Goya is in the central southern part of Barrio Salamanca, bordered by Calle Principe de Vegara to the west (see my Recoletos posts), Calle de Don Ramón de la Cruz to the north (see my Lista post), Calle del Dr. Esquerdo to the east and Calle de O’Donnell to the south (see my Ibiza posts). Please also see my separate posts for food shopping and posher places to eat in Goya.
Here are a few medium-range bars and restaurants I can vouch for:
Cafetería Avanty’s (High Elementary B), 15 Calle del General Pardiñas
This is a favourite spot for my work colleagues as it’s cheap and convenient for the Hotel Catalonia Goya. It’s a fair sized bar with a large selection of Spanish standards which is fine if you’re not too fussy.
For me the food generally scores a C so I tend to just drink here and graze on their complementary tapas. When buying beer it’s good to know they charge nearly the same for a doble as a caña! But it’s still much cheaper than anywhere else I know in Barrio Salamanca.
Someone please tell me how I was supposed to eat these crabs.
Taberna de la Daniela (Intermediate B+), 21 Calle del General Pardiñas, Tel. 91 575 2329, www.tabernaladaniela.com
Just a few minutes walk from the Hotel Catalonia Goya, this is one of a small chain of Danielas dotted around town. It looks like a good choice with its tiled walls, crowded tapas bar and constantly busy restaurant. I come here fairly frequently with my colleagues because it’s convenient, friendly and the food is fairly decent.
And most importantly it is one of the best places in Madrid to eat Cocido Madrileno, a hearty chickpea stew that I adore.
Once eaten in winter, people now eat it at any time, especially for Sunday lunch, which is when I usually have it at Daniella’s. Traditionally it’s served in three stages, although it’s been narrowed down to two in modern times.
First the stock is used to make a tasty noodle soup.
In past times you would then get the veg course (principally chickpeas, cabbage and carrot) and finally the meat, thus saving the best for last in poverty stricken homes. However, in these more affluent days the vegetables and meat usually come together.
At Daniela’s you get a chicken drumstick, a lump of bacon, a chunk of marrow bone, slices of black pudding and chorizo and some other hunk of meat (veal?) and a square of quivering gelatinous lard. The lard doesn’t look very appetizing but trust me, it’s actually the most flavoursome ingredient in the whole stew, just cut it very thinly and eat it in small slices.
Couple this with a few glasses of decent red and you’ll quickly find it’s siesta time! You’re going nowhere after that lot.
Total cost before wine €26.50, worth every penny.
I’ve had tapas here a few times and they are ok (usually scoring a B) and the portions are generous (especially the morcilla!) but I’d avoid the Ternera con Castada y Puree de Manzana (C). Tapas are a euro cheaper if you eat in the bar.
The servers in the restaurant, especially Paula, are lovely and have a good sense of humour. If you ask for a digestif they will leave the bottle on the table and it won’t appear on the bill.
Micota (Intermediate C+), Calle Costello 18, www.micota.com
This grill house is very near the Hotel Centro and serves ok food, although some dishes are better than others.
My options from the extensive Menu del Dia were grilled chicken with gravy (B), baked potato (C), coco de pastel aka coconut tart (B).
The waiting staff are very nice if a bit over efficient at times (different ones ask you the same questions all the time). It’s €2 extra to eat outside.
El Olivar de Ayala (Elementary B), 84 Calle Ayala
This place was recommended by a teacher as a cheap place to eat fairly near the hotel and it didn’t disappoint. With the €11 Menu-del-Dia you get a wide choice of dishes. I had Salmorejo (like gazpacho but made with bread), Emperador a la Plancha (grilled swordfish with salad) and Mousse de Queso (a speckled blancmange) with a quarter litre of red. The decor is unremarkable, wooden chairs around barrels in the front tapas area, tables in the back, and the service is fine. A good deal all round.
Bars near the Hotel Goya:
I try to avoid drinking in the bar of the Hotel Goya. Canas are a hefty €3 and a Cuba Libre costs nearly €12, and that’s after I taught them how to make it!
If it’s open, which it hasn’t been for a while, a much cheaper and very nearby option is the Barley Bar (turn left out of the Hotel Centro and it’s on the first corner). Plain and simple, it looks small but there’s an upstairs seating area with a telly if you want to watch the match. The decor is on an English pub theme although the old couple who run it don’t speak a word of the language.
For an alternative to brandy, I find a glass of Anis La Castellana (the best stuff comes from Chinchon) to be a nice way to end the evening.
Pics uploaded May 2012