Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Orgullo Espanol

Madrid often strikes me as too traditional and historical of a city to be a relaxing party getaway but this past Saturday I was pleasantly surprised by all things Spanish during my recent visit to Spain's capital city during a weekend that hosted both Madrid Gay Pride and The World Cup.

I thought I would first check out Chuecha, Madrid's Gay 'barrio' and watch the Pride Parade. Sexy and scantily clad people sashayed around holding huge "Big Gulp" size cups of Sangria. One thing was missing, I didn't have any of my gay friends with me to enjoy the view.

And...I couldn't possibly down a Sangria that large without some tapas in my stomach so I seeked out some and fell upon La Casa del Abuelo. This historical and decorative bar specializes only in seafood snacks and two house wines including a sweet vino tinto that was a tad too sweet for my liking until the flavor balanced out the garlicky shrimp that I devoured. I unfortunately could not indulge in the crusty white bread to soak up the yummy sauce due to my gluten sensitivities... :(

La Casa del Abuelo ( Grandpa's House ) is on a list of Restaurantes y Tabernas Centenarias de Madrid
(Madrid's Restaurants and Taverns over 100's years old ). When visiting Madrid visit for a complete list of these beautiful eateries and drinking spots.

I then made my way to the food chain Museo del Jamon which, although having a vibe similar to a fast food joint, always satisfies me at a cost that is almost laughable...if you are looking for inexpensive and medium quality food to fill you up during the early evening before the real tapas bars open. ask for a plate of jamon serrano and a glass of either vino tinto or vino rosso and you'll escape satisfied for under 5 euros.

I later sauntered down the street and stumbled upon a house party where locals were watching Spain play in the World Cup...I was grabbed ( in a friendly appropriate way ) off the street and immediately absorbed into the fun loving atmosphere and another type of pride celebration, that of local Spaniards celebrating their teams' win in the semi finals of World Cup 2010, a first for them.

Overall I left with a positive vibe and can't wait to return to this proud and historical place!