Thanks for stopping by to read mmm-yoso!!! Cathy is writing a short post today. Kirk got caught up in something at work and Ed(from Yuma) is also crazy busy.
I somehow was on one of the one way streets in Escondido earlier this year, took a turn to try to find my way back to some sort of familiar landmark and was stopped at the signal light on Juniper at East 2nd and noticed this building. Eventually, I brought The Mister here, so we could try out the food. This definitely is an original building spanning the block. Now it is broken into separate storefronts: Suzy Q's, a small Mexican Restaurant, a Mexican Bakery (Panaderia Oaxaqueña) as well as a Laundromat. I couldn't research what it used to be, but did discover that Suzy Q's has been open since January and is family owned.The decor is 50's style with corresponding music being played overhead. The menu is kind of kitschy, with some silly names for items (the Jed Clampett omelet, Patsy Cline, Jailhouse Rock, Milton Berle, Ricky Ricardo, Mickey Rooney, Dean Martin, Patty Page...then again, these names may not mean anything to you. I digress)
I had low expectations, which were quickly dashed.Monte Cristo (chalkboard special, so no silly name) ($11.49). Wow, this was great. A ham and cheese sandwich on a hearty white bread, dipped in egg and fried, like French Toast, topped with some powdered sugar and served with some great blackberry preserves, fruit and a spinach salad. Quality, thick ham, quality cheese...really great.This is the 'Bye Bye Birdie' ($7.99). Holes cut into two thick pieces of white toast, an egg dropped into the hole and cooked to my request (easy); all of it topped with a really great sausage gravy. Served with Country Potatoes, and either bacon or sausage, this was another winner. A great meal. So glad I took the wrong turn and discovered this gem.
Suzy Q's Diner 258 E. 2nd (at Juniper) Escondido 92025 Closed Mondays. Open Tues-Thurs 7-3, Fri 9-9, Sat-Sun 7-3
It's been a bust couple of weeks...running around means getting more than my share of sandwiches. This doesn't mean that you give up variety though as these three examples show.
Cali Baguette Express (Convoy):
It had been quite a while since I'd been to Cali Baguette Express. Instead of my usual Banh Mi Trung (egg banh mi), I ordered the Nem Nuong.
It was nice light, good proportion of ingredients. The best thing about the sandwich was the bread....it had just come out of the oven. Nothing like light, crisp, flaky, yeasty, warm, goodness....
Cali Baguette Express 4425 Convoy Street San Diego, CA 92111
I recently had the chance to take a friend and colleague to lunch. She's from the Midwest so I always like to have her try something new. The last time it was Izakaya Sakura...this time, I thought SuperNatural Sandwiches would be a nice stop.....
And it was. We got my favorite, The Siren.
The place seems to have hit stride; the shrimp was plump and moist, it seems that they've ramped up the heat as this was quite spicy. The brioche, lobster style roll was nice; buttery, but not too greasy. The aioli had that nice hit of richness.
SuperNatural Sandwiches 7094 Miramar Rd San Diego, CA 92121
Thanks for stopping to read mmm-yoso!!! on this warm summer day. Kirk is (again) busy with work, errands and stuff while Ed(from Yuma) is (still) busy being retired and exploring Yuma and other places while enjoying life. Cathy is (once more) writing a post.
