A Bocadillo de Calamares in Madrid

After a weekend of total inactivity, I forced myself off the couch and into the shower this morning (ok, more like midday.) The idea was to go out, eat something pretty, enjoy the unusually warm weather and check out how my grandmother’s ring, which I just started wearing as an early birthday gift to myself, sparkles under sunlight. I grabbed my laptop and decided to make this into that day off I always tell myself I’ll have. A cafe somewhere with smooth mood music blending with the wurr of a milk foamer and me, clean, doing my thing. So now that I’m here at blogger-friendly yet wifi-less SIP, having just devoured a poached egg on creamy spinach, I’m thinking back on the last time I was off work, actually spending quality time with myself rather than sacrificing my brain to Netflix. It was in October, on a trip to Madrid. A long-weekend to visit a friend, made all the more exciting by the fact that i hadn’t been to Madrid in 16 years and don’t remember a thing about it. On a Thursday, she had class til 6. I organized my day. Some writing at a cafe until noon, then a free walking tour of the center, some light shopping, and back to her for a night of tacos and too many margs with her friends.

On the walking tour, I learned about the bear and the strawberry tree, and how many rooms there are in the Palacio Real (3,418 rooms). I passed by Sobrino de Botín (Guinness-named oldest restaurant in the world) and Bar Postas, which our guide pointed out was one of his favorite bocadillo spots in the city. When the tour was over, I went back there to try out this squid sandwich, apparently quite a popular snack in Madrid.

Somewhere halfway between Puerta del Sol and Plaza Mayor, Bar Postas seems like it’s been around for a while. It’s a very simple kind of fast-food tapas spot with a massive poster of all their different sandwiches (mostly the same tapas, but on bread). I ordered a caña of cold beer and the “bocadillo de calamares,” which came with a little thing of green olives. And the bocadillo was fine, overflowing with rings of squid, fried to a heavenly crunch, the excess oil soaked up by the bread that was somewhere between a hot dog bun and a baguette. What it had in texture, it lacked in flavor, though. The squid was completely unseasoned, unsalted even. The lack of sauce in terms of both flavor and moisture became abundantly clear after the very first bite. A splash of aioli or even mustard would’ve change everything. Nevertheless, with a few briny, juicy olives and an ice-cold beer, it wasn’t half-bad. I’d probably save it for late-night, though and ask at the bar for something to squeeze over it.

The verdict? So-so. Not the highlight of my trip but something worth a try, if just to tick off the list.


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