Salimos el Sabado – El Caldero (Alicante)

If you have the chance to visit Alicante you must try the local dishes. One of my favorites is caldero which is made with fish and rice served separately. The fish is served in a large dish with potatoes and caldo (broth) and the remaining broth is used to cook the rice similar to a paella. Caldero is well-known on the island of Tabarca just off the coast of Alicante. If you aren’t able to visit the island (which really deserves a trip) in Alicante there is a restaurant named El Caldero owned by the family of one of Tabarca’s restaurants which prepare them in the same way as on the island.

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Salimos el Sabado – Poncelet Cheese Bar

Today I’m going to let you know about a place which specializes in one of my favorite foods EVER. (That would be cheese, in case you were wondering).

Last weekend I enjoyed lunch in  a “surprise” destination. It wasn´t my first time there, but it was my first time in the dining room area instead of the bar.

In Poncelet Cheese Bar I was surrounded by all things CHEESE. I believe it is the only cheese bar in Madrid. The decor is contemporary, pleasant, and a bit different. One wall is completely covered in a vertical garden. There is also a huge cheese case on the opposite side. Two workers were there the entire lunch-time cutting and wrapping cheeses. More than 140 cheeses are offered on their menu, but it is also possible to order many dishes without cheese. I´m not sure who would do that, but I´m sure someone is out there.

I consider myself a cheese-lover, but I had never tried burrata. It is one of the most amazing cheeses I´ve ever tasted. This cheese is made from fresh, solid mozzerella with an inside made of cream and more mozzerella. When you cut into the cheese, the cream and mozzerella runs out a bit like an egg. Maybe that’s not the most appetizing description, but it´s delicious. They have a Starter at Poncelet with burrata, tomato, and tuna. It was perfect.

Burrata cheese

Burrata – Perhaps my new favorite cheese

 

The entrée I ordered was a delicious sirloin steak (solomillo). Sadly, I forgot to snap a photo to show you.

For dessert, I tried their New York-style cheesecake. It really did taste like the real thing. The cheesecake was inside a hard shell, and sitting on top of graham cracker crumbs.

cheesecake Poncelet

Their Version of New York-Style Cheesecake

 

Before you go, check eltenedor.es for discounts. They currently have 40% off if you reserve your table through their site. The prices are a bit high, but with the discount it came to 70 euros for two people.

 

 

 

 

Introducing: “Salimos el Sabado” and Website Update

“Salimos el Sabado”

I’m happy to announce two new things: the beginning of a new bi-monthly review of eateries and this website’s update and new look.

The purpose of “Salimos el Sabado” is to showcase and review different places I’ve found.  Most spots will be in Madrid, but I may also review places I’ve visited in other cities – or even countries. I haven’t been given any incentive to select these places by the staff or managers unless I mention it in the post. If you have been to any of these places I’d love if you commented to let me know how your experience was in comparison or recommend other places.

I’ll be sending out the first installment shortly, so, stay tuned!

 

Website Makeover

I decided to move my website to a personally hosted account to have more control over my site and to save money. I’ll be testing out some new things in the days to come, but hopefully the site won’t be down for long amounts of time. I will be experimenting with the layouts and adding a few personal touches.

The World’s Getting Colder and I’m Getting Older

Brrrrr! It’s finally jacket weather in Madrid. Autumn is my favorite season, but eventually it gets cold enough where you don’t want to crawl out of bed, doesn’t it?

I know I haven’t written much in a while and it’s really bothering me. It’s not like I’m overworked. I’m teaching 6 private classes a week and I have fewer hours in the school this year (read: less money). You won’t hear me complain too much, because I have an amazing schedule. I’m only working in the school mornings and one afternoon Monday – Thursday. Yes, this means I have a three-day weekend every week!

Maybe all of this free time is making me a little restless about my career situation because I’ve been trying to figure out what I can do to attach myself somewhere permanently. Aside from regular positions I think about starting a business every day. I have a couple of ideas, but just can’t decide what I should do or where to really begin.

Last weekend I blew out some birthday candles which also probably led me to question my position here. At 27 I’m a bit older than the majority of people in the same teaching program. It’s good for now, but if I am going to stick around for a while I need to find something more concrete. Unfortunately, it’s a bit difficult for me to get a job in my degree field (Political Science) in Spain right now. I don’t know if I should be looking into getting a Masters here or in the U.S. Both options would take a lot of preparation before I could even apply.

On a more upbeat note, my birthday weekend fell on the puente and I visited Ávila for the first time. It’s only about an hours drive from Madrid so it’s a good choice for a day trip. The city is small, but beautiful and largely surrounded by walls. I read that work began on the walls in the 11th century. You can walk along a portion of the walls. The city is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Avila

Views from outside the walls

Avila

Views from outside the walls

Walls of Avila

Walls of Avila

Walls of Avila

Avila

We ate lunch a little outside of the city in a small town called Mingorría. There was so much food that afterwards I felt like I was waddling around Ávila. I think the chuletón is basically a big prime rib and the tostón was a cochinillo (roasted baby pig MMMM). If you look closely at the photo you can see my meal came with tail and foot!

chuletón and tostón

chuletón and tostón

There were signs for “Yemas de Ávila” everywhere. Yemas, egg yolks in Spanish, seem to be made with, you guessed it, egg yolks and a lot of sugar.  They are not my favorite, but they aren’t bad. I can only eat maybe one or two at a time.

Did you ever visit Ávila? What would you recommend doing there?

Travel Challenge: Food

In response to Ailsa’s challenge this week, please find my photo from Seville, Spain. It’s a replica of La Giralda… made entirely of SUGAR!

That’s an insane amount of azúcar right there!

Okay, now that’s out of the way we can talk about something we might actually eat. Whenever someone asks me what Maryland is known for, I kind of have to respond with two answers: Football & Old Bay.

It’s difficult to explain exactly what eating Old Bay is like. Or to convey the sheer amount used in food locally. It’s a salty mixture of different spices and used primarily on seafood, but I’ve seen it used on french fries. We even use Old Bay to rim our bloody marys around here. See for yourself. It’s kind of a big deal.

This is basically the Holy Grail of Old Bay usage. Crabs steamed with so much Old Bay that it makes your eyes water and your fingers burn.

Old Bay Galore

We even have an Old Bay parking garage