One day not long ago, The Mister and I were driving down University Avenue and noticed this signage, located in between Tu Thanh which Kirk has posted about twice now.The business on the other side used to be (another) Ali Baba, but now is City Heights Cafe.The menu is pretty much standard. There is a sign in the window for churros with cajeta (caramel made with goat milk) for $1.25 as well as large plantains for $1.50 with but those are fried and aren't being made in the these days of heat. The glass case you see in the above photo shows some of the Thrifty brand ice cream flavors available.The wall opposite has photos of some of the menu items.The glassed in refrigerator displays most of the fresh fruit available that day.One day I was craving a coctele and ordered the shrimp version ($7.75). Only one size and this was plenty. The large shrimp are cooked in the lime/tomato juice to which is added cucumber, onion, cilantro and slices of avocado. There were at least 12 (and I think 15) large shrimp in this cocktail, which was more than enough.Another version of chamango (small, $4) was tried here. Since mangos are in season and available fresh (instead of being frozen), the drink wasn't as cold or icy, it was merely tasty and wonderful.One other visit had me craving the shrimp again, so I ordered a tosti-ceviche ($4.50). It was a great ceviche (again with large shrimp) on top of spicy lime Tostitos (which are only sold in Mexico). It is $2 more than a plain tostada and the melding of flavors is good/unique, but I can now go on with my life and order a regular ceviche tostada next time.Pretty much any visit to a Fruiteria includes a fruit salad (small, $4.25) and our visits here are no exception. Papaya, banana, mango, cantaloupe, watermelon, strawberries and apples along with cottage cheese, granola and honey made this hearty meal a good (and refreshing) choice.The tortas here are wonderful. The fresh bread and plenty of quality ingredients have simple sandwiches being a fancy meal for us to share. Above, a Lomo torta($5.25). Plenty of beef tenderloin, a thin layer of good beans and cheese, Romaine and avocado on the fresh, toasted torta bread. It's great.Then there's the ice creams. Usually we share a two scoop cup ($1.25) but one day, The Mister thought we should share a banana split ($3.95). Who am I to argue. Best part, you choose the ice cream flavors and don't need any sauce to disturb those flavors. Our usual ice cream choices: pistachio, butter pecan and cherry. A perfect snack on these hot days.
I hope your week is going well!
Mucha Fruta 4804 University Avenue (Between Estrella and 48th) San Diego 92105 (619) 282-0282 open 8-8 Mon, Tues, Thurs, Fri, Sat and 8-7 on Wednesday, 9-7 on Sunday
Go ahead, click on it; the photo will go upright. I still don't know what I've done to make my camera phone go goofy.
mmm-yoso!!! basically is Kirk's blog, but he is kind enough to allow Cathy to post here a lot and Ed (from Yuma) to post here once in a while. Today is a once in a while day.
Since Frank's and The Farmhouse, both near the south end of 4th Avenue, had shut down recently, I was kinda surprised to see that a defunct Long John Silver’s at 2970 S. 4th Ave. had been renovated and transformed into Eddie's Grill:
The eating area has tables and booths in the main section:
and in the side room:
At lunchtime, both areas are usually busy:
You order here:
Then pick up soft drinks, condiments, silverware, napkins, etc.:
These two areas being so close together sometimes makes things a bit crowded. Once you"re seated, the very friendly and helpful waitstaff brings your food to your table – and I have been impressed by the quickness of the kitchen, making this a good stop for a quick lunch.
The menu includes several different salads. Tina loved the Santa Barbara Cobb salad with grilled chicken ($8.95):
The chicken was nicely cooked and had grill marks. As you can see, there was also abundant avocado, bacon, crumbled cheese, diced tomatoes, and shredded carrot on top of a large bowl of fresh mixed lettuces.
Dave liked his Asian chicken salad with sesame dressing ($8.95) as well:
I personally have concentrated more on the sandwiches and burgers, all of which are available as combos with beverage and french fries for an additional $2.95 ($3.45 for sweet potato fries or onion rings). The fries are okay with a decent potato flavor:
As you can tell by the salads, grilled chicken is a big deal at Eddie's. In fact it was the chicken club sandwich ($7.25) on my first visit that convinced me that they could produce good food:
The chicken was both nicely grilled and still moist. The vegetables were fresh, and the bacon and avocado tasted great and added to the sandwich.
Likewise, the barbecue chicken sandwich ($7.25) worked for me:
The same fresh vegetables and well grilled chicken napped with just the right amount of subdued barbecue sauce. Not over the top, but very nicely balanced, the emphasis still on the flavor of the chicken.
