinds of activities, which might be just the thing for you. Check out the small towns in Spain. There much more there than you might think.

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