Museo del Jamón - Madrid, Spain

Even if you don't speak Spanish, I am sure one could probably figure out what Museo Del Jamón means. With various locations throughout Madrid, this was one of the places that we visited multiple times during the few days we were in Madrid. Not sure what the Madrileños think of Museo Del Jamón but we really liked it. If you are looking for a place that is quick, cheap, and tasty, you've come to the right place.

As you can see from the pictures, Museo Del Jamón is pretty much a museum of hams. Check out the myriad of hams hanging and the plethora of meats in the deli case.

So here is how it's done. Act like you've done this before, even if you haven't. Walk into the store and go straight to the counter/bar area for drinks and food. Otherwise, go to the deli side and get your various slices of jamón and other deli goods to take away as the Europeans say.

When I say that Museo Del Jamón is cheap, I mean cheap. You can get a bocadillo (bread served with some type of ham) and a beer for about 2E.

Complimentary olives

On a separate visit, we got complimentary tomatoes and bell peppers with small chunks of ham. 

Croissant stuffed tomato and jamón.
The croissant bread was actually crunchy and the addition of the tomatoes and jamón went perfectly together for that salty and slightly sweet and acidic combination.

Bocadillo with jamón and tomato
For the price of this 1,50E bocadillo, I have no complaints whatsoever. Same combination of tomatoes and jamon and bread.

Guess what you wash these sandwiches down with? Cerveza!!! Even the beers at Museo Del Jamón are cheap. Straight from the draft and refreshingly cold. Perfect during those hot days in Madrid.

Turns out for breakfast, you can get a breakfast special: Pan Tumaca with your choice of coffee or beer for only 2 euros~! This deal cannot be beat.  It was pretty funny that a lady sitting next to me was enjoying a cerveza at 9AM in the morning. When in Madrid, do as the Madrileños do.

Pan Tumaca is essentially a slice of toasted bread rubbed or in this case smothered with a tomato paste-like spread, topped with what else, but jamón and a drizzle of olive oil.

Can't have breakfast without eggs right? This was an order of scrambled eggs on top of bread and also included in this breakfast combo was a slice of bread rubbed with tomato and topped with jamón.

Museo Del Jamón is not a fancy pants type of establishment. Food and drinks here are meant to be quick and cheap. If you are looking for a snack in between meals or just don't feel like spending a whole lot of money, this is the place. The Louvre and Prado have nothing on this museum.


Cerveceria Cervantes - Madrid, Spain

Plaza Jesus, 7
28014 Madrid, Spain

Making your way in the world today takes everything you've got.
Taking a break from all your worries, sure would help a lot. 
Wouldn't you like to get away? 
Sometimes you want to go 
Where everybody knows your name 
and they're always glad you came!!

In case you haven't realized it yet, that was the theme song to Cheers. Nobody knew our names at Cerveceria Cervantes, not really sure they were glad we came either. But if I were a local, the Cheers theme song is probably how I would feel at the locals only spot. If you're looking to get a feel for where the locals go and hang, this is the place. Minus us that night of course....

With Spanish being spoken, smoke lingering in the air, and beers flowing from the tap, this is the place that Madrilenos go to linger after work and hang out on the weekends. 

Since we weren't sure of what to order because we didn't really do to much of our usual food research for Cerveceria Cervantes, we had to go with the tried and true "Look at other people tables method." Don't act like you've never done this either....

The table before us was snacking on an order of various types of terrines. Being a lover of pates, terrines, and foie, I had to get an order of this. The plate came out and it was a very large portion for a very reasonable price. Don't remember the exact assortment of the 4 different types but all were tasty. This could have easily been shared by 3 or 4 people.

Meat and bread. Can't go too wrong with that combo and my order was no exception to the rule. Simple and satisfying.

Also got an order of shrimps on a piece of sliced bread lathered with aioli. Loaded with a generous amount of these little shrimps, this dish was tad too salty.

Cerveceria Cervantes didn't have the best food on our trip but this place probably had one of the most authentic Madrileno dining/bar experience we had. Noisy restaurant, crowded seating, smoke everywhere, and limited English usually would be a recipe for a bad restaurant, but these just a few reason why this restaurant was enjoyable. Cheers to you Cerveceria Cervantes!


