Spain

Old Jul 14th, 2008, 12:06 PM
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Spain

Hi,
I am planning a mother-daughter trip to Madrid for about 6 days with my 13 year old.We have found some great hotels in the Prado area but I would like advice on resturants that are authentic but have stuff that my daughter will eat. Also tours and enertainment,there seems to be mixed opinions on a bunch of stuff. So I basically need advice on everything!
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Old Jul 14th, 2008, 12:17 PM
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Your biggest challenge is going to be that the dinner hour in Spain, at the earliest is 9pm.

As for eating, unless your daughter really doesn't like to try new things, tapas is a great, cheap way to sample Spanish food. You're not in for the cost of a whole plate if you don't like it!

Cheese, sliced ham, tuna on toast, egg dishes, chicken wings, roasted potatoes -- all come in small plates, as well as fried anchovies, olives, roasted peppers stuffed with cream cheese, spiced almonds, octopus, etc. Up to her how adventurous she wants to be.

Tapas bars can be smoky, so you might need some local advice from your hotel on the best ones for the two of you, serving up tapas at a time you want to eat.
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Old Jul 14th, 2008, 12:20 PM
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Are tapas served all day, or does one eat tapas in lieu of dinner at the typical dinner hour (i.e. 9 p.m. or later)?
 
Old Jul 14th, 2008, 12:22 PM
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My daughter likes to try new things, but she may or may not like them
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Old Jul 14th, 2008, 12:42 PM
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Duckqueen
Here's my best choice when in Madrid. It's cheaper than many places and the food is great.

http://www.gomadrid.com/rest/botin.html

This is told to be the oldest restaurant in Europe. Take a look on the pages listed.

They have suckling pig as well as lamb but there's a lot of other choices too.

This place is about 50% / 50% for Spanish and tourists. There's bags of ambiance, which is the ingredient for great meals in Spain.

TAPAS according to Blackduff:
You can order tapas during most times of the day but take a good look at the tapas in the morning. It might be yesterday's choices. If it's fresh looking, go for it but if it's wearing a "Use Before" look, give it a pass.

Have a good time in Madrid.

Blackduff
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Old Jul 14th, 2008, 12:51 PM
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i would recommend 100 montaditos, simple 100 little sandwiches (tapas style) to choose from, there will be somehing that she likes, it's very cheap too and can be found in many places in madrid.

http://www.cerveceria100montaditos.com/home.htm

in the same type of bar + restaurant

http://www.museodeljamon.com/

and

http://www.museodeljamon.es/mj.html

these are just a couple of ideas.




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Old Jul 14th, 2008, 12:57 PM
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"My daughter likes to try new things, but she may or may not like them."

Well, if she doesn't like the small little plate of something she ordered that cost 3 euros, it's not a very expensive experiment and not painful if she doesn't finish it. If she orders a main dish that costs 12 or 18 euros and doesn't like it after one bite -- then everybody feels bad.

So tapas is a really great solution for people who like to try new things, not knowing if they'll like them or not. Meaning, everybody.
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Old Jul 16th, 2008, 04:42 AM
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Athough tapas are great, they're not the best method of tasting Spanish food. Have a quick thought about some tapas.

T>Meatball with a few fries with a bit of veggie.

T>Small slice of tortilla de potato

T>Small chicken bite with a few fries in a sauce

T>Anchovies on a small piece of bread

T>Red pepper in oil served on a bit of bread

All of these tapas are great. I have eaten them often and I will again. But this isn't Spanish food, per se. How about these plates.

Sole (head and tail and everything in-between) grilled and maybe served with a tomato salad.

Clams served with garlic in a sauce.

Roasted lamb or goat or suckling pig.

In Andalucia I often ate with friends and we participated with meals "para picar". We each took from the plates for which items you like. The plates are always empty after the finish of the meal.

Visitors who only eat tapas for their trip are missing the best part of Spain.