I was delighted to see that the fish sandwich on the menu was grilled fish ($7.95), and the sandwich had many of the same virtues as their other sandwiches:
As you can see from this close-up, the fish was well prepared, still moist and flake apart tender:
However, the picture also shows one shortcoming of that sandwich. The juices of the fish, the fresh tomato slices, and the abundant tartar sauce overwhelmed the toasted sourdough so that I ended up eating the last half of the sandwich with a knife and a fork.
I had a similar problem with the very flavorful and awesome looking grilled portobello mushroom sandwich ($6.95):
In this case, the excellent whole-wheat bun held up fine, but the juicy giant mushroom dripped thousand-island dressing, drenched its paper wrapping, and then began slip sliding away, out of the bun – as if the table, my shirt, or my pants represented some kind of escape, some kind of sanctuary for mushrooms threatened with extinction. So I stabbed it with a fork and cut it with a knife.
The turkey burger ($6.50) looked even more gloppy goopy:
But here I actually appreciated the sauciness because turkey burger itself was dry. This sandwich worked, and I particularly appreciated the good quality whole-wheat bun.
In fact, every burger I've had at Eddie's has been good. Look at the Ortega and Swiss burger ($6.25):
The 1/3 pound charbroiled patty was fresh and flavorful, the grilled green chile and the cheese perfect complements.
Tina loved the blue and mushroom burger ($6.25):
Yep, that looks good enough to eat!!!
Eddie's Grill is a nice addition to Yuma and one that should have wide appeal. The prices are fair, the folks friendly, and the food quickly prepared. I also like being able to order the burgers and sandwiches without fries when I'm watching my waistline grow or my pocketbook shrink. It's clear that the management knows what it's doing and that the staff members from cooks to servers are well-trained and skilled. I am told that this is the second Eddie's Grill – the original one in Lompoc being run by the brothers of José, the local owner. Eddie's opens at 6 a.m., and for information about closing times etc., call (928) 726-9235.
Thanks for stopping to read mmm-yoso!!! Cathy is writing today; Kirk and Ed(from Yuma) are busily researching places and food items.
Some days, I just want a simple meal-sandwich or salad, maybe a coffee. Ending up at Panera, Subway or Starbucks makes for a dull post. I've taken photos of every food item consumed for almost a decade, those don't necessarily show up on the blog but this time, simple foods from a locally owned place are worth sharing.Just a few weeks ago, while driving along 163 South, we noticed this signage over what had been a Starbucks, turned briefly into Pizza Studio (another one of those 'customizable' pizza places) (which, after six months, had a 'Closed for Remodeling' sign on the window). (I did write a post about Pizza Studio, but it was very negative and proven by the sudden closure so it was deleted). Lil' Farmers Cafe is in the same parking lot as Mitsuwa Marketplace,Chopstix Too and (soon to be open) Nishiki.The ubiquitous, hipster, reclaimed wood wall was already there......as was the walk along refrigerated glassed in area.The simple menu (nothing is priced over $5.99 except for the 'to go' organic beverage packs which serve 12) is pretty much all customizable.You can choose your bread and toppings for a sandwich......as well as salad ingredients if you want something added or not included in the menu selections.The beverage selection is interesting (as is the pricing variance between 12, 16 and 20 ounces) and I really like the organic coffee. The concept of a Bacon and Bean salad ($5.49) is interesting. For the first order, I wanted my personalization to be the lettuce choice and the salad dressing (Oil and vinegar, which was mixed thoroughly and in a perfect proportion). Lettuce, bacon, garbanzo and kidney beans, fresh tomatoes and Parmesan. This was very large, very fresh and just right (I am always afraid when the lettuce is already mixed in with dressing, but the technique used here is correct, with no excess 'pooling' at the bottom of the bowl). The Mister ordered a Farmer Panini ($5.49) Roast beef, cream cheese, tomato, onion