Eating Out: Madrid

Madrid, Spain - pixabay There’s no stopping “la marcha,” or the lust that urban Spaniards possess for socializing deep into the night. Devoted practitioners of this time-honored art, the denizens of Spain’s capital transform with each sunset into los gatos (the cats) in pursuit of nocturnal pleasures and possibilities. Food and drink are essential ingredients of this sensual sweep through the witching hours; while some superstitious Spaniards may cap their chimneys to keep evil spirits out, Madrileños uncork the wine and other libations with abandon. Such partying takes stamina, so along with the requisite siesta they fortify by eating up to five times a day. Starting with coffee and staples like churros dipped in chocolate for desayuno (breakfast), the unhurried culinary procession continues with a mid-morning snack (pincho), typically a small bite. Often pre- ceded by an aperitivo of beer or vermouth, then comes the leisurely mid-afternoon lunch (la comida), the day’s largest meal. Another snack time (la merienda), provides the segue into early evening, followed by much-celebrated tapas time, when the wine and spirits start flowing, and finally a late dinner (la cena) of shared plates ahead of the midnight hour. While traditionally lagging behind Barcelona in overall culinary star power, Madrid has bragging rights galore, including an exuberant bar culture and treasures such as Mercado de Maravillas (Market of Marvels), and from 1725, Botin, the world’s oldest continuously operating restaurant. From the avant-garde to the classics, here are five exceptional dining experiences that await you in Madrid. MUSEO CHICOTE This year marks roughly 50 years since Pedro Almodóvar arrived in Madrid from La Mancha as an impoverished teenager set on becoming a filmmaker. The rest, of course, is history, with his visionary cinema providing a veritable banquet for his countless fans. The feast extends to Madrid itself, where several restaurants and bars are among his myriad shooting locations (he screened his earliest Super 8 efforts in bars around town). Making for a Almodóvar-inspired culinary mini-tour, these include punk joint-turned-tapas bar La Bobia (Labyrinth of Passions, 1982); famed flamenco bar Villa Rosa, dating to 1911 (High Heels, 1991); 1920’s-era Café del Círculo de Bellas Artes, (Kika, 1993); the Arenal Street location of popular serrano emporium chain Museo del Jamón (Live Flesh, 1997); and former brothel turned cocktail lounge Bar Cock, from 1921 (Broken Embraces, 2009).

By Jeff Hailman – Full Story at Passport

Madrid Gay Travel Resources

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