Trikki, homemade New Orleans cuisine with family recipes


Trikki restaurant was opened in Chamberí about a year ago by owners Yuliet McQuitty (New Orleans) and Rodolfo Rodriguez (Venezuela), and together they’ve brought the spirit of New Orleans to the neighborhood. As soon as you walk in, you’ll feel a refreshingly down-to-earth ambience and lots of jazz-inspired decor, from drum-shaped lamp shades to drawings of musicians and trumpets on the walls.

Trikki-restaurant-naked-madrid.1

Yuliet will graciously greet you and walk you through the whole menu; while each dish will be prepared from scratch by Rodolfo, a.k.a. “the kitchen commander.” Everything at Trikki is made from traditional home recipes and select ingredients to bring the authentic flavors of New Orleans to your table. 

Trikki New Orleans Madrid Restaurant Naked Madrid

The menu features all the city’s classics: fried green tomatoes, gumbo, jambalaya, po’ boys and the famous bananas foster dessert. You’ll also find a few Venezuelan items sprinkled in there. Since it was our first time trying New Orleans cuisine, Yuliet suggested we order their signature dishes – all packed with flavor and spices.

Here’s how it went down:

Trikki-restaurant-naked-madrid.5

We started with a half-portion of fried green tomatoes, a delicious introduction to what followed.

Trikki-restaurant-naked-madrid.4

Next up was the gumbo, a hearty New Orleans stew filled with rice, chicken, sausage, langoustine and so many other delicious ingredients. What stood out to me the most was the okra – I don’t think I’ve ever had okra in Madrid.

Trikki-restaurant-naked-madrid.6

Then we had the ultimate jambalaya. This rice dish is on the spicy side, so Yuliet recommends people try it on their second visit to Trikki, unless you like a little kick to your meal. It turned out to be James’ favorite dish of the night.

Trikki-restaurant-naked-madrid.9

Yuliet also said a true New Orleans experience wouldn’t be complete without trying one of the Po’ boys, which are essentially gigantic sandwiches. We ordered the one with soft-shell crab, lettuce, tomato and a special sauce. So good.

Trikki-restaurant-naked-madrid

Needless to say, we had a full-on feast! So when we got to the homemade dessert section, we ordered what seemed like the lightest option: quesillo, a typical Venezuelan dessert that’s similar to flan with a hint of lime.

On our next visit we’ll save room for the New Orlean’s classic: bananas foster, served on a dish that they flambé right in front of you. We did get the chance to watch the pyrotechnics at the table next to us, however, and it looked amazing!

Here’s a pic of the bananas foster from Trikki’s instagram so you get the idea.

bananas foster at Trikki

So when it comes down to it, Trikki’s concept is rather simple: home recipes, traditional ingredients and Southern hospitality, which makes for a great combination. Just make sure to go with a good appetite and friends who like to try new dishes and flavors.

Trikki




Navare Bar – The Secret’s Out


You always feel quite smug when you stumble across somewhere that feels yet to be discovered. I was mooching around Chamberi on my way to an appointment, when I mindlessly spotted Navare Bar – and it piqued my interest.

Navare_bar_Naked_Madrid_8

Inside there were groups of friends chatting animatedly, enjoying a late afternoon merienda. But upon closer look, there was also a downright delicious evening menu. I papped the name of the restaurant on my phone and made a mental note to return with a friend in tow.

Navare_bar_Naked_Madrid_5

Fast forward a week and I found myself to be one of the locals enjoying this new neighbourhood hotspot. Navare Bar is somewhat impossible to be shoehorned into any set category. You want you breakfast? They serve it. A leisurely lunch with colleagues? You’ve got it. Dinner with your nearest and dearest. They offer it. It’s basically your one-stop shop for all your culinary needs.

Navare_bar_Naked_Madrid_1

Now to be all things to all people is no mean feat. However, after meeting (and chatting with the owner) it’s clear that the vision for Navare Bar is to be a local place for local people; somewhere that no matter the time of day, you can grab a coffee or indeed a copa with friends.

