Mangiamo 2007!: 24 Hours in Madrid

Stopped off in Madrid for one night to see my dear friends Marta and Jose. Marta and I lived together in Padova, and she’s like a sister to me.

But first, let’s talk airplane food. I took Iberia both back and forth from NY, and here are just some few points of why non-US airlines are better than American ones:
– Food generally taste better
– All you can drink booze– American airlines make you pay $5+, even on international flights now. You’re so screwed if you have to go to Australia or somewhere really far away!
– Real silverware

I got all these three things with my meal, which consisted of a chicken curry, spinach and rice. The tomato, grilled zucchini and mozzarella starter was really good (the cheese was excellent), as was the cheesecake-like dessert.

And do you see that? REAL SILVERWARE!!! Makes a HUGE difference, as I can’t stand plastic utensils. And yes, I’m one of those people with a growing personal collection of airline silverware. I’m partial to the design.

And let me say that in those 7 hours, they fed us not once, but twice!! Dinner and breakfast– pretty nutty.

A mere 7 hours after leaving JFK, I arrived in Madrid barely having slept at all. Here’s the new terminal at Barajas airport– it’s pretty neat.


I basically slept all day– which is sorta horrible, but Marta summoned me to rest up cause we would be going out that night (in Spain, that means until dawn). When I woke up, Jose took me around their neighborhood in Madrid– a really cute area which reminded me of Park Slope.

The bakery:


The “alimentacion”, which sells anything from basic groceries to toilet paper. This one specialized in jamon and other yummy pork products–there is nothing in the world I love more than cured meats hanging front he ceiling. If I ever open a restaurant, I think I’d call it the Jamoneria.


Went into an indoor market, which was like Chelsea Market or Essex Street Market, with different vendors selling all sorts of food stuffs under one roof.

Like the Jamon Man- they slice each piece by hand! I bet this one was jamon Iberico– which you still can’t get in the States, I don’t think– and is far superior to Italian prociutto, in my humble opinion.


Produce:

Seafood- these were weird little claw-like mirugai-like things that intrigued me:


HUGE prawns!
The supermarket, which locks up their precious cans of tuna (strange) and liquor (makes sense):


Dinner time- a nice restaurant in Madrid, Los Timbales, specializing in excellent Spanish cuisine.


Check out this beautiful cured meat plate! Drool Heaven! Jamon, chorizon, salsichon, lomo… and queso!

I forgot to take pictures, but we also had this incredible octopus dish, broiled on a wooden plank with potatoes.

Ah, Spain… after dinner we did indeed stay out all night drinking and smoking (INSIDE the bars!). No more smoking in restaurants and bars in Italy- which made me sad.

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