Saturday, May 31, 2008

Adios, Madrid =(

If you are reading this, I am no longer in Madrid. Nat & I officially left 7 days ago, on May 24th, and the adjustment to VT has been hard, to put it gently. He dejado parte de mi alma allí y te prometo que regresaremos.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Bites in Nerja

First things first, if you're looking for paella, you have to check out Ayo's on Burriana beach. All-you-can-eat paella for only 6 euro, and it's cooked outside in a bigger paella pan than I've ever seen. The paella is delicious and they also have a regular menu. Try the sangría if you're in the mood. It's fruity and refreshing... The second time we were there, we actually saw Ayo himself (and his tell-tale ponytail). Basically, if you like paella, this is the place for you. It's under the orange dome, you can't miss it!

Next, if you're looking for delicious seafood, try Bar Pulguilla (C/ Almirante Ferrandiz,26). You can order from their delicious fish menu... Try the langostinos (king prawns, deliciously grilled), mejillones al vapor (steamed mussels), the large clams, or the calamar a la plancha (grilled whole squid). Yumm....

P.S. If you're looking to stay in Nerja, check out Hostal Don Peque (C/ Diputacion, 13). Prices are reasonable, they've got a great rooftop terrace, and they serve breakfast on the terrace every morning.

Bites in Bubión

Save yourself the trouble of scouting a good restaurant... Restaurante El Teide Alpujarra (c/ Carretera, 2) is all you need when you are in Bubión. The servers are nice and they start you off with a tasty plate of apps, but the rest is up to you. Try the Ensalada Alpujarreña, the fennel- and red pepper-stuffed eggplant, the fried openface trout (straight from the Río Poqueira), the Plato Alpujarreño (fried eggs, local meat specialties, and taters), the fillet of beef, the grilled pork chops, and the flan. Trust me, it's all good... =) Scroll down for pix...

Bites in Granada

First things first: If you need a place to stay, check out La Casa de Rafa (also called El Numero 8). Innkeeper Rafael is awesome, and very knowledgeable about Granada. He actually meets you a few streets away before you check in (it's very hard to find the place if you don't know where you're going!), and on the way to the hotel he shows you a few local restaurants.

One restaurant, Mesón del Trillo (Callejón del Algibe de Trillo, 3) serves up a wonderful array of delicious cuisine. For starters, their bread is clearly NOT frozen, and before you can decide what you'd like to eat, they place an apertif in front of you (our server told me they take one of their dishes and make a puréed version since they don't offer soups on the menu). The one we had included fava beans (habas en Español) and was very tasty. For an app, try the tomato salad.
Between the salad and our main dishes, we were presented with a second tiny
glass, this time a palate-cleansing shot of pineapple sorbet.
For the main dishes, try the pork medallions with mustard sauce, or their delicious house-specialty rice dish (it includes artichokes, fava beans and small clams).
dessert, try the cheesecake, the blackberry "cake" or the bizcocho de avellana con chocolate caliente.
This very well may have been the best meal I have ever eaten, and the servers are well-deserving of a 15% tip (VERY generous, judging that it is common to not give tips at all). Also, the local Granada wine on the menu adds yet another enjoyable facet to the meal. I highly recommend this establishment.

If you are not in the mood for going out and you want to cook in
your own kitchen (or the one in your aparthotel), check out the Mercado Central. There is an abundance of fresh fruits and veggies, seafoods, meats and cheeses.

There are also a number of fruterías scattered around the city, and I even stumbled across a spice/tea market.

As far as tapas go, you really do get them for free in Granada. With the order of any alcoholic beverage (try the tinto de verano -- vino tinto + Fanta limón) or refresco, you can expect a selection of tapas. We visited one bar and received small ham & cheese sandwiches on bagel-type bread, a heap of tuna & pasta salad, and tater chips with a ketchup-like sauce and creamy dip. Of course, you can always go to a bar and order raciones (plates) of tapas, but you'll have to pay for them, and there's only one rule: They have to be tasty.

Bites in Córdoba

Mesón de la Luna (c/ Luna, 1) offers a delicious menu-of-the-day. For starters, try the "fruit salad" with ham (Ok, Spain, here I draw the line. It's one thing to have ham in nearly all of the vegetable dishes I've enjoyed, to add ham to most pizza options, and even to have ham-flavored Pringles and potato chips, but it's completely different when you add ham to my fruit salad.) and "crave stick" (aka "fake crab" -- Thank you to all of those restaurants out there that offer an English translation of the menu that proves to be more confusing than reading the Spanish one.) or the mini-raviolis with roquefort and wild mushrooms. For a main dish, try the grilled swordfish or the "pluma" (fillet mignon of pork and absolutely delicious). For dessert, fresh fruit -- green apples or juicy melon. You can enjoy your lunch under in a tiny shaded plaza... Fabulous.

Bites in Toledo

If you're planning on spending the day in Toledo, I highly recommend you spend your lunch hour on the terrace at Restaurante Kumera (c/ Alfonso X). If you're lucky like we were, their menu-of-the-day may include a tasty green salad (as a starter), fish of the day (mine was served over delicious roasted veggies and drizzled with a red pepper sauce), tender pork tenderloin with garlic and parsley, or lamb medallions stuffed with pinenuts. Try the cheesecake for dessert -- it's light and delicious.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Tandoori's :: Take 2

Had lunch with my roomie the other day at Tandoori's (metro stop: Embajadores).

Just as before, we thoroughly enjoyed our food. We had papadam (came with two sauces, one yogurt with cumin and one sweet/tart fruit-based sauce), lamb curry (we reminded the waiter that we were Americans, not Spanish, so the guys made it so spicy that we cried a little bit...), chicken tikka masala (chicken cooked with yogurt and spices, also made us cry a little bit), pulao (rainbow rice again!), pratha (butter bread), and mango lassi (a yogurt drink made with fresh mangoes). Sooooo tasty!

Friday, May 2, 2008

New Blog!

Check out our new blog... My roommate and I got together and reviewed all of the bars/clubs we have been to here in Madrid. Each review has location info, pros, cons, and drinks to get & avoid. Keep in mind, we have scored each based on our personal preferences, so you may agree or disagree. Check it out! CLICK ME!
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