I was a fan of this concept from the get go. Coming from the UK, I’m used to eating when I want – whether or not that ties in with siesta culture is of little importance. If I’m hungry I want options that will keep my renowned (within my social circle) ‘hanger’ at bay. It also didn’t hurt that the décor was a delight and the plates satiated my fetish for all things chintzy when it came to crockery.

Navare_bar_Naked_Madrid_3

So the food. In a nutshell it was lip smackingly good. After a full-on week at work I was in need of all the treats. We split prawn croquetas (you get eight, I could’ve quite easily refused to share). This was swiftly followed by grilled vegetables that conjured up the feeling of summer barbecues (and made me feel slightly virtuous after the deep fried delight that was the first tapa).

But the jewel in the crown was undoubtedly the solomillo that came with crushed new potatoes and some kind of sauce that I could’ve quite happily guzzled as though it were a G&T. To surmise, the food is heavenly and I left eager to return for breakfast, lunch AND dinner.

I have no doubt that Navare bar will be a success. The passion of the owner coupled with the zest for life that the local peeps possess, makes it an inevitable recipe for success.

Info

  • Facebook & Instagram
  • Address: Calle de Rafael Calvo, 29
  • Metro: Iglesia & Rubén Darío
  • Phone: 910 26 87 57

 

 




Picsa, got a ‘pizza’ my heart


I don’t know about you but when I hear the word ‘Argentina’, pizza isn’t usually the first word that springs to mind AND I’ve been. I think of tango. I think of steak. I think of wine (more specifically I think of ruby red Malbec). I also think of the multiple jars of dulce de leche that I put away, for my sins.

So upon hearing that Argentinian pizza was able to rival a slither of wafer thin New York pizza, I figured it was worth further investigation to see if the Argentinians didn’t just talk a good fight.

Picsa is the Argentinian pizza mecca on Calle Ponzano. Foodies in the know will already be well aware that this street boasts a plethora of options that are all first class. However, in order to stand out you’d better have a strong USP up your sleeve and Picsa definitely has that; I’m yet to find anywhere else in Madrid that offers such gourmet pizzas in such a clinically chic setting – if there’s such a thing.

Picsa-restaurant-review-2
Picsa is almost sterile in terms of its appearance – it’s all white tiles and bare bulbs, but this just allows the food to take centre stage. Obviously the pizza is the big draw here, but the range of sharing plates isn’t to be dismissed. The bellota ham all but dissolved in your mouth and the Armenian roasted peppers were the perfect zingy compliment to the indulgence of the fat rippled jamon.

So after considering that a mere ‘warm up’, we plumped for a pizza to share and luckily (considering my topping tastes are relatively mainstream) you can do half and half and keep everyone at the table as happy as a clam.

Picsa restaurant review
On one side we split a chorizo criollo with provolone (a heart attack waiting to happen in all honesty but I was willing to take the risk). Whilst the other half was laden with roast duck and figs, like I said, Picsa isn’t serving up your basic margarita here. At this point, barely able to move and already pining for the thought of an elasticated waist, we figured in for a penny, in for a pound and split a chocolate cake with dulce de leche ice cream to really round things off.

If you’re working on your beach bod I strongly advise swerving Picsa unless you’re able to show any kind of restraint – of which I’m not. Picsa is not your average pizza joint and in light of this it was packed to the rafters on a Saturday night with patrons all looking for a ‘pizza the action’ – sorry, couldn’t resist one last pizza pun. Be sure to book, maybe skip lunch in preparation and stretchy pants are well advised.

Photos by @adam_w_potts

Info

  • FacebookWebsite 
  • Instagram: @picsa.madrid
  • Address: Calle Ponzano 76
  • Phone: 915 34 10 09

Read a former Naked Madrid review on Picsa here!




Peyote San, Mexican fusion at its most fabulous


I love Mexican food. I mean, I properly LOVE it. A holiday spent in Tulum with tequila on tap was possibly as close to utopia as I’ll ever get on the food front. Tacos, guac, and burritos – I love them all equally and don’t get me started on margaritas – second to gin (and possibly water due to pure necessity) it definitely edges its way into my three most supped liquids. So imagine my intrigue when I’d heard about the menu at Peyote San – a place that’s managed to fuse Mexican munchies with sushi. Definitely worth a gander I mused and suffice to say it was.

