Monday, April 1, 2013

Taqueria mi Ciudad - Madrid, Spain

This dog represents my food life in Madrid. Look at those mournful eyes, the long face, the pleading countenance. He wants something. He needs something. Good food!

It has been nearly 4 months since I wrote about my food adventures. I was based in Madrid, Spain until February 6, but found that Madrid rarely excited my tastebuds. During my first weekend there, I went to two excellent restaurants near the Opera Metro Station thanks to three individuals passionate about food. One promised me a food list and sent that to my teaching partner relatively quickly. Big mistake! She took weeks to give it to me. By then I was leaving shortly for a three week US vacation. Coupled with this delay, being introduced to several bad Madrid restaurants, not knowing enough passionate foodies, and teaching during the weekday evenings, I grew quite unmotivated.
Then I discovered Taqueria Mi Ciudad near Opera (currently, their website is down, so these links go to Yelp). They have two locations. One is a small location on Calle de las Fuentas. They have room for about 10 people. They have another location on the parallel street,  Calle Hileras that can seat 40-50+ people. This larger location also serves tacos al pastor, alhambre tacos and another menu item that the small location doesn't.
Personally, I prefer the smaller location. It's typically one guy running the show. Each taco is between €1.50-2.50. They're served in wonderfully soft corn tortillas and accompanied with two salsas, a mild and chipotle, and spicy onions. I started with the Pipian Rojo and Chicharron en Salsa Verde. The juicy pork marinating in salsa verde, the taste of pumpkin seeds among the shredded chicken. 2.5 hours later, I was back for more. Couldn't stay away, so I ordered the delicious Pollo al Mole Poblano and Taco Placero with its crispy pork rind and guacamole. I craved shredded marinated meat more than I realize.

Not only is this a great taco place, but they have great handmade guacamole. Peer over the counter and you'll see them making it. Then there are the black beans. Wow! They taste like cake, delicious, black bean cake. Both guacamole and black beans come with crunchy corn chips. My suggestion: sprinkle salt (not a little, not a lot, but somewhere in between. The salt is also addictive.) on the black beans. Delicious! Amplifies their already kickass flavor. Have I mentioned the tamales yet? Order those. Go there and do it. Now.
Did you say you have a craving for tacos al pastor? You desire spitted meat sliced and placed inside a corn tortilla along with pineapple? Then you must go to the larger location where they have two other taco dishes featuring their al pastor meat. The only negative to some of their dishes.... too much cheese at times. That's just me. Due to allergies and the fact I want to enjoy standout meat, I like only a little cheese. However, a margarita or a beer can take the cheesy edge off. Both locations offer a variety of beer and tequila based drinks.

If you're in Madrid and hanker for tacos, come to Taqueria mi Ciudad. Two days before I left Madrid, I went here three times. I would return to Madrid just for these tacos. They're full of flavor and cheap. Service is fast and efficient. And it's in the city center. Perfecto!

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