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.

La Perejila, Madrid

La Perejila is one of those old-time joints I enjoy most. It’s on Cava Baja Street in the old part of Madrid, Spain.

Here you can get a vermut, vino, or cerveza among local characters. The decor is from another time, including the caged bird at the entrance.

I’m not exactly sure what creates the atmosphere of places like this. Maybe it’s the age, or the clientele, or the little touches like the bird. Whatever it is, the process has to natural. In the United States, too many places try to force the vibe and fail miserably. Fortunately, we have jet travel to take us to places like Madrid where there are streets like Cava Baja and authentic places like La Perejila. Stop in, stay awhile, enjoy yourself.

Published in: on October 8, 2010 at 11:39 am  Leave a Comment  
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