Located near Colon (or as I affectionately refer to the area with the ‘giant flag’) Peyote San restaurant is en route to where the good shops are. From the outside looking in it could easily be missed, but the interior is anything but shy and retiring. It’s instantly instagramable (yes, that’s now a word along with with TMI and FML) largely due to the bold graffiti-type images that adorn most of the walls.

Peyote San restaurant review by Naked Madrid

If you’ve travelled to the Big Apple it certainly feels reminiscent of somewhere swish that you’d find on the Upper West Side – choc-a-bloc with beautiful people sipping elaborately prepared cocktails. However, fear not, it wasn’t a case of style over substance as every last morsel was utterly delicious and well worth the late school night in my case.

I’ve yet to visit Japan (although it’s on my bucket list) and the cuisine at Peyote San was the next best thing. I worked my way through A LOT of food to make this review as authentic as poss so drumroll please – I can vouch that the tatiki tuna, chicken gyoza, black cod and the Japanese curry with bonito were all delectable as were the pretty potent Asian Malgalita’s – a Peyote San take on a classic Marg and unquestionably are to be enjoyed with an air of YOLO – and not the worry of reaching for ibuprofen the following day.

Peyote San restaurant review by Naked Madrid

Given the uniqueness of the food, it was also a really nice touch that the chef came over to talk us through the menu and his knowledge and evident passion for the food made the evening all the more gratifying. Peyote San definitely isn’t the type of locale to visit if you’ve got too much month left and not enough money. It’s definitely more of a date night treat or a birthday splurge.

Peyote San restaurant review by Naked Madrid

Having said that, come Saturday nights, tables are shuffled to the sidelines so that patrons can get their groove on. Having lived in Madrid long enough now to know that Madrileños would favour spending their last fiver on a night out (than something sensible), Peyote San shouldn’t remain on your wish list, pop it in on your hit list now.

Info

  • Facebook & Instagram
  • Address: Calle Marques de la Ensenada 16
  • Metro: Colon
  • Phone: 91 088 22 12

You’ll also like:




El Columpio and Fellina restaurants, two gems on Calle de Caracas (Chamberí)


For those of you who’ve read previous posts of mine on Naked Madrid (hopefully there’s a few of you out there aside from my parents), you’ll know that I borderline patrol Madrid on the lookout for all things new, with the dedication of a big cat searching for prey. The thrill of finding somewhere new to eat, or to simply raise a glass is basically akin to me finding the perfect winter coat – aka, it’s seriously satisfying.

Now a couple of months back I wrote about the lovely Le Coco; one of the long-time offerings from Grupo Le Coco. Now should you venture from Chueca to Chamberí, this restaurant group is slowing staking its claim on the Madrid restaurant scene with not one, but two splendid spots on Calle de Caracas: El Columpio and Fellina. And both restaurants are bound to whet your appetite, figuratively and literally.

First up is the perfectly pastel hued El Columpio 

El Columpio restaurant by Naked Madrid

El Columpio restaurant by Naked Madrid

It’s a riot of colour upon entering and the menu reflects that. There’s something for everyone. The Spanish classic that is salmarejo sits nestled next to tuna tartare. Fret not, if you view all things fishy as belonging well under the sea, there’s a rabo de toro lasagne that was hands down one of the best pasta dishes that I’ve gotten my chops around in this city.

El Columpio restaurant by Naked Madrid

Effectively, El Columpio is the equivalent of that friend you’ll always be able to have as your plus one; a crowd pleaser. The décor is as delish as the food, but what particularly floated my boat was the unstuffy vibe, illustrated by the hordes of Madrileños animatedly drinking by the bar.

El Columpio restaurant by Naked Madrid

This place isn’t just for food, it’s for fun. And if you lay off the gin tonics, it’s the kind of place that you can frequent on a Friday night and still have cash to scour Zara with the following day.

Next up is Fellina restaurant, just across the street

Fellina restaurant by Naked Madrid

In complete contrast to El Columpio is the newly opened Fellina, which literally waves to El Columpio from across the calle. So if you’ll indulge me with a little analogy, if El Columpio is your friendly Spanish locale, Fellina is the chic Italian cousin that just rocked up in town clad in some eye catching D&G.

