A Memorable Tapas Crawl in Madrid
We met Marcy Forman, co-owner of Valesa Cultural Services, one of our preferred ground operators for clients headed to Spain, at the lobby of our hotel, Gran Hotel Inglés. Marcy has lived in Madrid for over 20 years and one of her favorite things to do is bring friends on an authentic Madrid tapas crawl. We started at Casa Toni, known for its crispy lamb tripe, an older specialty that’s hard to find in town these days. After downing the tender meat, we strolled around the corner to my favorite stop of the night, Casa del Abuelo, known for their tasty garlic shrimp. The dish comes out sizzling with a hefty chunk of bread, and is best paired with a short glass of sweet wine. Then it was off to La Campana, known for its fried calamari served in a large bun, bocadillo style. Next stop, the splashy Mercado de San Miguel, Madrid’s main public market, serving everything your heart desires, from acorn-fed Iberian ham to razor clams to fried croquettes, all washed down with sangria or cerveza. Our final stop was Chocolateria San Gines, in operation since 1894 and known for only one item, fresh out of the oven churros. Order a half-dozen, thin or fat, and it’s served with a steaming hot coffee cup of chocolate that many customers drink after dipping the churros. Sublime! We had so much fun with Marcy that we took our daughter, Melanie, on the exact same tour the next night.