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casa paco

This page documents my families first encounter with a Spain Tapas Tour (Madrid 2001). The tour was arranged through Walks of Madrid. Unfortunally, one of the highlights of this tour, the "La Taperia" no longer exist.

When visiting Spain by myself, I have always been apprehensive about exploring the nightlife of Madrid. I'm not much of a late night person, but "Walks of Spain" seemed like an excellent way to introduce my family and me to one of the standard Madrid night activities, the "tapas crawl."

Sherry Wine Tours

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Photo upper left and right- our first stop was the Casa Paco, where we started the night with a choice of red or white wine.

We met Andre at the Plaza Mayor at 8:30 p.m. and then went off to Casa Paco to meet another "Walks of Madrid" compatriot, Mira. In traditional Spanish custom we stood at the bar talking and drinking our wine.

Our next stop was La Taperia de la Abuela. This was the highlight of the evening for my family.

My wife, me, and Mira cooking ox meat on hot stones at La Taperia de la Abuela.

My son particularly liked the ox meat cooked on hot stones. The tapas were excellent here, as was the sangría.


What are Tapas?
Tapas are the (sometimes free) little side dishes received with a drink order from a bar. Free tapas I have had include potato chips, green olives, small bits of rabbit with garbanzo beans, and a large bowl of snails cooked in a tomato sauce. Tapas can also be ordered off the menu and are often a better buy than the "raciones".

Note: Sangría is usually served during parties. It is avialable all year long at some of the tourist bars in Madrid, but Andre says it generally isn't found in a non-tourist bar like La Taperia.

Photo above - here you can see the preheated stones that are brought to the table and the cooking of the ox meat.

I always forget to photograph the food. Once I am done with a meal, I almost always say, "Gee, that was a good meal. Why didn't I take a photo of it?"

Before the ox meat we had a very nice tapas of tuna and tomato sauce cooked in little patties. Sorry no photo; it was very good ;-

Leaving La Taperia, we found darkness had fallen on Madrid. Andre gave us a nighttime tour of the area and then we heard music coming from the Plaza de Oriente, where we discovered a free concert in progress.

Photo below -from left to right Andre, Mira, and Alfonso

Going on to the next tapas bar, we met up with more Walks of Madrid alumni.

Our last stop for the evening was at a bar where amateur flamenco is often performed. No seats were available, so we stood and listened to the singer for a while. Andre explained there were no paid performers here. The musicians, singers, and dancers were all visitors to the bar.

Once these amateurs are done performing, a hat will be passed for tips. Come back tomorrow night and all the performers will be different.

At 12:30 my family decided to call it a night. By Madrid standards we pooped out really early!

If you are interest in joining one of Andre's Madrid events, check out his offerings at Walks of Madrid
Old Madrid secret restaurants, tapas & wine walking tour

If you are booking your Spain accommodations through Madrid & Beyond (A Spain Travel Agent ), have them make tapas tour arrangements for you.



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This page last updated December 2011
The information on this page comes from my families 2001 visit to Spain.