and (our addition) sprouts. Panini'd and on sourdough, this was a really good sandwich. We ended up speaking with the manager, a very nice lady, who told us the owner is a former San Diego Socker. We've seen him in the restaurant the times we have visited; he is keeping an eye on things and looking for feedback and ways to improve the menu.Another visit had me craving a simple salad. Farmer Greens ($4.49), a nice mix of arugula, spinach, red pepper and roasted tomatoes (I chose sesame dressing) is very good (roasted tomatoes would be a great salad add-on in the future; such great flavor) and hit the spot. The Mister had another menu item in mind, the pesto-chicken flatbread ($5.99). The flatbread (a whole grain dough; very nice) is first warmed, then the items placed on top, then it's all placed back into the small oven for about one minute to melt the cheese and warm the chicken and the flatbread gets a bit crispier. Pesto, chicken, Mozzarella and shaved Parmesan are the only ingredients and truly is all that are needed needed. Again, the flavors are just right.You may or may not have noticed a small area at the bottom of the small menu. Ice cream. 99¢ a scoop ice cream. Only chocolate, strawberry and vanilla flavors (which can be made into a shake). Excellent, extra creamy, 'old fashioned' (to my tastebuds) ice cream. It reminds me of the 10¢ squared/not round scoops of wonderful ice cream from Thrifty's. The bottom of the menu 'flatbread' choice is a sweet version ($4.99). Again, the bread is first warmed, then spread with Nutella and sliced banana, folded over itself, warmed a bit more (the bread is almost toasty) and topped with caramel and chocolate sauce. This was good, if not a bit too sweet (I think a dollop of fatty whipped cream might cut the sweetness, but really have no complaints).
Each visit we've shared a cup of the organic coffee, which is very good. There are no claims made about other organic items here; the freshness on each visit has been remarkable. It's nice to have a local place to enjoy a good, simple meal.
Lil' Farmers Cafe 4240 Kearny Mesa Road San Diego 92111 (between Ross and Trex, just across from the In-n-Out) (858) 430-6554Website Open Mon-Fri 8-6, Sat 10-6
I was driving back from the dry cleaners two weeks back and I saw this shop on Linda Vista Road.
In the same strip mall as Ballast Point Home Brew Mart, Kona Kakes, and J&T. I was fascinated by the "Breads, Wines, and West Coast Goodness" sign. Unfortunately, the hours were really limited, 7am to 3pm Monday to Friday.
I had some times between meetings the following Tuesday so I dropped by. It's a nice shop, wines, what looked like 12 beer pulls....my buddy Candice had told me these guys sold bread at the Little Italy Mercato.
I like the shop; there's a kitchen in the rear, where I think they produce the bakery goods. A cold case which was mostly empty; some shelves or various food products.
I soon found out a bit about the place. The idea is to sell and create food items from the Pacific Time Zone; thus the name. The limited hours? They are still hiring and training employees and will expand the hours.
And then there are the cheeses....
Not a huge selection, but I did appreciate the aged goat cheeses and the washed rind Teleme I did buy. We've been keeping a variety of cheese on hand at home since we've returned from France. It was nice to have another source.
The cheese monger is always on hand for a nice chat....since we tend to ripe washed rind cheese and I really love aged sheep cheese like Ewephoria.
This is a Sunday Sandwiches post, so I'll stick to those for now. A quick read of the menu, Diestal Turkey ranch, Fra'Mani Salumi, and something becomes quickly apparent; this ain't no Boar's Head or Dietz and Watson shop. And the prices, reflect that, which is not a problem for me, the sandwiches are fairly filling and rich for me; but if you're a big eater.....
The first thing I ordered was the Turkey Deluxe ($9):
It was suggested that I get this "hot" which was a great recommendation. The bread became crusty, yet still stood up well. I found this to be much too salty for my taste and would have appreciated a bit of mild sweetness and perhaps something with some acid to cut the sodium. Great texture though.