Blackduff
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Old Jul 16th, 2008, 07:21 AM
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Stuff:
Ensalada mixta (tuna salad)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/case-in-point/220951196/
Paella (rice)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/jackieandmike/134434431/
Jamón serrano (cured ham)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/brothermagneto/542804873/
Croquetas de pollo (chicken croquette)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/twobitme/2311284775/
Patatas bravas (potato with spicey tomato sauce)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/weareneverfull/2211568941/
Calamares (squid rings in batter)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/aloha_pineapple/309908004/
Pimientos de Padron (fried peppers)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/katiegoldstein/254407205/
Tortilla de patata (potato omelette)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/gorus/1141428970/
Albondigas (meat balls)
http://www.flickr.com/photos/weareneverfull/2212363044/
100 montaditos bar
http://www.flickr.com/photos/rvidal/227454736/
Chocolate con churros
http://www.flickr.com/photos/lenora/7611758/
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Old Jul 16th, 2008, 08:18 AM
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I don't remember the names of any of the restaurants I visited in Madrid but have a few general thoughts.

First observation is that don't worry about having to wait until late evening for supper; my experience in Madrid has been many restaurants will be open and ready for business in the early evening and I had no problem eating in the 6:30/7 p.m. time area. True, I was an early bird and many, many people in Madrid thought 10 p.m. or later was a great time to go eat.

Second observation: My first experience with the Spanish tortilla wasn't pleasant. Friends on that particular trip kept ordering the stuff, either as a sandwich or as a tapas and I found it tasteless and quite unappealing. On a subsequent trip I was with friends who had not previously been to Spain and wanted to try this strange exotic "tortilla" (having had previously a life time experience with Mexican torillas) and simply ordered one as a complete dish and that dish, fresh, hot and steaming, was exquisite. More fresh tortillas were ordered on that trip, basically as an appetizer for the table, and every time the dish was exellent. I would recommend trying the tortilla fresh but skip as a tapas; in fact, except for olives and the like I would skip most of the tapas unless you see something that looks appealing (most of what I've seen in the past I wouldn't have eaten if it had been free on a buffet)

Third impression: Spanish food was fairly simple. You may not think it the best chicken/pork steak/ and fries you've ever had but you will find it edible. However, that baby suckling pig may be the best pork dish I have ever had and I urge trying that dish. Pork seemed to be the primary meat rather than beef so you may wish to inquire if the menu is unclear.

On ordering side dishes or salads; inquire as to the size. I have ordered salads and sometimes gotten a small dinner salad (what I expected) and sometimes the kitchen sends out a salad that would feed three or four people.


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Old Jul 17th, 2008, 12:05 AM
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After some good and some questionable advice, I suggest you take a look at Maribel's Guide to Madrid in regards to dining and restaurant recommendations. It's quite good and up to date.

http://maribelsguides.com

More restaurants are now offering fixed price menus, but I'd steer away from anything under 10 or 12 Euros. The quality of the ingredients falls once you get too cheap.
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Old Jul 17th, 2008, 12:07 AM
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You'll also need the latest edition of Acrobat Reader to open the Madrid file.
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Old Jul 17th, 2008, 04:55 AM
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These are some of the oddest ideas about the cuisines of Spain that I have ever read, and without much awareness of cultural regionalism in Spain, or even what a tapa is. (Clams in garlic can be served as a tapa.)

In case it wasn't clear: I didn't suggest people only eat tapas. I was suggesting eating a tapa of clams in garlic to find out if they wanted a whole portion of it.

But most of all it just goes to show how subjective tastebuds are, especially when on the road in a foreign land.
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Old Jul 17th, 2008, 06:32 AM
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If You want to have a great experience in Spain you should go to the Balearic island, you have the better of europe + Spain there...
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Old Jul 17th, 2008, 08:05 AM
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zeppole

I can't say that I've ever seen a Tapa with clams cooked with wine and garlic. This dish needs some "Size" to give a bit of taste. You cannot make just a large pan of the clams, which the get very sad and sorry when it gets cold.

I've seen where you can order a portion or even a half portion but where I lived didn't serve just the clams.

Blackduff

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