February 4, 2011

El Brillante, Madrid. October, 2009

We had just arrived in the Spanish capital after an overnight flight from Boston and change of planes in Frankfurt. A quick check-in at our Priceline-secured hotel, and the big question that dogs any serious traveler to this magical city: The Prado? Or El Brillante? The home of Velasquez’s Las Meninas? Or the home of “el mejor bocadillo de calamares de Madrid”? How ’bout a little of both, señores? Jay and I paid our quick respects to the Velasquez masterpiece...and then hot-footed it down to #8 Glorietta del Emperador Carlos V (Metro: Atocha) where the lively and always hopping Spanish bar welcomed us with all the charm and good eats we’d remembered from our first visit(s) there 15 years earlier. Two other branches of this storied Madrid institution exist, but the original Atocha location will always be tops with us. Dos calamari baguettes comin’ right up.

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