I returned and asked for a recommendation and was told to try the Spicy Italian ($9).
This was my favorite of the three sandwiches I had. I loved the crustiness of the toasted baguette. The proteins really balanced out well and unlike the turkey sandwich this one wasn't too salty, bolstered by the pickled peppers and the vinaigrette. The spicy capicolla was really good.....I'm a guy who loves proportion and this did just fine by me.
Again returning from meetings and having even more conference calls and meetings through lunch I dropped by and got the Veggie Delight ($7), which I requested on a baguette.
This was a nice, light sandwich. The roasted red peppers, goat cheese, and sprouts do it for me....I think I'll ask for some garlic aioli on this next time.
As you can tell. This is more of a artisan product versus a "super stuffed" sandwich. If you're about quantity, this might not be your thing. It does fill the bill for a nice light lunch for me. I'm hoping they expand products and hours soon. I've enjoyed the bread here so I'll probably be buying some when they extend their hours. I'm quite happy to have a shop like this fairly close to where we live.
Pacific Time 5277 Linda Vista Rd San Diego, CA 92110
For some reason, the place kept slipping my mind. I'd pass by and tell myself, "oh, yeah, I gotta grab a sandwich there...." And promptly forget about the place.
Finally, I tattooed, Dudley's Deli on my forehead, backwards of course, so everytime I stared in the mirror, Dudley's stared back....well, not really. I wrote myself a post-it note and put it on my computer at work. A couple back to back lunch hour meetings means I'll need to grab an early lunch. Perfect for the early hours (open at 7am) that this place keeps.
The place is simple, a counter to order, a sandwich prep area, a cold case, soda fountain, and a couple of shelves with a few loaves of Dudley's breads.
All the "Premium" Sandwiches are $8.95 and as you can see above fairly hefty. As was the Corned Beef Reuben.
The rye was nice, the sandwich is press toasted making the exterior crisp. Lots of sauerkraut, perhaps a bit too mild for my taste but passable....thousand island(of course), and decent corned beef; I saw Dietz and Watson signs, so figure that's what's being served. This was perhaps, too much of a good thing for me on this day.
After recovering, I paid another visit and had the Italian.
This was my favorite of the three sandwiches I had during my visits. It looked busy, but it was the combination of the sourdough and the pepperoncini, with a very nice mild Garlic-mayo that brought it all together. All the rather strong flavors worked well and I preferred this to Lit'l Pepper's, the "Comeback". The one thing that was unnecessary to me in the sandwich was the ham.....but it didn't interfere with the other items. Also, the tomatoes could have been more ripe; there were on the green side and had no flavor.
While I really enjoyed the Western Wheat Bread used for the TBA, I was not a big fan of this one.
The turkey was nicely shaved, but bland, as was the honey mustard, and there was not enough bacon for my taste. Something acidic, tomatoes perhaps, would have brought something out in the sandwich. As it was this tasted like a nutty swiss cheese and not enough bacon sandwich. Like I said, the bread was the best thing about this one.
Overall, I like having choices and Dudley's gives me another one. I enjoy their breads and am thinking about doing a "Build your own", using that Jalapeno Cheddar Bread. Any ideas?
Dudley’s Deli 9119 Clairemont Mesa Blvd San Diego, CA 92123 Hours: Mon - Fri 7am - 4pm Saturday 10am - 3pm Closed Sunday
Back in May, while leaving Spice House, I noticed a shop located at the end of the cul-de-sac in the business park on the street that borders the west side of Spice House. That weekend I drove by and found the place closed, but after a quick check online, I had found myself another sandwich shop to check out.
So the following Monday I dropped by to grab a sandwich. The place is small, but they seem to be doing a ton of catering. It seems that they deliver as well. There were 6 people working behind the counter, an older fellow, whom I found to be sort of a grump, and a nice, polite young man, who might be his son usually run things. There are several women who work behind the front counter and in the kitchen.