Fellina restaurant by Naked Madrid

Fellina’s menu is an ode to all things from the land of style and spaghetti. Wander in and you’ll be first hit by the piles of fresh produce that adorn every nook and cranny. It’s part Mercado, part ‘waiting to be discovered bistro tucked away on a side street in likes of Naples’.

Fellina restaurant by Naked Madrid

I was there on a Thursday evening and the service was spot on, as was the carpaccio that I devoured in all of about 47 seconds. It’s nigh on impossible to pick out just one thing to try (as I happily chomped my way through the menu with gusto *all in the name of research of course).

Fellina restaurant by Naked Madrid

Fellina restaurant by Naked Madrid

But you’d be hard pressed to find a more impressive ‘tabla’ of antipasti than if you were holidaying on the sunkissed and perennially popular peninsula that is Italy.

Like two latin lovers jostling for your attention, don’t feel obliged to choose between the two. Akin to earrings, El Columpio and Fellina are to be found as a pair. Maybe lunch at one and do dinner at the other. But make no mistake, these two little gems are bringing the magic of that good old Mediterranean diet to Madders.

El Columpio

  • Facebook
  • Address: Calle de Caracas, 10
  • Phone: 913 78 75 12

Fellina

  • Facebook
  • Address: Calle de Caracas, 21
  • Phone: 91 410 92 50



Lady Madonna, because Sundays are made for brunching


As an ex-pat in Madrid there are a couple of things that I really miss from home. The M&S food hall (say no more). Boots – I mean who doesn’t love a decent 3 for 2 offer; and last but by no means least, a Sunday roast. So in lieu of Roast Beef and Yorkshire puddings, Sundays in Madrid are all about brunch, as opposed to lunch.

Lady Madonna restaurant by Naked Madrid

Lady Madonna has always been a firm favorite of mine (you can even read my review on the restaurant here). With its pretty little terraza, it’s an ideal spot for a post work drink, or a solid choice when you’re looking like a decent dinner that won’t break the bank.

Lady Madonna restaurant brunch spot by Naked Madrid

Little did I know that brunch was an option and this was no half baked attempt; they offer a set menu that will set you up for the day – I mean breakfast is supposed to be the most important meal of the day right?

Lady Madonna brunch spot by Naked Madrid

I opted for eggs benedict followed by carrot cake – both paired with coffee, juice and a mojito that proved to be quite the effective hair of the dog. But there were a good five savory options as well as deserts, and if mojitos aren’t your thing there’s also bloody mary’s and mimosas on offer.
Lady Madonna restaurant brunch spot by Naked Madrid

I arrived feeling slightly fragile from my Saturday night antics and left with my appetite having been satiated and feeling virtuous that I’d even enjoyed a little bit of sun all by midday. The best bit, the fixed brunch menu comes in at only 18 euros. Well, it would be rude not to indulge at such a snip.

Info

  • Facebook
  • @ladymadonna_restaurante
  • Address: Calle Orellana, 6
  • Metro: Alonso Martínez
  • Phone: 915 02 41 82



Nudista restaurant, not naughty but very, very nice


So I have a confession to make. I hardly ever read. Whilst this might sound like a somewhat dramatic claim, what I actually mean is, I hardly ever read books (unless you count what I devour annually whilst on a sun lounger and manage to bulldoze through in a day). I read the news, I read blogs and I read glossies, but it’s rare that I sit down and take the time to turn actual pages – this is made all the more shameful by my day job being the lead of English in a primary school. Somehow life gets in the way (or perhaps more accurately, Netflix does) and books wallow neglected on my shelves.

However, this summer I read a book called You are a Badass. Now I loath to admit that I read the occasional ‘self help’ book, but this one resonated with me in a way that’s not a particularly regular occurrence. It’s based on the notion that everyone is capable of ‘living our best life’. The premise is that we shouldn’t just tread water because we’re too scared to dive into the unknown; it’s about unapologetically jumping in headfirst and being brave.
Conservas Nudista by Naked Madrid
At this point I’m sure you’re wondering how on earth these ramblings link to a restaurant recommendation but bear with me. Someone who most definitely took the stabilizers off and took a leap of faith is Micky. The owner and creative clout behind Nudista; the restaurant that he affectionately calls his ‘fifth child’ – he’s a father of four. Having spent twenty years grafting away as a TV producer, he literally quit his day job to follow his dream – and from where I was sitting last Friday night, his dream has literally become a reality.

