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MEAT quality food for brunch

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The brunch at MEAT is like THE BRUNCH with bold capitals letters in Madrid.

If you know Meat for its burgers or cocktails, or just because you hang out in Alonso Martinez and for sure you’ve seen the space, well, you might not be surprised but this blog post, because we are talking about an institution for Saturdays and Sundays.

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To be honest, I am not the biggest brunch fan in general, as a concept, because a lot of time you find buffet or fixed menu and you can’t choose.

Of course if you are reading this is because in MEAT let you choose exactly what you want to eat and combine everything. You can choose a sweet brunch or a tasty one, or a mix of the two, it’s up to you.

And what is even better is that when you are undecided between the burgers and the avocado toast you can share it with friends, because this place is amazing for a date but also for a friendly relaxed brunch with your mates.

What I loved about MEAT is their focus on a high quality burger, they opened two years ago with this idea of a mono product restaurant with cool music, atmosphere and great cocktails.

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The quality is guaranteed not only by the meat which is their mission, offering a selected beef from Sierra de Madrid and just adding salt and black pepper, less is more I would say, and the bread is custom made exclusively for them.

I have a pending “The 10 best burgers in Madrid” list and MEAT has for sure deserved a place a in that list.

The brunch is more recent, since 9 months, with a very simple but effective menu, guaranteeing fresh and quality products.

meat madrid 4

The founders Guillermo Ramos Albritton, José Luis Martín de Bustamante y Gabriel Santaeulalia Yarte, have travelled a lot before opening the successful MEAT in Madrid, thinking about a place to be friendly and well integrated in the barrio, living a sort of slaughterhouse experience with many elements taken from a real Spanish Matadero.

meat madrid 4

As mentioned before there is also a strong component of amazing cocktails, I’ve always knew MEAT as a cocktail bar, and tried the cocktails before the brunch, hanging out in Alonso Martinez.

The atmosphere at night is really cool, the barra is incredible, but the real thing is to try the cocktails with the brunch, pairing avocado toast with gin.

You can’t end a real brunch with something sweet, and relax with a dessert. This chocolate cake is really impressive, so good, probably the best I’ve ever tried in my life, you need to share is because the portion is huge but worth the calories.

More information: MEAT.

bEST COCKTAILS MADRID

The 10 Best Cocktails in Madrid

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Quote for the best cocktails in Madrid: My life is 50% wondering if it’s too late to drink coffee and 50% wondering if it’s too early to drink alcohol – Anonymous [This article is written by Enzo Lauretta]

First thing to say: this not a chart. It is based on my experience as Cocktail Lover spent in almost all the most particular cocktails bar in Madrid.

The experience of drinking a cocktail it’s only not about drinking what each barman serves but also take a sit a the counter, meet the bartender, listen his story and most of all the story of the cocktail.

In this short time frame between the cocktail preparation and my first sip, I always need to hear what he/she has to say, about the cocktail chosen.  What I appreciate the most is to hear their ideas about bartendering, their vision and how those ideas are transmitted into each cocktail, and while they are explaining I love to take these kind of pictures that I’ve been collecting in one year here in Madrid.

And I am already feeling the smell of cocktail and how they mix it, it’s craftsmanship, artesanal work, the more I see that sort of maniacal detail attention and the level of the cocktail rising perfectly until the glass limit, the more I’ll be back to that bar, spending more time with the mixologist, enjoying new tastes and new stories.

Best cocktails in Madrid

1. Angelita Madrid

Angelita Madrid has one of the best cocktails in Madrid because: craftmanship. This is the keyword, even if it sounds a little weird that’s exactly the impression I had. The accuracy they put in the preparation of each cocktail, they way you see it served looks more like a work of art rather than a cocktail.

Not to mention the fact that the service should be a benchmark in town, when you seat you already have your fresh water and a little sweet tapa well presented in a tiny box.

The space is really nice and what surprised me was also the great number of spirits that Angelita does, 100% homemade with serveral tastes, that are added in all the cocktails of the menu.

Angelita Madrid, Calle Reina, 4, 28004 Madrid

2. Benares Madrid

Benares has one of the best cocktails in Madrid because: the way they reinvented the barra as we wrote in the article “The barra esperience in Benares” is something really unique in Madrid, but I guess even in Europe probably.

I’ve never tried an indian cocktail, but I know really well how reach is the indian variety of tastes that I had really high expectations about the experience, but than what I’ve discovered talking to Santi (the barman) is a Menu where each cocktail is dedicated to an Indian city and where you can taste the differences of every city through a unique mix of ingredients.

For example, vodka, beetroot “rubidus” juice, homemade chutney with just a hint of spice, lima sour, silver dust, accompanied by aromas of Delhi’s market and a jelly from the gardens of the Red Fort, is the composition of the cocktail Old Delhi.

