In my life I experienced a very small number of such connections, and yet I remember and cherish each one of them. I cannot tell you how long had it been since my last epiphany, let's just say that —finally— a few days ago I had a new one. I wasn't in Madrid for six hours and, already, I absolutely adored the place. Everything about the city, about the neighborhood, the food, the people, the drinks and —I hate to use the word because nothing sounds nuttier and more tree-hugging than the word "energy", but I'll use it anyways because in Madrid even using the word energy seemed ok— the energy is so rich, charged and charging, that I instantly thought "I want to live here."
Food, of course, was a very prominent part of my vacation. I cannot even go five miles away from my house without managing to find a new ingredient or a favorite wine bar, so imagine what happens when you unleash me in Madrid. Madness is what happens. And a very happy, constantly semi-drunk me. As my best friend describes it, locamente borracha, which loosely translates to "stupidly drunk", and yet doesn't even begin to describe the happy stupor in which I found myself as I was taking in the amazing views and the even more amazing food and drinks. Potatoes with salsa brava, a tomato-y, spicy concoction that is a a staple of Spanish cuisine made my taste buds sing. I kid you not.And that was only the beginning.
Cerveceria 100 Montaditos, the best deal on earth. Every tapas on the menu is either 1 or 1.20 Euros and, get this, if you order at least one montadito (tapas) your huge beer half liter beer, which usually goes for a whopping 2 Euros, will cost you only 1 Euro. I was practically in heaven. Not to mention that the food itself was more than good, it was amazing. Jamon serrano, jamon iberico, tortilla madrilena with salsa brava, pate and berry jam, smoked salmon... you name it.
Lolina Vintage Cafe and, a part from the stellar cocktails, the place is absolutely adorable. As the name suggests, it was entirely furnished and decorated using vintage prints, furniture and pictures from the 60s and 70s, which goes together perfectly with the whole barrio (neighborhood) of Malasana, where the bar is located, sort of a Spanish version of Montmartre or the Village, with indie music stores and independently owned boutiques.
Can you see why I want to go back to Spain as soon as possible?