Nudista is the brainchild of Micky and the result of his lifelong love affair with gastronomy. The concept behind the restaurant is disarmingly simple but achingly cool. Nothing is cooked. There’s no kitchen. Everything is fresh. The food is either served from a jar or a tin without even a hint of a preservative or additive in sight. As the clean eating movement shows no signs of abating, Micky is striking while the iron is hot. The food is in a word – delicious, largely because you know exactly where your food is coming from (Navarra in most cases) and it’s simply seasoned with olive oil and salt.

Conservas Nudista by Naked Madrid

I ate leeks that literally melted in the mouth like butter (and as a Welsh girl, the bar for decent leeks is set pretty high but these were epic). Next I sampled some marvellous mackerel (I’m not one to shy away from some alliteration) and some zingy lentils that were lip smacking good. Served in tandem were two wonderful wines that were personally selected by Micky and partnered the food to perfection. What added further appeal to a place where I couldn’t have felt more relaxed, was that dessert was created by a friend of Micky’s – a moreish cheesecake served in a dinky little sardine can. I’m a sucker for attention to detail and this had me reaching for my iPhone to pap.

Nudista almost felt like going round to a friend’s house for dinner, albeit a friend’s house with excellent taste and an eagle eye for interiors. We stayed until the early hours, such was the relaxed ambience and given its proximity to the always buzzing Malasaña is quite the rare find. In a city where restaurants are often becoming carbon copies of each other (exposed brick, aperol spritz and steak tartare – you know the ones). Nudista is refreshing for its lack of pretension and originality. Twenty somethings sat beside the neighbourhood abuelas, proving that Micky and his team have spotted a niche where there’s something for everyone.

And the best bit, everything you’ve eaten is available to buy. I know what my fam will be getting for Christmas and I know what will be adorning my kitchen shelves. Despite the name, clothes are required but the stripped back charm of Nudista will keep you wanting to go back for more. Friends of mine know that when I like something, I go all in. I’m often zealous in terms of gushing about things/places/people but in the case of Nudista, it’s more than warranted. I can’t recommend the place highly enough, so to make sure that I’m not just all talk – you should take action. 

Nudista

  • Facebook
  • Telephone: +34 913.77.64.24
  • Address: Calle Luchana, 23, Madrid.



Bar Tomate – modest minimalism at its best


Eight years ago I took the plunge and upped sticks to move to Madrid (or Madders as I now affectionately refer to it). The city was in the midst of a financial crisis so bleak, that people went out for a solitary caña rather than cañas – or so it seemed and so I was told.

Fast forward to 2017 and the city feels as though it’s booming once again. Not a week passes by without a new opening, a Mercado of some sort throwing back its doors and the now oh-so-popular weekly After Brunch events.

So in such a crowded marketplace how do you stand out? Well, having the kudos of being part of the Grupo Tragaluz alumni doesn’t hurt, which is why Bar Tomate has proven to be one of my fail safe favourites over the years.

Bar Tomate by Naked Madrid

Located in the increasingly well-heeled and chic neighbourhood of Chamberí, which coincidently is one of my favourite Madrid barrios, Bar Tomate ticks all the boxes offering breakfast, lunch, dinner *a rare find in a city where siesta culture can result in a complete shutdown during certain hours – never ideal if you’re prone to getting hangry!

The vibe is rustic and Mediterranean with the emphasis on simple, fresh ingredients and classics cooked well.

Bar Tomate by Naked Madrid

I went along for dinner on a Friday night and chowed down like a Queen – decisive isn’t my strong point so what was sampled read like an A-Z of deliciousness; ranging from breaded asparagus, chicken tacos, jalapeño spiced shrimp and a burrata the size of my head because, quite frankly, what meal isn’t improved with the addition of cheese! This was naturally all chased down with an array of cocktails that made for an interesting walk home.

