Archive | International Food RSS feed for this section

What Do You Miss When Abroad?

21 Nov

You’re living abroad, how exciting! But let’s be honest, with Thanksgiving around the corner we start to miss some things from the US.

Exhibit A: The Bagel

Take a look the the 15 things I miss most over at my new website. And please tell me, what do you miss from the US when abroad?

Don’t forget to update your bookmarks!

www.spanishsabores.com

 

PS: Thank you for the nice comments on my last post! I really appreciate your support!

 

Taberna Griega: Authentic Greek Food in Madrid

7 Nov

Looking for authentic Greek food in Madrid? Read on for Spanish Sabores first Restaurant Review!

I love Greek food. Ever since I first visited Greece almost 10 years ago I’ve had difficulty finding a place that could replicate the creamy hummus, garlicky tzatziki, tangy feta, and crunchy baklava I tried on my trip. Not to mention the many other delicacies I sampled that I couldn’t even pronounce, let alone remember the names of! Greece is a food lover’s dream and I hope to make it back there one day soon. Alejandro has never been and I’m dying to re-experience the gorgeous culture, history, and, of course, food together!

When I found out that one of the most recommended restaurants in my new neighborhood Pacífico was Greek, I knew we had to try it. Taberna Griega was pretty highly rated on 11870.com although there weren’t too many reviews to go by.

There is another Taberna Griega in the center of Madrid and it doesn’t seem to be related to this one– so don’t get them confused! 

Taberna Griega

C/Juan de Urbieta, 6

28007 Madrid

91 434 8919

Dine-in, To go, Delivery

Metro: Menendez Pelayo L1, Pacífico L6

The Greece themed restaurant is small and quite informal. It has a narrow bar with a few small tables at the entrance and then an elevated dining room with about seven square tables. It has paper blue and white checkered tablecloths and bright blue paper napkins. I could see this being a casual Friday night out kind of place, or also a great place to have a nice lunch before an afternoon spent in the nearby Retiro Park.

Informal but fun!

We went on a Friday night and made our 10:00 reservation only a few hours beforehand and had no problems. They were, however, completely full all night so I would definitely recommend reserving. People in the bar area were enjoying some delicious looking gyros (kebabs) which is definitely something we’ll be trying the next time.

The menu offers a variety of appetizers, main dishes, raciones (large dishes to share), and desserts. They also have a fixed price menu for 17€ per person. You can order the bar food  (kebabs, pizza, and hamburger) in the dining room if you wish without an up charge.

A glass of crisp Greek white wine

I ordered a glass of Greek white wine and Ale had a beer. We decided to share the Pikilía to start. This was an appetizer made up of four different dips as well as Dolmadakia (stuffed grape leaves). It didn’t specify the dips that were included, but we figured we’d like just about anything.

We were almost right! In addition to the the grape leaves, this enormous appetizer (served with a huge basket of piping hot pita bread) included humus (garbanzo bean puree), melitzanosalata (eggplant puree), taramás (red caviar puree), a block of feta cheese, and tzatziki (greek yogurt, cucumber, and garlic puree). We loved the humus! It was creamy and light and absolutely fantastic. The feta was also amazing. It was better than any I’ve had in a long time. The grape leaves were probably the best I’ve ever tried— the rice inside was perfectly cooked, creamy, and lemony. They also dressed everything with an outstanding olive oil. The tzatziki was very good although it lacked a bit of flavor for me (perhaps even just a little more salt). The eggplant was okay, but it had a very powerful spice that we couldn’t identify. I didn’t enjoy it as much as the others. The only dip we didn’t like was the bright pink one– red caviar. It had a very fishy taste and was just unappetizing both visually and taste wise.

The enormous appetizer sampler

Warm Greek pitas

The appetizer was definitely too much for two people and cost 9,80€ + 2,10€ for the pita, so really about 12,00€. This is on the pricy side for an appetizer at such an informal place and more than what any main dish cost. It is also a bit strange that they don’t include the price of the pita in the appetizer since they brought them over automatically and you can’t really eat the dish without them! Overall I’d give the appetizer a 7/10 but recommend it to groups of 4 or more. Next time I’d just get the humus or grape leaves. 

For our main courses we ordered the musakás and bifteki. The musakás (often called Moussaka as well) is a eggplant and ground beef casserole topped with bechamel cream sauce. This one started with a layer of thin sliced potatoes, followed by layers of meat and eggplant, and was finally topped with bechamel and baked in the oven. It was very good, well seasoned, and straightforward. Ale loved it– I thought it was good, but a little boring.

Moussaka!

The bifteki, however, I loved. Described as a ball of ground beef stuffed with feta, it doesn’t sound too fancy– and it’s not! It was basically like a big, juicy homemade hamburger filled with great quality feta cheese and perfectly seasoned. It wasn’t complicated but it was delicious! Ale liked it too (but he preferred the musakás). My favorite quote (his) from the evening: “Es que ultimamente soy más de verduritas” (It’s because lately I’m more of a vegetable person) Hmm… ground beef, potatoes, cream sauce, and a few slices of eggplant– yes Ale, you are certainly a “vegetable person”!

It tastes much better than it looks!

We were stuffed, but I needed to try the baklava. Looking back I wish we’d opted for the sampler (almost the same price and included a variety of pastries and greek yogurt) but at that moment it seemed like too much. The baklava was also a lot — three pieces for only two people! It was very good. Served cold, it was a perfect combination of moist and crunchy, with big chunks of walnut. Ale thought it was the best he’d ever had. I liked it a lot, but I didn’t taste the honey quite as much as I like to. I’d definitely recommend it, however!

Delicious baklava

Overall, Taberna Griega in Madrid is fantastic and reasonably priced. Dinner for two came in at 38,30€ and we had two drinks each (beer and wine). The drawbacks for me were the small dining room, lack of ambience, price of the appetizer, and large portions. But the food, service, and overall price per person are right on! I’d give the place an 8/10 overall and recommend it to everyone living in Madrid looking for authentic Greek food! 

%d bloggers like this: