15 Jul2010

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After a whirlwind tour through Toledo, walking to work up an appetite, we arrived back in Madrid just before 2 pm and jumped into a cab to head straight to Plaza Santa Ana, a small sunny square with several restaurants that came recommended by readers (Bea, Amaya, et al) of marketmanila.com. We were after a table at Lateral…

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With beautiful weather outdoors, the tables in the plaza were highly sought after, so rather than wait for 20-25 minutes to be seated under an umbrella, we opted for the airconditioned comfort of a table indoors. We were here to eat, not grab a tan. :) And eat we did! A bit “takaw-mata” and with alarmingly low blood-sugar levels, we rattled off a list for the bemused waiter. I’m sure he wanted to ask how many days it had been since our last meal (exactly 6 hours!)…

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We started with a Clara con limon, a shandy of sorts, that was refreshing but not really my type of drink. The Teen had an orange soda and the table got a bottle of sparkling water. We were ready for some tapas…

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First to arrive were these two pieces of seared sirloin with a mountain of caramelized onions on top. The sirloin must have been of veal, not older beef as they were pale rather than deep red. Very nice.

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This was followed by pate de foie gras with apple preserves and bits of fried jamon… rich, unctuous and delicious. The Teen isn’t a big fan of foie, so Mrs. MM and I had half a piece of bread each. Yum. Very good. Behind the foie in the photo, Bacalao Lateral, a house specialty with very thinly sliced cod on some tomatoes. Very good. Could have done with another order of that.

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A shredded duck and onion tart was also incredibly tasty. Up top, I ordered a wonderful gazpacho, beautifully executed and nicely served table side. After a morning of steep climbs and extended walks, this was refreshing and uplifting. Excellent. Behind the gazpacho is a plate of potatoes with spicy sauce. The least appealing dish of everything we ordered — the potatoes were soft, mushy and swimming in fat, the sauce neither tasty nor spicy. “Spicy” at least in Spain, we were to discover, means have some spice, not necessarily any discernible “heat” or capsicain whatsoever. I know what this dish was trying to do, and it is a great filler, but this wasn’t a great version of it, in my opinion.

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I also ordered a salad with greens, parmesan and a vinaigrette dressing. It was good but a bit over the top considering everything else we ordered for lunch. It is best described as Parmesan shavings with a garnishing of greens. There was so much parmesan it could have topped 30 dishes of spaghetti with tomato sauce! Tasted great, just a bit much.

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The Teen also ordered this “Brocheta Lateral” or shish kebab that was very tasty as well. Overall, a terrific meal for three. We walked home slowly and took a two-hour siesta before trying to figure out our late afternoon itinerary and where to have dinner. :)

 

COMMENTS:

  1. zena says:

    Luv gazpacho. The picture showed a smoother consistency with some chunky bits in the middle?

    Jul 15, 2010 | 7:33 pm

     
  2. Anne :-) says:

    Is bacalao served here in Manila?

    Jul 15, 2010 | 9:02 pm

     
  3. natie says:

    i love bacalao! esp if it’s not too salty!

    Jul 15, 2010 | 9:47 pm

     
  4. Rona Y says:

    Were the potatoes supposed to be patatas bravas? They’re usually double cooked–boiled then fried. Yours just look boiled. Definitely not as tasty! (Everything fried is good, is my mantra!)

    Jul 15, 2010 | 10:32 pm

     
  5. quiapo says:

    I wonder if the bacalao was soaked, but not cooked? It doesn’t look flaky in the photo.
    What an experience!! Spain seems to be pushing the boundaries in discovering new tastes.

    Jul 16, 2010 | 6:30 am

     
  6. millet says:

    i would have slept all the way to dinner (but not through) after a meal like this.

    Jul 16, 2010 | 7:34 am

     
  7. Footloose says:

    Cool gazpacho for the heat record breaking dog days of summer. Sangria would hit the spot too.

    I had a friend whose family’s big thing for Christmas was gazpacho. They held on to that usage when they moved to New Jersey and that’s about the time I heard of it first. Being deep into the seasonal nature of food, wow I said to myself, gazpacho in winter, that’s worse than plum pudding in August.

    Jul 17, 2010 | 9:18 am

     
  8. present tense says:

    Have you ever noticed how affluent Spaniards eat ? The more educated ones tend to pack a serving at the BACK OF A FORK and pat this down with a knife to firmly plant it in place. While in rural Italy, the old timers peel apples mafia style and eat this while holding a knife – sometimes a slice of cheese in included. Amusing to watch

    Jul 21, 2010 | 10:39 am

     
 

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