Some of you are Facies (Facebook friends… not shit) and so may already know this but some of you may have found yourself here by googling “eating and drinking in Madrid” in the hope of finding useful information about your quest for good eating and good drinking in Madrid, so skip to the end because this post is more for Facebook friends, some of whom are actual friends or have been actual friends, to let them know what is going on with me.
My “role was repressed” which means I no longer have a job at the company i worked at for 16 years, and even more sadly, I no longer have an income other than the dole. It was no great surprise as I worked in a declining market and neo-liberal economics governs everything and has no time for….well…time…..it’s all about the shor-term and balancing the last financial year with the coming financial year. No time for slow growth, no time for gratitude, honour or pity. On a happier note, my compensation was fairly large, so I don’t have to rush into any job that doesnt really offer me any dignity. So I have an excess of time on my hands for the next few years unless I find a dignified way of making money which i can share with billionaires who want to fly around in space. This brings me to this blog…
I began this blog when I was a teacher with plenty of time on my hands, but not a huge anmount of money. It started to die when my career took off and my freetime declined. Now that my career is over I have an excess of time again, yet still have some brass in my pocket. Hence the “rebirth” of this blog. I’m going to update the blog more often and it will be less eating out and more eating in as I share some damn fine cooking and recipes with you. Recipes from places I’ve lived such as Ireland, England, Turkey, Portugal, Italy and Spain. and fusions of those. Doubt there will be too much Irish food in there as we arent famed for our cousine. But you never know.
It’s quite fitting that this post, aside from the bollocks you’ve just read, is going back to the original ethos of the blog…a pukka Menu del Dia for decent people who cant really afford to waste money on tiny square plates served to you as you have to listen to Nouvell Vague doing 1980s Indie songs (wanabee hipster bars and restaurants, please have an original idea! That goes for everywhere…not just Madrid…it’s the same from Istanbul to Lisbon)
I should explain exactly what a pukka menu del dia is. 3 courses, a bottle of wine not a glass or a small carafe, a fucking whole bottle. A digestif at the end wont be sniffed at. It should cost somewhere between 6euro and 18euro. Prices in Madrid almost never corespond to quality, they only correspond with greed, so that the 6euro menu del dia may well be much better than the 18euro one. The last thing I should mention about the Menu del Dia is that it is largely becoming extinct in the centre of Madrid as Hipsterization takes hold and chokes our culture harder and harder every given day.
As my barrio was named #1 neighbourhood in the world by TimeOut magazine, it was inevitable that the Menu del Dia would be hunted down and killed. You have to walk a bit south to find a decent Menu del Dia these days. No point walking north, that’s where all the criminals, the pot bangers, the tax dodgers, the PPeros and the Voxers live…sure there are pockets of decent people there but generally scumbags…like the Madrid version of Bracknell or Worksop.
So I headed down south to Casa Pedro
Menu del Dia was solid and 10euro
The first thing you’ll notice is…full bottle of wine;Glass with ice and a bottle of Casera. Wine in Spain is cheap, it’s cheaper than water. However, cheap wine does tend to need a splash of Casera (kind of like a cross between seltzer and 7up) to be enjoyed. Then the first course is what I think of as the quintessential menu del dia first course….Cuban Rice….rice with tomato sauce and a fried egg. I forgot about taking a photo so i’d already cut the egg. Actually here there was too much rice for one egg so i only got through half the mound of rice.
Second course was madrid style Lomo. Madrid style anything tends to mean battered in some form and lomo is like a thin pork steak
I was a bit embarrased that I could only manage about a third of it.
My stomach couldnt take any more food so i swapped my third course of pudding for a small glass of patxaran as a digestif
Patxaran comes from the north of Spain, up by Navarra, which would explain that Basquesqe X in the name. It’s basically a brandy made from sloe berries and annise. The good stuff doesnt taste very annisey.
My waitress was young and very pleasant and the granddaughter of the original Pedro. I don’t talk to people so I only heard this as an old dear having her lunch on next table was asking her about her family.
So that’s it…there’s a small terraza outside and a fairly big dining room behind the actual bar. A decent place for decent people.
Here are the deets:
C. de Tomás Bretón, 39, 28045 Madrid. Down from Atocha station towards the Train Museum and then a left.