My visit to Madrid was the last city on a two month European holiday, that lead me to thirteen countries. I spent four days in Madrid and it is a debate, but I may have saved the best country for last. Before stepping into Spain, I had already researched several restaurants that I wanted to dine at. This included a list of historical and legendary dining establishments such as Restaurante La Trainera and Corral de la Moreria. Gastronomic travel is my passion.
👩🏻💻 Don’t forget to read part one! ➡ What I ate in MADRID – Part 1 – A Food Journal
Also for your epicurean curiosity, I added a couple of delicious bonuses. At the end of this food journal is a couple of tasty entries from Toledo, Spain – A UNESCO World Heritage Site.
From and impressive feast at the legendary Restaurante Zalacain to eating white asparagus from my namesake, region of “Navarre”, I submit “What I ate in MADRID – Part 2 – A Food Journal”.
Lunch at Restaurante La Trainera
👩🏻💻 For my complete review and blog post ➡ Restaurante La Trainera – A Place for Seafood in Madrid, Spain
For over fifty years La Trainera has been one the city’s top restaurants for seafood. When I travel, I try to seek out seafood restaurants with a history of serving fresh fish and shellfish. Since Madrid is a landlocked city, finding a high quality seafood restaurant was muy importante for me.
Since there were so many incredible sounding dishes on their menu, I decided on several small plates. I still had a full day of eating ahead and I figured that I would eventually try a couple of their main dishes when I return to Madrid.
On the table were several flavorful and appetizing dishes; A small bottle of Torres Viña Sol blended white wine, a bountiful bread basket and Spanish olives to start. Then Esparragos Blancos de “Navarra”, Sopa de Productos Del Mar and Mejillones Gallegos a La Trainera. Translated: White Asparagus from “Navarre”, Seafood Soup and Mussels La Trainera style. Whether spoken in Spanish or English, my courses at La Trainera were memorable and pleasurable.
For dessert I decided on the Tarta de Santiago, also known as the “Cake of St. James”. This is a traditional almond cake that dates back to the Middle Ages. It reminded me of the Persat Cake which is a similar almond cake from the village of Persat in Kotor Bay of Montenegro. I really enjoyed this cake because I adore any sweets that are made from almond flour. I loved the slight chewiness of the cake and almond flavor- Muy Bueno!
I love a piping hot shot of espresso at the end of a good meal. Especially when I am surprised with a plate of sweet cookies, such as these sugary Spanish treats. I have never tried these before but they were quite lite and sticky. Nice and perfect with the bold bitter bite of my black espresso, it was a perfect ending.
For restaurant information and reservations, please visit Restaurante La Trainera
Brunch at Arzábal
While visiting Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, I decided to dip into Arzábal which is connected to the museum. Although the wait time to receive my food was a bit longer than I wanted, this café was still a lovely place to have brunch.
I started off my museum day by sitting on the patio shaded patio and noshing on the smoked salmon with avocado on toast that came with a side of potato chips. I loved the presentation of the salmon toast on a rustic wood plank. It was a good looking dish and tasted just as wonderful.
After my pleasurable and relaxing brunch, I was ready to explore one of Madrid’s best, I ordered the smoked salmon with avocado on toast that came with a side of chips.
For restaurant information, please visit Arzábal
A Legendary Lunch at Restaurante Zalacain
Of all the places that I ate in Madrid, Restaurante Zalacain was my best dining experience. If you have not read my full blog and review on my extraordinary meal at this legendary restaurant, please read 👩🏻💻➡ Madrid’s legendary Zalacain Restaurante – A Feast for the Gastronome
As for the short of the long of it; A gastronomic icon of Madrid since 1973, Zalacain Restaurante has been a legendary dining establishment for decades. By 1987, they received the highly coveted Three Michelin Stars after earning their first star shortly after they opened fourteen years prior. Zalacain became the first restaurant in Spain to accomplish this top recognition, making them a culinary legend in it’s country and beyond. Although they have sadly lost their stars, this celebrated eatery still holds onto one of the best restaurant reputations in Europe.
🍽 Zalacain has been recognized in Michelin’s Guidebook for: The Michelin Plate and Extremely Comfortable Restaurant
When I looked back at my food and wine photos, I could not believe how much I consumed at Zalacain! I have no regrets, everything from the Amuse-Bouche to my final shot of espresso was tremendous. I would do it again in a heartbeat. ❤
On the table were various Spanish wines and a port, check out my blog for more details on the wines served. As for my gastronomic endeavors: To start was an Amuse – Bouche of croquettes and phyllo dough birds nest. Then I could not decide on one starter so I chose two and they both happened to be made with goose foie. Both the Goose Foie Terrine and Ravioli were luxurious and delectable. This was just the beginning to what seemed to be a feast for the Goddesses.
My main course was the Center of Fillet, medium rare, topped with a tender garlic sauce. This succulent cut of beef was accompanied with a silver footed tray of Pommes Soufflées. It was an incredible pairing, the light as air potatoes with the hearty steak and dark gravy.
