I´m starting this post by resurrecting a local expression sadly fallen into desuse meaning that we must always be prepared for the unexpected. It is bullfight slang, of course, but I´m taking the license to translate it to the gastronomic world for its obvious double meaning. So beware, my friends, because today I´m writing a quick guide with the 5 top places you can´t miss in order to satisfy your palates before –make sure you purchase your online tickets here– or after a bullfight in La Monumental. As close to Las Ventas as you can get, no doubt about it.
+ Casa Toribio: a unique food place not just in Madrid but in the world for a compelling reason… They have exclusive access to the tails of Bulls fought in Las Ventas arena. Make a reservation if you want to be one of the fortunate guests trying this age-old specialty… and while you wait, don´t forget to order one of its legendary Gin tonics. Address: C/ Cardenal Belluga, 14. T: 91 355 90 20
+ Cafetería Biarritz: ordering portions in this terrace is an established tradition for those who want to prorrogue the climax of a pleasant bullfight evening. I insistently recommend the delicious and thinly sliced garlic sauteed calamari. Address: C/ de Bairritz, 1. T: 91 356 72
+ Tendido 11 (Sala Alcalá): its recent opening in the latest San Isido Fair turn this space into a must, not just as to gastronomy but also as to culture. Gourmet set menus at midday, sophisticated tapas –bar snacks-, solidarity corner, drinks after bullfights and VIP area without leaving the arena. A place where you can´t miss anything. A sensorial experience.
+ Los Clarines. A classic tavern, same as ever, including the possibility of grabbing a bite, eating seated on a table or having standard dinners. Bullfighting decoration, amazing atmosphere and a great pure-blood variety of food: pescaítos –fried little fish-, stewed bull meat, callos –casserole of veal tripe and cheeks-, sweetbread and incendiary patatas bravas –baked crispy potato Hedges with a spicy tomato sauce-. Address: Bocángel, 2. T: 91 356 98 59
+ Los Timbales. Very close to Las Ventas, the place is coated with typical tiles, hanging jamones and kettledrums. Perfect for pampering yourself before or after a bullfight. Bull´s tail and cured Iberian ham are its highlights, but don´t lose the opportunity to try its dried meat and grilled prawns. Order natillas –soft custard flavored with cinnamon- or rice pudding for dessert. Address: Alcalá, 227. T: 91 725 07 68
* In order to live the whole experience, you can buy your online tickets for bullfights in Las Ventas here: http://www.toroslacentral.es/venta-de-entradas/