This place came highly recommended by our ‘Top 10 Madrid’ tour guide as one of the best places to eat and drink in Old Madrid, so on our first evening in this city we knew nothing about, we decided to track it down and sample its Tapas and Vinos Finos.
We arrived here at about 8pm and sat ourselves in the basement as the upstairs was starting to get busy. We got there at just the right time, as within about 15 minutes the place absolutely packed without a table to spare. Dimly lit over two levels with a highly traditional, rustic feel of Old Madrid about the place, this is a great place to soak up the atmosphere of the city. Almendro 13 is also great value for money, despite the horrendousness of the Pound to Euro exchange rate at the moment.
One of the first things you realise about Spain is that when you order ‘Patatas Fritas’ on any menu, you can never be quite sure what you’re going to get: cubed fried potatoes, French fries, chips… or hot crisps. Bizarrely, the tapas menu we ordered from here revolved around the latter. Sounds a bit odd, looks a bit odd, but is fantastically tasty.
The second thing we were very quick to realise is that the bars and restaurants worth going to (i.e. the ones that aren’t overpriced and geared towards tourists) don’t tend to print their menus in English. So after an amusing exchange of sign language with an extremely friendly and helpful waitress, we established that ‘pimienta’ is pepper, ‘huevo’ means egg, ‘lomo’ means pork and ordered accordingly. We also made sure to sample the ‘jamon iberico’, which is quite pricey but worth it.
For drinks, we ordered their very own white wine – Vina Almendro 13 – which we drank from tiny double measure shot glasses; not sure why, but it was certainly a novel way to enjoy this is delicious, crisp, fruity wine.
If you ever find yourself in Old Madrid of an evening, Almendro 13’s atmosphere, food and wine comes very highly recommended. Just don’t forget your Spanish to English menu decoder!