The Madrid of King Del Monte. Wow. That was crowbarred.

God I adore Madrid. I’ve posted about Madrid before and I was there again to eat as much ham as possible. I ate a lot I suppose. But I was there for a week and at the end I started hallucinating about vegetables. There are really none to be had. The fried stuff is amazing, as is the cured, smoked and battered. But I was hankering for something to contrast the relentless meat and cheese and fish. And I depise vegetarians. I even tried getting my Vitamin C intake with some Tutti Frutti (elusive). It didn’t work:

IMG_3014

You never see that now. Of course now I’m back I miss it like ruddy heck and the thought of a sprig of broccoli is justly yawnsome.

Here’s where you don’t go: VIPS (http://www.vips.es/). A meal at VIPS will have you yearning for the authenticity of Hard Rock Cafe and the nutrional quality of one of their asmuchfunasacatheter timeless T-shirts. All of the dishes I witnessed, and I mean that in the legal sense, seemed to have been generated then coloured from the same stock petroleum-by-product slurry that also supplies condom factories. Don’t charge them with misrepresentation, charge them with assault.

Here’s where you should go for the experience: Botín (http://www.botin.es/). Botín is the oldest restaurant in the world dating back to 1725 and has many of the trappings you’d expect of such a venerable institution: classic service, wood-panelled decor, narrow staircases and taut, interesting menu. But no wifi, so you know, screw that grandad. We had garlic soup then the roast suckling pig. Which seems an unsporting thing to do to a pig as such a vulnerable moment.

Having done approx 200 km of the Camino Santiago, though I got a taxi for the last 40km because of merciless nipple chafing (mine), I’m also a terrific fan of Galician grub. The white wine and pulpo from Galicia are especially good and Taberna Maceiras delivers. It’s a bit hipsterish for my taste. They don’t take cards, relentless celtic music, they don’t have a website and they proudly sign “No hay Coca-cola” which I didn’t understand until Mrs Del Monte pointed out that it was Spanish, then I still didn’t understand. Perfect calamares, moreish pulpo and a naughty little choricitos stew filled us up to the brim. I wanted more but my stomach, and all medical advice, said no.

¡MADRID! de nuevo

SOBRINO DE BOTÍN

Garlic soup. Del Monte's uncanny eye for a shot is rather undermined by his early onset Parkinsons.

Garlic soup. Del Monte’s uncanny eye for a shot is rather undermined by his early onset Parkinsons.

That's a big portion! I've heard that a few time!

That’s a big portion! I’ve heard that a few times.

1725 - it says it right there on the menu.

1725 – it says it right there on the menu.

botin_menu_2

102 euros for baby eels? There is literally no incentive to order this item.

I hope that fire extinguisher meets current regulatory standards and not those of the 1700s.

I hope that fire extinguisher meets current regulatory standards and not those of the 1700s.

You must book. It gets busy!

You must book. It gets busy!

Sobrino de Botín
Calle Cuchilleros, 17
28005
Madrid
Spain
Tel: +34 913 66 42 17
http://www.botin.es

MACEIRAS

¡Pulpo! ¡Pulpo! ¡Pulpo! ¡Pulpo! ¡Pulpo!

¡Pulpo! ¡Pulpo! ¡Pulpo! ¡Pulpo! ¡Pulpo!

Action shot of calamares being thoroughly lemoned.

Action shot of calamares being thoroughly lemoned.

Good. The plate at the back is in focus. That's what I wanted. The choricitos is out of focus. Just as I planned.

Good. The plate at the back is in focus. That’s what I wanted. The choricitos is out of focus. Just as I planned.

El menu. You see what I mean about being hipsterish? What's wrong with Times New Roman in MS Word?

El menu. You see what I mean about being hipsterish? What’s wrong with Times New Roman in MS Word?

Are they crabs? I've heard that a few times.

Are they crabs? I’ve heard that a few times.

Godammit, I can't even hold the chuffing camera straight.

Godammit, I can’t even hold the chuffing camera straight.

Taberna Maceiras
Calle Huertas, 66
28014
Madrid
Spain
Tel: +34 914 29 58 18

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