Benares Madrid, Calle de Zurbano, 5, 28010 Madrid

3. Museo Chicote Madrid

Museo Chicote as one of the be cocktails in Madrid because: historical. Museo Chicote needs no introduction. Chicote is a stop on the Hemingway trail in Madrid. His tecnique and his way of mastering the mixology art has fascinated not only the cocktails lovers, but but also artists like Salvador Dalì and international actresses and actors like Ava Gardner, Rita Hepburn and Frank Sinatra.

The Museo Chicote is the history of mixology as it was the first cocktail bar in Madrid, with the best position, on the most famous Street of Madrid, the Gran Via, it maintains the classic allure with some shift in modernity with special nights and video mapping shows, always maintaing the focus on cocktails. The red lighted barra makes the experience even better because it catches the attention, and the barman are all great professionals. The Menu spaces from the unmissable classics to the new inspiring creations of the new generations of bartenders.

Museo Chicote Madrid, Calle Gran Vía, 12, 28013 Madrid

4. Del Diego Madrid

Del Diego Madrid has one of the best cocktails in Madrid because: familiar. Don’t waste your time looking for website and social media accounts, Del Diego in calle Reina is a familiar bar, at its second generation of Del Diego batenders. We met Fernando junior that is the son of the founder,  that is keeping alive the family tradition of how to manage a bar and prepare cocktails as they should be done.

They have a very old school barra, where you can comfortably sit and relax, admiring the Del Diego’s barman in action. The new bottles and the spirits collection are protagonists, both at the entrance and behind the barman. During the week you can have the opportunity to speak with the Del Diego Brothers and hear about their passion for the family business.

Del Diego Madrid, Calle Reina, 12, 28004 Madrid

5. Harvey’s Madrid

Harvey’s has one of the best cocktails in Madrid because: it is pure old fashioned, what you expect from an american bar in the 50es.

Located in calle Fuencarral, really close to Tribunal Metro station, with its shiny neon lights and the american style seats. But as in all the other locations, I never seat on the table, I want to stay close to the barman, ask some advice on the menu and see the magic. Because of course I’ve been to all these bars, but to more and more, and from one reason or another only these ten are on the list.

Perfect service also here, and they passed the test of my favourite cockail: Manatthan, and I cannot tell you how many bars can’t do a Manatthan or a Margarita, the basics.

Then with the Sazerac and the French55 on the menu they are stating “we know the history of mixology” and they really know how to mix.

Harvey’s Madrid, Calle de Fuencarral, 70, 28004 Madrid

6. Hermosos y Malditos Madrid

Hermos y Malditos has one of the best cocktails in Madrid because: you feel like you are out of space. I had the impression to be suddenly catapulted in a downtown diner late at night portrayed by Hopper in one of the most recognizable of paintings.

Distinguished, elegant, sophisticated that captured me for one of the best Instagram profile in town, exactly when it was opened.

Reading a bit more about the cocktail bar I also discovered the cocktail menu had one super hipster mixology tresure called “Wes Anderson”.
When I ordered it the very kind barman told me that due to the decision of creating this Scott Fitzgerald atmosphere, this key cocktail was renamed as the famous writer. Hermos y Malditos is infact the spanish version of the very renowned “The Beautiful and Damded”.
Well, the cocktail was very good, and I also appreciate the candies and the still water as soon as I sat down to the blue velvet sofa (yes, another Director’s quote, Mr. David Lynch).

Hermos y Malditos, Calle de Hermosilla, 23, 28001 Madrid

7. Meraki Gastrobar Madrid

Meraki gastrobar has one of the best cocktails in Madrid because: special. Yes this place is special and deserve a place in this list, because as for Hard Rock barman, talking to the master of mixology you hear a completely peronal why of developing and creating a cocktail. Unique.

I had the chance to meet the bartender Joaquin Poyatos at the same event where I’ve met XXXX from Hard Rock. Joaquin prepared a special cocktail that it will be included in the new menu of the restaurant than I was able to try and preview; a cocktail made with Spinach, called Popeye, paired with a spinach biscuit that perfectly matches with the taste of the drink.

His idea of the contamination between the cuisine and the barra, as a liquid exchange of knowledge really fascinated me, and the same it was during the Made in Love event when his creations were aromatized with olives, like if the tapa was inside the cocktail.

Moreover they have in Meraki a tremendous complete selection of Vermouth, with the Martini Italian version called Riserva Speciale Rubino, Cinzano 1757, then Casa Mariol, the classic Zecchini and much more. Every thursday and saturday there is always live music in Meraki so that know you don’t have any excuse to not trying this unique place.