There are soups, salads, and the usual suspects in terms of sandwiches. But I was more interested in the sandwiches listed as "House Favorites", all $8.95 each.
I decided on trying the "Comeback". The sandwich felt heavy in the sack and indeed it was quite large. This was on a French Roll which was sliced then items placed on the roll "open faced".......I could not for the life of me fold it over and made a mess. I ended up tearing off the top half and placing it on the on top so I could eat it. Loved the red pepper and pepperoncini. There was a bit too much going on here and all the proteins just kind of cancelled each other out. But you won't get any complaints about value on this from me.
The Thai Beef sandwich seemed like an interesting idea.
While this was basically just roast beef with sweet chili sauce, I liked the combination of flavors brought on by the onion, jalapeno, and cilantro. If I were to get this again; I'd request a different roll and no cheese, which just didn't seem to harmonize with all the other flavors.
As I was leaving, I took a closer look at some of the signs lining the counter. It seems that there are special sandwiches that are featured for a limited time. So I made it a point to return to try the "Porchizo".
Roasted pork, chorizo, kalamata olive slaw, and chipotle mayo? That's a whole bunch of assertive flavors.....
Which turned out to make one heck of a good sandwich.
The chorizo and chipotle mayo added a nice kick to the sandwich and I enjoyed the flavor of the olive slaw. I had anticipated needing a shower after eating this, but it ended up being satisfying without being stupefying. Too bad it's no longer being offered. I hope they bring it back.
So I decided to order the other special; the "Spaniard". I'm not sure how Sambal figures into this, but I also enjoyed this very messy sandwich. The gouda, arugula, and pickled veggies make this sandwich for me. Smokey, with a mild bitterness, cut by the sambal, to go with the flavors of the salami. Very nice. Loved that the roll held up, though I think they should have cut the sandwich in half.
I like the fact that they open early. I was told 530, so I dropped by just before 6am to grab something to eat since I had meetings scheduled through lunch.
The AVE High Speed Rail took us to Barcelona in a bit over 3 hours from Madrid. Strangely, it seemed a bit longer than that. For some reason, the Shinkansen in Japan felt more comfortable and faster. Regardless, we ended up at Barcelona Sants Station and with no trouble were able to get a T10 mulit-person metro card, which was great because we could both use the card for fares and also saved us a bit.
In one of my Madrid posts, I mentioned how the dogs in that city seemed quite rambunctious. Meanwhile, in Barcelona, the dogs seemed more relaxed. We saw several, like this one, riding the metro with no problem.
As much as I had read, or heard, nothing prepared me for the first time I set eyes on the place. We exited the metro station and headed off in the direction of the apartment we were staying at. I turned around and was just awestruck at the sight of Sagrada Familia. The Missus was busy heading up the street when I told Her, "turn around......turn around." Her eyes got quite large, jaw agape, all She could mutter was "oh my god......" As we just stood and stared for a few moments.
Such is the effect of Sagrada Familia. Love it or hate it, I doubt you'll ever see anything quite like it.
We had a bit of time before checking in and were getting hungry. We had "big" dinner plans so finding something simple and unpretentious like this little shop fit the bill. It was quiet, an older gentleman reading the paper having lunch, another guy having a beer at the bar.
The young man working the front bar was very nice and we took a table in the rear of the place so as not to get in the way. There was a menu "del dia" - menu of the day available, along with various small dishes which we felt was more suitable for us.
The Missus was still feeling like Pimientos Padrons so we got that.
Not as salty as other versions, this had a nice "zing" due to the addition of red peppers. Nothing amazing or surprising, but simple and tasty.
At this point, we had a little travelers malfunction. I had done a bit of research on Catalan Charcuturie and was excited when I saw this:
What the Missus and I didn't pay attention to was the top part which said......
Entrepans....."between bread", Freds "cold", so we were caught off guard when sandwiches arrived. What could we do but just laugh at ourselves and be happy we ordered "petit". Simply meat and bread.
