Free tapas are a privilege NOT a right
Madrid is not Granada. Madrid is not Granada. Madrid is NOT Granada. So, being that I love, love, LOVE tapas. One thing that has been blatantly obvious for me in Madrid is that tapas aren’t awesome here. They just aren’t. Unless you are cool and know all the cool places to get the greatest tapas. The problem here is that I am not cool. Thus I do not know all the cool places. Super unfair. In Granada, you don’t have to be cool to get great tapas, almost every bar has great tapas and they are ALWAYS free. Let me reiterate. Tapas GRATIS in Granada. That’s FREE tapas for all! ALL day, every day, no gimmicks, no nothing. Just free tapas. GOOD tapas, great tapas, tapas for one and tapas for all. Tapas over here and tapas over there, tapas EVERYWHERE. In Granada, it isn’t like a scavenger hunt to ensure that you get the best tapa with your tinto de verano, tapas are just there and amazing and asking you to eat them.
Here is the idea I have in my head of what tapas should be. In the south of Spain, these types of tapas come with your drink. You order a drink and they give you these, for free. Simple as that.
Now that you understand what I think tapas should be, Let me enlighten you as to my first adventure for tapas in the big city.
Pilar (a friend, fellow blogger and fellow Granada enthusiast) and I were in Chamberí on c/Bravo Murillo on a Monday night in search of tinto and tapas. We both have this notion that tapas should be free and should be amazing, so we want to find them in Madrid. We saw a bunch of bars along this street so we decided, hey, if there are a lot of people at one bar, let’s go in. I mean, if there is a bunch of people in one place, it must be awesome, right? Well, usually right, however, this particular evening we were VERY much WRONG. In Madrid, you have to KNOW where to go to get the good tapas or you lose at life. Ok, you don’t lose at life but it sure does feel like it. So, here in Madrid, I am going to scavenge the best…and more than likely, the worst, tapas. Here is a glimpse into my first night of scavenging for tapas with Pilar. Although we didn’t find anything amazing, we had a lot of fun reminiscing about our different adventures in Granada and our excitement for our futures in Madrid! Here is a glimpse into our night in Chamberí…
With two round of drinks we first got olives, then we got a potato, onion & green pepper mix. I can’t remember what it’s called. These were definitely NOT the type of tapas we were looking for. Then we ordered croquetas…and paid for them…even though croquetas totally should be a tapa and should be free!
You want delicious croquetas? €1 each at this bar!
It was a Monday and we sat outside on the terrace here, so those advertisements did not apply to us. You’d think that they would change the specials daily…to apply to that particular day of the week…false, they do not do that. The thing is, it was a beautiful night and terraces are always jam packed, so when you find a table, you have to just cross your fingers and hope for the best! At this place, the terrace was practically empty, I am guessing because cañas next door were €0,40. Anyways, the service was fast and the waiter was attentive. The problem? He said we can’t order just a caña, you have to get a “caña doble”, which cost €2,50…and came with a shrimp potato salad as a tapa. Fail.
Did I mention, that next door there were a million people? Could have been their €0,40 cañas. We couldn’t find a table there so that’s how we ended up at Taberna Arga. Apparently next time we should just wait for a table to open up for the €0,40 cañas, so then we won’t feel so bad about the awful tapas.
First off, our waitress was so adorable! Second off, why don’t Spanish bars have amazing hamburgers? Is it THAT difficult to make a hamburger? Either way, this is definitely a place I would come to again!
Pilar had a caña and I had a water. We got some chips and random frutos secos with this order, better than olives I guess! Not to mention, it was a big tapa (if you can consider chips and frutos secos a tapa), and I didn’t even order a beer, just a water!
We also ordered a hamburger to share. The hamburger didn’t get eaten, let’s just say it definitely tasted like Spanish hamburger. The waitress asked us if we didn’t like it and we told her we liked it but we were too full to eat it. Ok, that is a lie. I didn’t like the hamburger. I wanted to like it but I just couldn’t. However, I now know that Spanish hamburgers just aren’t my thing. This particular hamburger was great by Spanish standards, so if you like Spanish hamburgers then I would definitely say to order it. If you dislike Spanish hamburgers. This particular hamburger will not change your mind about Spanish hamburgers.
After all of that, we departed ways and I made my way back up north and back home! My belly was full…but my desire for tapas still was unsatisfied. Until next time tapas bars in Madrid, I will find you, I WILL!