Sunday, 11 May 2014

Albóndigas for Lunch and Outdoor Cafes

France isn't the only place famous for its outdoor cafes. These cafes spring up like mushrooms and are full when the weather starts getting nice. I like sitting outside at these places too, but I'm a bit more selective. I don't like being in places where there's a lot of traffic or road works like in this photo from 1950. This street, by the way, is part of what is known as the 'golden mile' or the part of Madrid where there are many expensive shops and where the American Embassy can be found. Spanish people don't seem to mind sitting near constantly passing vehicles or streets that are being ripped up.
Yesterday was our monthly get together with the girls. Sometimes there are as many as 8 or 9 of us, but yesterday there were only 5. For months we've been talking about meatballs and how we hope they have meat balls on the menu. Yesterday they did, so you can guess what we all ordered for the main course. The problem for me with these lunches is two of our friends work until 3 pm in the centre, and the earliest we begin eating is 3.30, not impossibly late in Spain, but I usually eat between 1- 1.30 pm. The result of eating so late is I'm not hungry the rest of the day. I don't know if that's good or bad. I just know by that time I'm starving and the meatballs (albóndigas) were delicious.

Last night was the once very popular 'Eurovision Song Fest'. I didn't watch it as I seldom turn on the TV at the weekend, and I haven't watched Eurovision for years. I do know that Austria's 'bearded lady' won it, so I suppose I'll probably hear the song some time or other.

 In Madrid it's bullfighting season and my usually quiet and not overcrowded neighbourhood isn't. Oh well, keeps the bars and restaurants in business. Years ago there were more offices and a big laboratory in the area that kept them going. Now most of the businesses are gone. The laboratory went a long time ago and was replaced by blocks of flats. Even my old institute is a block of flats, not many of which have sold I think.

Thursday is another holiday for us - one of the patron saints of Madrid. It's a day when traditionally we get some rain, although we haven't for the past few years. Anyway, I hope everyone has a good week whatever you do.


  1. I am always amazed at the number of holidays celebrated in Europe!! I am jealous, that's the problem! Ha!

    Those meatballs look delicious! I don't think I could have held out until 3:30. I would have had an apple or a little snack to hold me over, but - like you - eating that late would have to be my supper/dinner, rather than my lunch. Wishing you a good week ahead, Brenda!

  2. Hi I really enjoyed reading your post-I have never eaten at one of these outdoor cafes-always looks fun-when I used to take a greyhound bus home to Indiana-we would drive through a college town that allot of these set up in the down town area-looked fun. have you gone to bull runs

  3. I have attended bullfights, but never a bull run - too many people and most of them are drunk. Almost every year an American gets hurt in the Running of the Bulls in Pamplona, and they sometimes cause other people to get hurt. It's not just running in front of the bulls, it's knowing how to do it. Many of the runners have been doing it for years.