Fuet is a dry cured thin sausage that reminds me of pepperoni.
The butifarra is the serious sausage in Catalonia. This was the "blanca" or the white version.
Soft, coarse ground pork, with no paprika, which is why it's called "blanco". Nice and ham like.
The Catalana reminded me of salami.
It was more than enough for lunch and would hold us over until our 830 pm dinner. We finished off with some espresso and headed off to the apartment.
We were located 1 block from Sagrada Familia. In fact, you could see the one of the spires from the window!
After settling in and freshening up, we decided to walk over to Sagrada Familia, just to take a look around.
Even though Antoni Gaudi's grand work is not yet finished; he became involved in the project in 1883 and worked on it until his death in 1926; 43 years, the Church has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage site. It was only 25 percent completed at the time of Gaudi's death and work continues to this day.
The church is made up of three facades and will have 18 spires, when and if it is ever finished. Only one of the facades bears Gaudi's direct influence; that is, was almost complete at the time of his death. My least favorite façade is the Passion Façade which was completed by 2005. It is quite plain, but somewhat dark and grim.
I could write another two thousand words on the place, but why not read this or this.
My favorite view from the other side of the pond in Placa de Gaudi. It shows the rich and complex design of the structure as it seems to reach for the sky.
It's also far enough to escape the tour buses and the masses, where you can watch the old-timers playing bocce.
Or just shooting the breeze.
We ended up not doing the interior of Sagrada Familia, perhaps on another trip...you need tickets and all that. We headed back to the apartment for a short nap before dinner. And oh what a dinner it would be......
Morning in Madrid is pretty calm. I guess that happens when most folks end their day at midnight. We were in fact, quite pooped. We awoke, had like three cups of espresso a piece and slowly woke up. The Missus had our day pretty much planned by the time we left.
We of course started at the Missus's favorite location the previous day, Puerto del Sol.
Strangely, I don't have a day time photo of the building which faces the Tio Pepe sign and the statue of Charles III. It was the first Post Office in Madrid and is currently the Governor's Office. Right in front of the building's main doorway is this marker on the ground.
This is "Kilometer Zero", which represents the center of Spain. So I guess this is where we were supposed to start, right? A good part of these walks were distilled by the Missus from Rick Steves Guidebook to Spain. The Missus will often combine all the walks into a single long one. We headed left and up (down?) the street and through Calle de Postas, a street that's been around since medieval times. Some of the building here were quite striking.
Like the display on this Watch Shop named Antigua Relojeria, which has been around since 1880.
This little street leads right into Plaza Mayor.
Pop out of the plaza and you end up at the very popular Mercado de San Miguel. Though not open at this early hour.
We weaved through streets, past buildings until we came to this memorial. This statue marks the spot of an assassination attempt on newlyweds King Alfonso and Princess Victoria by Mateu Morral. The statue memorializes the 15 people killed in the assassination attempt. No the King and Queen were not killed.
Further down the street is Almudena Cathedral. Construction started in 1879 and the cathedral was consecrated in 1993.
That's a 114 years!
Right across from the Cathedral is the Royal Palace of Madrid.
We had thoughts of visiting, but the Missus was on a tight schedule here, so maybe next time. East of the Royal Palace is Plaza de Oriente. We saw Mounted Police getting ready for their shift when we arrived.
It's a very nice green space.....
The street we were walking on is named Calle Arenal.
By this time; we had almost circled back to Puerto del Sol and were in need of a break. Some espresso seemed to be just what the doctor ordered. There's a charcuterie and cheese shop named Ferpal (strangely, we didn't even read about it in the guidebook until later - though RS's recommendations are in our opinion somewhat suspect for our tastes) on the street.
What looks like a coffee counter takes up half the shop....and folks were lining up for their morning (late morning) fix. So we decided to join in. The staff at the counter are rather diner worthy. As in grumpy in a somewhat humorous way. You still get served and everything works fine....for some reason, it just reminds me of a diners here in the states.
