El Rincon de Pardinas, Avenida de America

Posted on February 4, 2010

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When I first arrived in Madrid I lived in Avenida de America. I have to be honest, it’s not my favourite area in Madrid. However, whilst I was there, I discovered this great little bar which also has a restaurant – El Rincon de Pardinas. I prefer the bar, even for proper meals.

I think the waiters are brothers, maybe because I want to believe that this is a family owned bar, but they seem close and they have been there every time I have gone in. The bar is tiny – I’m talking 20 people is probably its max capacity. But it’s everything that a Spanish bar should be in my eyes: small, a little smoky, jamons hanging on the wall with one being cut, tapas on display, wooden barrels to sit on, and some random decor including the brothers with various people who I assume are Spanish celebrities.

As is the custom in Spain, for every drink you order you get a tapa. The tapas at El Rincon are the best ‘free’ tapas that I have had and they change constantly. First up was a plate of ham and pineapple in a creamy sauce (pictured), then we had a beautiful red onion and tomato salad dripping in olive oil and garlic.

Despite all the tapas, we were starving and wanted some serious food. As we’d been to the bar before, we know that there are some things not on the menu and the best thing to do is ask (they are patient with bad spanish speakers such as myself). We ordered the solomio de ternera (beef) and a plate of grilled vegetables. They are relatively simple dishes but done perfectly: the vegetables were charred slightly and still had a bit if crunch, the solomio was red in the middle and tender, the potatoes cooked with onions and courgettes in olive oil and of course, the pimientos de padrons and fresh tomato to top it off. This was plenty enough for two people.

As we started putting on our coats, two small glasses of Baileys and mini ice-creams turned up. I am sure that half of what we ate and drank was on the house. Maybe that’s why I love this place!

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