South of the Border – Weekend Stories Part 3 – Saturday 21:00-25:30 (ie 1:30)

The BU program includes breakfast, lunch, and dinner with your family every day except for dinner on Friday and Saturday nights.  To make the most of our nights out, I started going through the travel guide Michael gave me before I left.  I was dismayed by what I found.  While it includes lots of great information about sights and areas of the city along with a really useful pocket-sized map (always with me), in the restaurant section everything falls apart.  Practically every restaurant reviewed either has €€€€ (signifying a really expensive meal, ie 40+ euros) or just happens to be Italian food.  I complained to my Señora that we didn’t come all the way to Spain to go broke or to eat fake Italian food (Americanized would be the word to use; it just doesn’t work because of the whole being in Spain thing…  it’s the same idea though).  She told me we should go to a street near La Plaza de España called Calle de San Bernadino where we would find lots of choices that were rather inexpensive as they were off the tourists’ beaten path.

So Saturday night we took her advice.  And she was certainly right.

In addition to Spanish food, there was Persian, Indian, even Peruvian.  After passing lots of places to eat, we settled on a busy Mexican restaurant (yes, I appearantly did go to Spain to have fake Mexican food; at least it was the right language).  While hardly authentic, it was pretty good food and, as promised, not too caro (expensive).

After our experience with the Metro on Friday night we were resolved to finish our night before 1:30 to make it on the last train.  By the time we finished dinner, though, it was already 11:30.  We wandered over to Puerta del Sol in search of some dessert.  A little further on was Plaza del Angel, home to Maestro Churro (since 1902).  Being cheap, we ordered inside at the counter and then stood outside to eat (most restaurants have tiered pricing, price for the bar, a little more for an inside table, and even more to eat seated outside).  After some dessert (dulce de leche cream stuffed churros are definitely a good investment) and light conversation, it was already time to head back and get some sleep.

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