One of TD’s tricks to eating well while still staying within budget is eating in Michellin Guide-listed restaurants or Bib Gourmand restaurants. They are very good but definitely much more affordable that Michellin-starred restaurants. One of those places in Madrid is La Maruca.
La Maruca actually has 3 different locations, but we went to the Velasquez one becuase it was near the other places we wanted to go to after lunch.
It’s more like a bar, with low lighting but it’s very clean & chic.
We prefer lower chairs than bar chairs since we are short. It’s more comfortable.
Clean & simple lines
Because I am short my knees tend to be lower than the seat & this causes the napkin in restaurants to always fall on the floor. Gross right? So my Spanish MIL – the OG #diplowife in the family taught me a trick. Place a sliver of the napkin on the table & put the edge of your plate on it. This way the napkin catches all the food, yet never slips off.
DRINKS & BREAD
As usual we ordered sparkling water & a glass of rose to help cut the richness of the food. The bread was really good.
The bread was really good. We always have to ask for butter with the bread in Madrid because it’s not the usual practice to serve. butter with the bread. Worth every calory if you ask me!
We love ordering different tapas to share when we are in Spain. The servings here are generous for the price especially compared to Switzerland. Have you ever seen such a beautifully plated PATATAS BRAVAS?
CROQUETTAS are usually served very plainly, but of course, La Maruca serves it beautifully with chips on a wooden board.
The GRILLED ARTICHOKE (seasonal product) was a highlight of the whole trip for me. I love it with the flakes of sea salt! My mouth is watering as I’m writing this.
TD who usually isn’t a fan of blue cheese enjoyed this dish immensely. It’s beautifully presented IBERIAN PORK SIRLOIN with Cabrales Blue Cheese.
DiploBaby loves fried fish so we asked if there was any crispy fish that they could make. I can’t remember the exact name of this dish, but DiploBaby was very happy with it. Perfectly cooked yet crisply & fresh. Kulang nalang rice! (All it needs is rice!)
The fish is HAKE but we asked that they put the butter sauce on the side do that it’s crispy & just in case DiploBaby did not like the sauce. This kid doesn’t usually like sauces, unlike me & TD.
Of course, it was properly served with a fish knife to make it easier to flake the fish.
The knife’s sharp point is excellent at cutting through the fish’s skin, while its wide, flat spatula blade makes short work of separating the skin from the flesh. You can use a fish knife to make strategic cuts that simplify skin removal, then turn it and use the blade to lift the meat from the bones onto the fork.– USS NEMO
It doesn’t look like we ordered a lot… and that’s what I like about eating in Spain. They don’t expect you to order 1 massive main for each person like in Switzerland & Germany. We were happily stuffed but still had some room for dessert.
The CAÑADIO CHEESECAKE 1981 & OUR LEMON CAKE 1981 were super delicious. Definitely the perfect way to end a wonderful meal.
I love taking pics of DiploBaby drinking using crystal wine glasses. He’s been drinking from them since he was a baby & it always amazes me how he can control it – no spilling or breaking the glass. But if he is given a plastic kid’s glass in a restaurant, it’s almost 100% sure he will spill the water. He’s not used to light glasses. So I know he’s ready for parties in the future LOL!
I loved this simple, modern wash area so I wanted to take a picture of it for future reference. Small sinks for small spaces work really well. We don’t always need massive messy sinks.