Tuesday, May 15, 2012

La Barraca, Madrid

Eating in Madrid is off to a slow start. The family who I am staying with decided to try a famous paella restaurant for my first meal. They had never eaten at La Barraca. It is located near the center of Madrid in a small side road, perhaps a little difficult to find. The walls are lined with old photos of famous people who had eaten there in the past. We had a lovely Spanish wine from the northwest of Spain and an appetizer of jamon, which my Spanish friends told me was only a moderate quality.

I had a gazpacho soup, which was fine. It was tasty and served with about 6 different toppings provided by the waiter. Taste-wise, maybe a 6 or 7 but nothing to get excited about. We ordered paella mixta for the full paella experience of both chicken and seafood. After eating half of the food I asked something I would not ask unless I were writing a food blog, as I was their guest, but I asked them to rate the paella. Immediately they all held up 4 fingers on a scale of 1 to 10. I had to agree. I have had much better paella in restaurants in the United States. The arroz (rice was spiced appropriately, but certainly nothing special). One mussel, one small piece of fish, two dry and tasteless gambas (shrimp) and dry and tasteless chicken. All in all, a disappointing first meal in Spain. I've now been promised better experiences, some home cooked meals that I will also write about. I am told that paella is not really a dish that Madrid is known for, so, if you are not looking to get your socks knocked off, this was ok to poor.


  1. Thanks, when I get back to Spain I'll try the coastal cuisine. It makes sense, since it is primarily a seafood dish. My understanding is that this was cooked once a week to get rid of all the food in the house before it spoiled so it could have just about anything thrown in.