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.

Hacienda Zorita, Valverdón, Spain

Staying at Hacienda Zorita is like having your own country estate. The hotel grounds extend from river to field to a complex of buildings that was once a convent.

Main building at Hacienda Zorita, Valverdón, Spain.

Main building at Hacienda Zorita, Valverdón, Spain.

There are several different types of rooms, including suites and villas that give you even more privacy. I stayed in a standard room, which you see next:

Standard room at Hacienda Zorita, Valverdón, Spain.

Standard room at Hacienda Zorita, Valverdón, Spain.

A spacious bathroom made this room even more comfortable.

Bathroom in standard room at Hacienda Zorita, Valverdón, Spain.

Bathroom in standard room at Hacienda Zorita, Valverdón, Spain.

There was also a terrace where you could relax in the sun or the shade, depending upon the time of day.

Terrace of standard room Hacienda Zorita, Valverdón, Spain.

Terrace of standard room Hacienda Zorita, Valverdón, Spain.

Also in the main building, you’ll find several comfortable lounges such as this one:

Lounge in main building at Hacienda Zorita, Valverdón, Spain.

Lounge in main building at Hacienda Zorita, Valverdón, Spain.

And a small bar for a glass of sherry or other beverage of your choice:

Bar in main building at Hacienda Zorita, Valverdón, Spain.

Bar in main building at Hacienda Zorita, Valverdón, Spain.

Back outside, you’ll find two swimming pools like this one:

Swimming pool at Hacienda Zorita, Valverdón, Spain.

Swimming pool at Hacienda Zorita, Valverdón, Spain.

And finally, there is a wonderful restaurant on site where we enjoyed a delicious chef’s menu.

Restaurant at Hacienda Zorita, Valverdón, Spain.

Restaurant at Hacienda Zorita, Valverdón, Spain.

Hacienda Zorita is located about 20 minutes driving from Salamanca, yet it feels like you are a world away. For business or pleasure, you’ll be away from it all here while still being close to enough to what you want.

Cerveceria Rua Bella, Santiago (2014)

As long as we’re on the subject of food in Santiago de Compostela, let’s stop in to Cerveceria Rua Bella.

Cerveceria Rua Bella in Santiago de Compostela, Spain.

Cerveceria Rua Bella in Santiago de Compostela, Spain.

You can sit outside in the front or back, as well as inside:

The bar at Cerveceria Rua Bella, Santiago de Compostela, Spain.

The bar at Cerveceria Rua Bella, Santiago de Compostela, Spain.

They serve all your favorite dishes here including this ensalada italiana as they call it:

Ensalada italiana at Cerveceria Rua Bella, Santiago de Compostela, Spain.

Ensalada italiana at Cerveceria Rua Bella, Santiago de Compostela, Spain.

That salad was big enough to share and share we did. And if you like chipirones, check this plate out:

Chipirones, beer, and salad at Cerveceria Rua Bella, Santiago de Compostela, Spain.

Chipirones, beer, and salad at Cerveceria Rua Bella, Santiago de Compostela, Spain.

There was also a nice dish of sausages cooked in wine that you see next:

Sausages cooked in wine at Cerveceria Rua Bella, Santiago de Compostela, Spain.

Sausages cooked in wine at Cerveceria Rua Bella, Santiago de Compostela, Spain.

Of course, we must have the local desert, Santiago cake with an ice-cold Coca-Cola.

Desert at Cerveceria Rua Bella, Santiago de Compostela, Spain.

Desert at Cerveceria Rua Bella, Santiago de Compostela, Spain.

What a great meal, served by friendly people, and enjoyed to the max. Another example of Spanish local flavor that you can enjoy in this famous city. Try as many as you can.

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