While waiting to order our "caffe" I noticed a couple of items on signs. The first was a plate of Lomo Iberico Bellota for a mere 4 Euros, which of course we got.
The Missus actually enjoys the less salty, leaner, more meaty cured pork loin (lomo). This was a nice little brunch item for us. I also noticed something on the menu board behind the counter. Under the heading "Sandwichs". Yes, not "sandwiches", but "sandwichs", the "crema" category were the words "foie gras". For .9 Euros, basically a buck. I had to try this.....
It was a nice little half sandwich, with the crust sliced off, just like mom would make. This was basically a light foie gras mousse. It was quite tasty and filling which we enjoyed it with our "caffe".
Ferpal Calle del Arenal 7 Madrid, Spain
We took a short shopping bread at El Cortes Ingles, the huge multi-floor department store. There's a supermarket in the basement of all El Cortes Ingles as far as I can tell.
The next leg of the walk was up Madrid's version of Broadway; Gran Via.
An interesting study in early 20th century architecture, what makes the street even more interesting is that the buildings were built in groups starting in 1910 and ending in the 1950's. So buildings on blocks were built around the same time.
At the end we took a break at Plaza de Espana and watched these dogs having a great time.
We noticed that the dogs in every city seem to have distinct personalities. In Madrid, they were a rambunctious bunch, having their own mind, pulling their masters along.
Coming full circle we ended up back at Puerta del Sol. We were hungry, it was lunch time. Along the arteries stretching out from the square are tons of eateries. We looked in several of them, a few of which I had on my list and settled on La Oreja de Jaime.
It was quite interesting. There were tons of tourists outside the place, but only Spaniards in this little joint. On occasion someone would walk in, order a Caña...a small beer...polish it off in one large gulp and head on back out. For lunch this was a one man operation; Jaime took orders, cooked, served the drinks, bussed the tables. You name it. There were a couple of older folks eating and having drinks. We simply requested a couple of cañas and ordered from the chalkboard. No crazy equipment here, just a deep fryer, a stove, and a wonderfully seasoned flat top which you can see from the streetside window.
We started with some Padrons.
Thrown in the deep fryer, we quickly found out that Jaime does not go easy on the salt....it was good sea salt. Nice and almost sweet if a bit high on the sodium scale.
You'll notice the name of the place "Oreja"......so what else would you get from here but orejas....ears.
The orejas were only 5€, so we were flabbergasted at the portion size. Get a media (1/2) racione if you go here. These were simply done on the griddle, which, by the flavor, smoky and almost sweet is highly seasoned by who knows how many orders of pig ears. These were crunchy, wonderfully gristle-y, and chewy, with a pretty hefty amount of olive oil, a touch of smoked paprika, and since we love pig ears, quite enjoyable, though the Missus couldn't bring Herself to eat the hairy portions.
The champignons with camarones was also pretty good.
The shrimp was quite tasty, full of that nice shrimp flavor that folks in the states seem afraid of. It was a bit on the oily side, but I'm not complaining.
Man, the prices were quite cheap and we left stuffed. Even more impressive was the couple who walked in after us. Apparently, they come here often as Jaime knew them. The woman, who appeared to be in her 60's polished off an entire order of patatas bravas, as did her husband, they polished off a plate on pardons, another plate of something else I couldn't make out, and then, the husband having fallen by the wayside; the woman devoured a plate of orejas, while enjoying three beers. Not small caña sized glasses, but three bottles of beer...and some olives to boot!
Jaime is quite friendly, always smiling, even though he's a one man show. The prices are quite reasonable and this was a pretty good and simple lunch. No messing about, just good grub.
La Oreja de Jaime Calle de La Cruz 12 Madrid, Spain
It was getting quite hot and I was starting understand the how's and why's of how things are done here. At least I understood the necessity of a siesta......