It was stinkingly hot when The Lovely J and I were in Madrid in early June. When you live in England, 33°C or 90°F at 10 o’clock in the morning classifies as stinkingly hot, although of course, we embraced the heat under the cover of umbrellas, hats and sunscreen.
Anyway, the point is that other than the 3 hours in the dance studio, most of the rest of the time was spent eating, drinking and gossiping in the bars. It pays to be sociable with the bartenders. You get to have interesting conversations and they may bring you specials or drinks or off-menu tapas.
One of the tapas places we liked was sitting at the bar at El Bocaito. They do wonderful padron peppers. The bartender persuaded us to try the Luisito tapa, which he described as a bit of prawn and squid with their house mayo and chilli paste, served on a bit of toast. “It’s a bit spicy”, he said as he sliced the portion. The Spaniards aren’t known for spicy food. As it turned out, the chilli paste was intense. It caught us by surprise, and it was hot enough to bring me to the verge of tears. Every time I took another bite, the heat accumulated in my mouth, building up an unholy fire. Meanwhile, the bartender thought our reactions quite hilarious, and eventually brought us some tortilla to mitigate the heat. I did like the lovely tingly feeling around my mouth. But it was stinkingly hot !
Bocaito, Calle de la Libertad, 6, 28004 Madrid
~ Spotted Cow