Thursday, 20 December 2012

Madrid - Sherry and tapas

One of our best nights out in Madrid was when we went to a couple of local tapas bars we read about on Tripadvisor. Both utterly different styles but both great fun.  The first was La Venencia which was a sherry bar selling just five different types of sherry and a small range of things that could be sliced and served easily behind the bar.  Nothing else.  It was a dingy place but in a good way with hundreds of dusty unopened bottles of sherry on the shelves.  There was no chat from the bar staff, they were very serious looking and wouldn't accept tips (we had read this before we went but it was also written on the menu and a local tried to tip while we were there and it wasn't accepted).  There was no music but that just made the atmosphere even better, just listening to the hubbub of Spanish around the bar while sipping on sherry.

My pictures aren't great as we'd read that someone was told off for taking pictures in there, it's really the most un-touristy place (we were the only foreigners in there) and we can imagine that people posing and taking photos with flash could annoy the locals so I managed just a few subtle sneaky pics without flash!  Nik was very impressed with my stealth and timing!  ;)

 The outside - very difficult to find - and the full menu behind the bar, hanging next to some chorizo.

Sneaky pic when they were both busy!

We started with the Manzanilla (1.70 euros) and Roquefort (1 euro) with a few olives (free).

Then tried Ollo Rosso (2) with Lomo (4) and Queso (2), this time with free bread, those mini bread sticks were so nice!  Obviously we didn't eat the free peanuts as we're both allergic.

We finished off with more Lomo (4) and Chorizo (1.50) with one Palo Cortado (2) and one Amontillado (2) with free crisps changed for the nuts.  We'll have to go back to try the Fino next time!

They kept tally of our bill by writing it in chalk on the bar next to us...

We loved it, despite the utterly different atmosphere - or probably because of it!  We were surrounded by proper locals, including a greyhound who occasionally scouted round for the crumbs at our feet.  Most people were stood at the bar with just a few at the back sat around tables.

The next place we tried was La Trucha and at the completely opposite end of the scale, bright and cheerful with a bustling bar area where you could see through to the jolly kitchen staff and a huge plate collection on the walls.

We were already pretty full by now so just had some olives, smoked salmon and garlicky prawns here with some red wine.  The bar staff were very friendly, smiley and chatty and happy to recommend dishes.

They had a much larger menu and we would definitely like to go back here for a full meal next time we visit Madrid.

We both agreed on our way home that La Venencia was our favourite bar we visited in Madrid as it was so different, the atmosphere was great and the Lomo was yummy!!!  Some reviewers weren't keen but if you go with the right attitude and speak Spanish, I don't think you'd find them unwelcoming, perhaps not overly welcoming either but they were the same with everyone in there as far as I could tell!

1 comment:

Unknown said...

It looks so yummy!

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