 

Meraki GastroBar, Avenida de Carabanchel Alto 138, Madrid

8. Salmon Guru

Salmon Guru has one of the best Cocktail Bar in Madrid because: Diego Cabrera. In Madrid when you talk about mixology of cocktails, the first name that you will hear is him, Mr. Diego Cabrera, born and raised in Argentina, he is the owner of Salmon Guru. The service is excellent, when you sit you already have a fresh glass of water and some candies waiting for you. Details makes the difference, and everytime I go to calle Echegaray I find the same perfect service, and it’s unusual that Diego itself is welcoming with like this. The bartenders serving at the table create a connection with you, because they are making your cocktail so they need to know you and wish you to enjoy it.

It’s a chic bar, the ambient is amazing for sure, but the cartoons inspired neon are all part of the experience, a different experience where you can feel that connection to Diego’s passions.

You can find some pictures of Diego mixing but for this blog post we have chosen this funny one with Alex.

 

Salmon Guru Madrid, Calle Echegaray, 21, 28014 Madrid

9. El Palco Platea Madrid

El Palco Plate has one of the best cocktails in Madrid because: theatrical. The space is unique.

For those who don’t know, Platea is an old theater turned into a gastronomic center, with chic bars and restaurant. El Palco, located on the second floor offers an impressive view on the stage that can distract the atterion for the original reason why you are there, and it’s so hard to sit at the bar with the theatre on the back, but it worth a chat with the bartender, and than back to the seats.

 

El Palco Platea Madrid, Calle de Goya, 5-7, 28001 Madrid

10. Torre Barcelò Madrid

Torre Barcelò has one of the best cocktails in Madrid because: design. Yes, no doubt, it’s strenght is the design, in the spaces, in the menu, in the business card too. Nothing is left to change in this men made paradise.

Barceló Torre de Madrid really strenght it’s uniqueness with an incredible architecture from the outside and a great design on the inside. The view is reserved to the higher floors for the hotel accommodations and the spa. The cocktail bar is on the ground floor, right in front of Plaza de Espana shining through the fountains water.

I loved the atmosphere of the bar and service was perfect. I mean, if you bring me nuts and candies I’ll be in love with you forever.

 

Torre Barcelò Madrid, Plaza de España, 18, 28008 Madrid

My advice is to try it all as I did it. And I am quite sure that my barra experience will not end here, my research will continue as long as there will be new cocktails to try.

Meraki, when passion meets food

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How many times your favourite bar or restaurant was so full of people and impossible to get in on a random weekend? What about the bruch? Sunday morning queueing, the Madrid revisitation of Sunday Bloody Sunday by the U2.

Madridiana has the solution for this annoying weekend madness.

The method is: hype cool centric location on Monday or Tuesday, leaving the M30 for peaceful and relaxed locations during the weekend (remember that weekends start on Thursday in Madrid, or better Juernes).

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Meraki is a great example of the perfect weekend location.

Lore and Cris, the owners of Meraki restaurant decided to open their first venture in Carabanchel instead of a more centric barrio.

It’s a challenge but most of all it’s an innovative idea and proposal, and when I see innovation I see future and I have to support it.

The name, Meraki, is the first step into this wonderful world, because Meraki comes from the modern Greek and means “do something with passion, with absolute devotion, with undivided attention”, exactly what Lore and Cris transmitted me.

Even if there is a lot of green and blue, cold colours, Meraki it’s really a warm restaurant welcoming clients with a unique atmosphere, also thanks to history of how it was built and which materials have been used like the woods that  comes from the Iglesia de Fuente el Saz del Jarama.

At this point you might have already reserved a table in Meraki for the weekend and I haven’t talked about the food and the barra (which will be explained by Enzo Lauretta, the drinks expert).

And to be totally sincere I haven’t mentioned the first two part of the atmosphere that I guess are the most appreciated, the green walls and the beautiful murals in the terrace.

So let’s start with the core point of a this gastro restaurant: the menu.

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This fantastic ensaladilla rusa is the first bite of Meraki cuisine, as a welcoming tapas.

The starter best seller is the tartar, in the veggie, fishy or classic meat version, it’s really special, and the famous guakamola, which is a sort of avocado tartar, the paradise of avocado lovers.

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Look at the mango and the tomatoes in the veggie version, no filter picture of course, with my Nikon, it was delicious, I could have two more, even if the portions are huge, and dine with it, as starter, main course and dessert.

Choosing the main courses was not an easy task, the burger with beer bread sounds incredibly tasty, the tuna tataki perfectly matches with the tomatoes tartar, tortilla and croquetas for the classic spanish food with a Meraki touch.

In the end as for the guakamola we went for the funny naming, with the Maki taco as a mix of japanese uramaki and mexican taco, and a classic dish de toda la vida, the carrillera de ternera with patatas purea.

meraki madrid

Like a happy kids I was surprised to find my favourite water, San Pellegrino, the best sparkling water in the world.

Not to mention the tablas of quesos and jamon, cecina de Leon, with many starters and main courses made with cheese, Italian with the Burratina and French with the queso Camembert.

So many different cultures in one menu, totally in harmony between each other as a fusion concept should be considering that our tastes are changing every time we travel to a new destination and its culinary tradition and culture.

Creativity is the fil rouge of Meraki, it’s in every mesa, in every sofa, in every dish, that’s why this is not an ordinary restaurant.

Enzo’s thoughts

meraki madrid

As it was for the San Pellegrino water, the same accurate selection for the coffee with Illy and for a tremendous complete selection of Vermouth, with the Martini Italian version called Riserva Speciale Rubino, Cinzano 1757, then Casa Mariol, the classic Zecchini and much more.

Last but not least we also had what we call a “barra experience” with the bartender Joaquin Poyatos that we already had the chance to meet in occasion of the regional final of the bartending competition Made with Love, in collaboration with the Campari Academy, that put together the best bartenders of Madrid.

Joaquin prepared for us a special cocktail that it will be included in the new menu of the restaurant than we were able to try and preview.

meraki madrid

A cocktail made with Spinach, called Popeye, paired with a spinach biscuit that perfectly matches with the cocktail.

His idea of the contamination between the cuisine and the barra, as a liquid exchange of knowledge really fascinated me, and the same it was during the Made in Love event when his creations were aromatized with olives, like if the tapa was inside the cocktail.

Every thursday and saturday there is always live music in Meraki so that know you don’t have any excuse to not trying this unique place.

Wishing all the best to Lore and Cris, we can’t wait to be back to Meraki, convinced that their passion and dedication will be the key for the success and growth of this restaurant, which might be only the first of an amazing series of locals.

More information here: Meraki.

benares barra madrid

The barra experience at Benares Madrid

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It’s hard to fully explain the experience of the new barra at Benares Madrid.

It’s hard mainly because it’s the first time we see the reinterpretation of the most famous Spanish tapas by an Indian chef, and he is a star chef, he is Atul Kochhar, the owner of two Michelin stars and the reputation of having completely changed the way we enjoy the Indian cuisine.

It’s hard to explain how the bocata de calamares was edited in Benares Indian way, but as you try it, and we have tried it, everything is clear, taste the different but also the similarities.

Each Spanish tapa can easily match with one if the new cocktails. Each cocktail has been realized by Santiago Dorado, the official bartender of the new barra at Benares.

Each cocktail represent a city in India, following the naming of the Restaurant tradition, because Benares is the name of the most sacred Indian city.

And the new menu is a like a travel diary with strong leather cover and soft white papers in the inside.

It’a a challenge but we’ll try to bring you in India without exciting Madrid, tasting known food in a different and innovative way, and new cocktails that we’ll bring you to the very heart of India, passing through Jaipur, Old Dehli and Kochi.

Let’s start from the cocktail Benares and the tapa “patatas bravas”.

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Benares, also known as Varanasi, is rightly called the religious capital of India. This cocktail, that takes its names from one of the world’s oldest living cities. It’s made from gin, homemade lemon grass, cordial, green cardamom and a touch of wine. We accompanied the Benares cocktail with a reinterpretation of a typical spanish dish, the “patatas bravas”, with crunchy bananas, chutney of mango with indian canela, tomato sauce, and spicy yogurt.

Now it’s time for the main course: paella, the spanish queen of the comida can be matched with the City (and cocktail) Old Delhi.
From Benares we move to Old Delhi, and we step across the Old Delhi’s ancient silver market with its different aroma types. Finally we arrive to the Red Fort and its gardens.

Vodka, beetroot “rubidus” juice, homemade chutney with just a hint of spice, lima sour, silver dust, accompanied by aromas of Delhi’s market and a jelly from the gardens of the Red Fort, is the composition of this cocktail Old Delhi.

While puffed rice, fondo de pescado al azafrán and macerated shrimps makes the unique “La paella” of the Benares’s barra.


Last but not least the “buñuelos de bacalao” really transformed into a work of art, which is again a musically food, because the silver fried skin of the bacalao is super crunchy, that your can ear that noise, like for the paella crispy sound.

benares barra madrid

They call them Bacalao en texturas instead of“Buñuelos de bacalao” because the base of fried balacalo has a completely different texture than the fried skin, the base really melts in the month, it’s delicious.

The “barra” experience ends with a very particular cocktail called Kochi, a non-alcoholic cocktail served is a cocoa dusted glass.
Considered as the Queen of the Arabian Sea, Kochi was an important spice trade center on the coast of the Arabian Sea from the 14th century. The cocktail is composed of passion fruit juice, natural pineapple juice, fresh squeezed lime juice, white chocolate syrup and homemade spicy syrup.

We have really appreciated how the Chef and its team have tried to surprise us with spanish tapas twisted in creative revisitation inspired by tale of a Thousand and One Nights.

More information: Benares Madrid.