Tuesday, 5 August 2014

A Meal With a MEGA Mustache

    Another Tuesday has been clocked up which means MMDDMM has done its thing. But before we get down to the nitty gritty, we wanna wish a sad farewell to Yessie Jorko who is leaving us for new adventures on faraway shores. A safe journey and may the MMDDMM gods watch over you.
    This week we decided to be a little adventurous and headed to Casa Parrondo on Calle de Trujillos 9, right next door to where we visited the previous week!! Hey, when you feel you´re onto a winner, you go with your heart. Casa Parrondo is a seminal asturian sidreria right in the heart of Madrid and is renowned for quality cider and the rather generous tapas they give out, even with a little cañita. It also has, directly across the road, a restaurant which, from the photos plastered all over the walls, is a popular place with the famous and infamous of Spanish culture and politics.
    Being that we are Madrid culinary royalty, we were escorted over to the restaurant and away from the riff-raff to enjoy our experience in comfort. And boy was it comfortable. The restaurant´s decor is a mixture of sturdy wooden furnishings surrounded by trinkets and photos of the old asturian countryside, all set in a space which makes you feel like you´re in an old country manor. Very swish indeed and you could feel it.
    And so onto the menu. This week we had a choice of 5 & 4, with the usual coffee or dessert, for €10. Yes, I know the photo of the menu says €12. More on that later!! Our menu included dishes such as Gazpacho, Entremeses (cold cuts), Macarones a la carbonara, Beef & potato stew, Russian salad, Lamb chops, Osobuco (veal & rice), Tuna & veg and croquettes, house style.
    With a varied selection and plush surroundings, we certainly had high hopes. Unfortunately, they weren´t quite met. It´s hard to put an exact finger on what it was but here goes anyway. While the food was generous in its proportions and was well presented, in particular the beef and potato stew, it was all, in general, just average. While the veal was soft and delicious, the rest of the plate felt a bit mushy. The chops were high on bone and low on meat and the gazpacho should have been relabelled salmorejo. Not a complaint, just advertise exactly what it is. Everything else had a similar feel, ok and filling, but nowhere near matching the surroundings. Better things can be said about our waitress who, apart from needing to ask about one or two of our dishes, was on the ball from entrance to exit. No excessive waiting was suffered and our cute little wine jugs were readily refilled with a wink and a nod. By the way, asking about the dishes is a sign that the menu del dia is not frequently sought after in this part of the establishment!?! The desserts followed the previous tone set and the cafe con leche was more like a cortado. Oh, and as for the price. Our crafty CEO spotted that in the bar the menu was €10 but in the restaurant €12?? A quick chat with a higher up assured us that we would be charged the better of the two but it makes me wonder how many others have fallen into this little trap. NOT clever.
    We´ve visited Casa Parrondo on numerous occasions for post-meal libations and have always left happy and up to our eyeballs with cider. If you have friends or family visiting and want to give them a taste of Asturias without travelling a couple of hundred miles, you can´t beat it and I know they´ll love it. And I also know that if we visited on another occasion for the a la carte menu, and with a fistfull of cash (its quite expensive), we would be blown away. But the menu del dia is just not up to scratch. At lunchtime it´s always heaving, but mostly with people having cañas and mountains of tapas, which I guess suits them fine. All in all, a dissapointing 2.75 out of 5. What a shame. C´mon Casa Parrondo, you´re better than this.
    Next week takes us over to the Museum triangle of Madrid and Los Rotos on Calle Huertas. And it´s a special one as our soon to be wed Seb Hall is joining us to kick off his stag celebrations. So come along and join us and who knows, maybe YOU´LL get to celophane the groom to be to a lampost. Until then MMDDMMers.

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