I finished up my luxurious lunch with a Fluid Chocolate Rose dessert, which was rich and delightful. Especially when I cut into the rose, warm smooth chocolate flowed out and mixed with the scoop of ruby ice cream. It was divine! Then to top it off, I was given several plates of sweets that accompanied my espresso. There was a variety of peanut ladened bites that I thoroughly enjoyed. As I had mentioned earlier, I cannot believe how much I ate and drank at Zalacain!
For restaurant information and reservations – Zalacain Restaurante
Meracado de San Miguel
👩🏻💻 For my complete review and blog ➡ Meracado de San Miguel – A Gastronomic Affair
Here is where I had a gastronomic affair with many tapas. Many, many tapas! One of the highlights of traveling to Madrid is noshing your way through the Mercado de San Miguel. It is an enticing market that one can taste the different cultures of Spain under one roof.
If you enjoy olives as much as I do, I recommend finding the olive tapas counter and choosing several tasty skewers. I had to take it all in and became quite overwhelmed with all the tempting choices. The shrimp, pepper and olive skewer was great but my favorites were the little stuffed olives. Que Rico!
The cheese counter was another of my favorites for obvious reasons. I am a cheese enthusiast and I was quite enthusiastic gazing this counter up and down. If you love cheese then I highly recommend that you locate this counter. There were many styles of cheeses for you to try and buy, everything from a traditional Spanish Manchego to other fine European cheeses.
I know that I will find myself in Madrid again. I also know that I will find myself in Meracado de San Miguel again. I am already planning out a strategic eating course for my next visit. I suggest that you do the same!
For market information – Meracado de San Miguel
Dinner and Show at Corral de la Moreria
In Madrid, down a small quiet street, in a dark intimate restaurant, upon a small corner stage, a group on musicians and world renowned Flamenco dancers come together and put on the best shows in the world. They have achieved top recognition as the “The Best Flamenco Tablao in the World” from the International Festival of the Cante de Las Minas, as well as many other awards.
👩🏻💻 For my complete food and show review and blog post ➡Corral de la Moreria – A Michelin Star and the World’s Best Tablao Flamenco
What also makes this Tablao Flamenco the best is the world, is that Corral de la Moreria has achieved one Michelin Star for their exquisite cuisine served with every show.
For my Michelin Star Meal, I started off with a glass of Ysabel de Mardrigal, a Spanish white wine. It paired nicely with my colorful and flavorsome two courses:
First Course: “Coca” (Puff Pastry Base) filled with “Escalibada” which is roasted Aubergine onion and peper, goat chese with a rosemary flavored “Romesco” sauce.
Second Course: Salmon with crispy corn croquettes and sweet potato purée with boiled semolina.
Although we were allowed to film and take photos before and after the main show, we had to turn the cameras off when the big production started. This was my first time at a Tablao Flamenco and I was thrilled and speechless. As a dancer in my youth and coming from a family of dancers, the impression of each Flamenco dancer astounded me. The story each dancer told through their movements were intense and emotional, I enjoyed it greatly!
For restaurant and show reservations, please visit Corral de la Moreria
—— Toledo, Spain ——
👩🏻💻 ➡ A Day in TOLEDO, SPAIN – A UNESCO World Heritage Site
Lunch at Restaurante Plaza Mayor
To one side of Toledo’s Cathedral and anchoring the small Plaza Mayor is Restaurante Plaza Mayor. I decided to stop in for lunch because the restaurant looked interesting. To get to the dining area, you will need to walk down a flight of stairs where you will find yourself in a below ground restaurant. I found the restaurant very comfortable and friendly.
When I was seated, I was not given a lunch menu but was told that lunch had two courses. I was also TOLD what was available. I have heard of places like this, where you pretty much have whatever the chef is cooking. No explanations, just “This is what we got, Lady!”. It might be different during dinner but I can only report to you what happened during lunchtime.
Paella was one of the first course menu items and I was thrilled. I love paella which is a traditional Spanish rice dish. The paella was flavorful and was loaded with seafood- Perfecto! I was also told that “Pork” was one of the menu items for the second course. I was not sure how it was prepared so I took a chance. I was not about to ask how it was cooked, I just trusted my instincts. What was served was a tender stewed pork that was flavorsome and hearty. I loved the traditional side of patatas that accompanied the “Pork”
Dessert at Tabenera El Botero
The day before when I was in Madrid, I dined at the legendary Restaurante Zalacain. The managerial staff at Zalacain highly recommended Tabenera El Botero for their tapas and drinks. Botero is located in quiet neighborhood of Toldedo and inside a charming old store font.
El Botero had quite a menu of appetizing tapas but I was quite full from my lunch at Restaurante Plaza Mayor. I decided on dessert, particularly their Lemon Pie because it sounded refreshing on that warm day in Toledo. It was an extraordinary dessert and a surprise when it was put down in front of me. This scrumptious dessert was a deconstructed lemon pie that was both sweet and tart. The creamy lemon filling was openly placed over a bed of sweet cake crumbs. Then it was topped with mint leaves and little lemon cookies similar to Madeleines. It was divine!
For restaurant information, Tabenera El Botero
From both food journals and restaurant reviews it is obvious that I loved eating in Madrid. I think it was my favorite country to dine in while on those two months of travels.
May your glass always be more than half full…
🌍 Thank you for visiting my website and NEVER STOP EXPLORING!
📸 All photos are taken by me and are mine – Trixie Navarre