Casa Mingo - Madrid, Spain

Paseo de la Florida, 34
28008 Madrid, Spain

Casa Mingo is an Asturian style tavern/restaurant that opened in 1888. No 1888 wasn't a typo. This is definitely the oldest restaurant that we have ever been to. The restaurant's decor is a bit of a rustic and darkened wood throughout.

Check out the wall of cider. Don't think they'll be running out of cider anytime soon. The restaurant is known for their reasonably priced food and a simple and concise menu. The most popular items on the menu are the roasted chicken and the cider.

La Cidra (5,20)
The Sidras Mingo is only 5E for a bottle. I now understand why this restaurant is popular with the local college kids. It's the cheap booze.... The bottle of cider had nice bubbles and a faint apple flavor to it.

Chorizo a la Sidra - spicy chorizo sausage cooked in cider (3,30)
I didn't find anything about this chorizo spectacularly special. Was good but nothing to rave about.

A generous amount of cheese was given with each order. Once again cheese was good but nothing fantastic.

Mixed Salad (5,50E)
I wasn't very impressed with the mixed salad. It came in a pre-packaged container with saran wrap covering it. The dressing was two packets of vinegar and one of olive oil. Nothing special about this salad.
Is it that much harder to at least put in a bowl and make their own dressing?

Casa Mingo Roasted Chicken (9,50E)
Ahhh the moment I had been waiting for. One of the main reasons why Casa Mingo is as popular as it is. The chicken was moist and nicely roasted. Overall we all enjoyed the chicken but once again was nothing spectacular.

Casa Mingo is popular with the locals and tourists alike because of the fact that it isn't expensive and serves solid and simple food. Ohh yeah.. the fact that they sell alcoholic cider doesn't hurt them either. I think my expectations of Casa Mingo were too high coming in. If I only had a few days in Madrid, I don't feel Casa Mingo is worth a special stop. 


Paco Meralgo - Barcelona

C/ Muntaner, 171
08036 Barcelona, Spain
Tel. 934 309 027

We were on the hunt for the best tapas while in Barcelona. While researching, I saw that Paco Meralgo was mentioned many times. There must be some truth to it if it's mentioned that often. The name Paco Meralgo is actually a play on words with the words comer algo meaning to eat something. Eat something we did!!!

Paco Meralgo's interior is simple and clean. Diners have the choice of either sitting at the bar or a table for larger parties. I believe there are two sides to Paco Meralgo that are mirror images of each other. One side being the smoking side and the other non-smoking.

Gazpacho (4,60)
It was hot the day we decided to sight see and go to Paco Meralgo for lunch. Who needs beer when you can get a refreshing glass of gazpacho instead. Not sure what it was about the gazpacho at Paco Meralgo but this was the best gazpacho I have ever had. A nice balance of flavor and consistency.

Chicken and Ham Croquettes (1,20)
These croquettes came out hot and nicely crisped. Could have eaten about 6 more of these little snacks.

Pan Con Tomate
This was the best pan con tomate that we had on the whole trip. The bread was very nicely toasted, had the perfect amount of tomatoes and a good olive oil.

"Bomba" - big spicy meat ball (2,30)
The "bomba" was like a larger circular version of a croquette but with mayo and a tomato-based sauce on top. The sauces on top is what makes the "bombas" delicious.

"Italoiberico bikini" grilled ham and cheese sandwich (3,20)
The flavor of the iberico ham were really evident in these little bikini sandwiches. The cheese was perfectly melted to complement the ham. Could have eaten a few more of these. A bit on the small side though.

Grilled razor clams (9,20)
Sitting at the bar you can see the plethora of fresh seafood available for the day. These razor clams were practically begging to be grilled and eaten by us. A little squeeze of lemon on each and these were fantastic.

Chunks of black pepper fillet (12,00)
This dish was recommended by the server since I don't eat seafood. At 12E this was a pretty expensive dish for the 7 small pieces of beef but after eating it, it was somewhat worth it. The pieces of beef were perfectly cooked medium/rare and were super tender. The black pepper and salt were all these pieces of beef needed.

Paco Meralgo exceeded all our expectations. If you are looking for a tapas bar with a bit more refinement, then this is the place. I would definitely come back here on my future trips to Barcelona. Yo quiero comer algo!!!