If simplicity is your thing I can’t recommend Bar Tomate enough. From the minimalist décor to the unfussiness and ease of the service, Bar Tomate’s strongpoint comes in its lack of pretentiousness when in reality, it has everything to shout about.

Ditch the flats for an evening, as when the DJ appears (as he does on both a Friday and Saturday night) you’re gonna want to get your groove on. Guys, I’ll leave that up to you.

Info

 

 

 




Keyaan's: A Taste of the Dominican Republic in Madrid


When it comes to restaurant reviews, the word “authentic” gets thrown around a lot. It’s become a buzzword for people seeking out genuine food and unique eating experiences, but all too often it’s used as a catchall adjective that doesn’t really mean much, a vague and perhaps inaccurate way to lure in customers looking for “the real deal.”

This is not the case at Keyaan’s. If there were ever an establishment that deserved the label of authenticity, it would be this place. Specializing in Dominican empanadas, traditional sides, and homemade desserts, the colorful café brings a true taste of the D.R. to the streets of Chamberí. After opening its doors only two months ago, it’s already accumulated a loyal clientele—and it only takes one bite to understand why.

DSC_0083

The story of Keyaan’s began with a simple craving. Around two years ago, just after her son Ilias was born, Zakiya Ramirez had a powerful longing for a good empanada. Her husband Aderly, who hails from the Dominican Republic, called up his mom and asked for her recipe. After a bit of tweaking and improvisation, he cooked up his very first batch of empanadas using nothing but a hot plate. Zakiya was floored; it seemed her husband had a hidden natural talent that not even he was aware of.

DSC_0164

Zakiya, Aderly, and Ilias Keyaan Ramirez

In the years since, Aderly’s recipe gradually evolved and improved until the couple decided it was time to share his skills with the world. They opened Keyaan’s in November, christening it with their son’s middle name, and it’s already gained a considerable—and well-deserved—reputation.

I recently dropped by to sample some of their signature offerings, with my friend and trusty taste-tester Sophia by my side. We were presented with dish after dish of Dominican delicacies, hitting as many of the menu’s high spots as possible before falling into a full-on food coma.

DSC_0111

First up: the empanadas. Aderly’s specialty is front and center at Keyaan’s, making up the bulk of the menu. You can choose from several fillings (beef, chicken, cheese, vegetables, tuna, and even pepperoni, in a variety of combinations) and two sizes (just one of the big ones will fill you up, but the mini empanadas are too cute to resist). Unlike some versions, these are chock full of the good stuff, meaning you won’t be biting into a pocket of air. The dough is made fresh each day, and every single empanada is hand-formed and fried to order. The result is crispy on the outside, soft on the inside, and juicy without being greasy; a difficult balance to strike.

DSC_0145

As tempting as it may be to gorge yourself on nothing but empanadas, it would be a crime to leave without sampling the sides. The fritos (flattened and fried plantains, similar to tostones) and bollitos de yuca (fried balls of yucca stuffed with melty gouda cheese) also achieve an ideal equilibrium, indulgent and rich without being too heavy.

DSC_0106

DSC_0155

Not to mention the quipes—fried balls of bulgur wheat dough stuffed with chicken, beef, or cheese—a classic dish that arrived in the Dominican Republic by way of the Arab world (you might have tried its Middle-Eastern cousin, kibbeh).

DSC_0129

Upon biting into one, Sophia’s first words were “I just wanna dive into it.” In fact, she named it her favorite of all the dishes she tried, which is certainly saying something. According to Zakiya, it’s a customer favorite as well; almost every Dominican who comes to Keyaan’s orders empanadas with a side of quipes, and they’re far from disappointed. One regular swore that their empanadas are even better than those of the most famous restaurant in Santo Domingo. Needless to say, authentic is an understatement.

DSC_0139

If you’ve managed to make it through the savory stuff without getting too full, you won’t be disappointed by dessert. There’s a wide selection of batidos in flavors ranging from the classics to irresistibly creative inventions. The fruitier options (strawberry, papaya, coconut, and mango) are made the Dominican way, with evaporated milk, while the richer varieties (chocolate, vanilla, Oreo, Kinder Bueno, Ferrero Rocher, galleta Biscoff, and magdalena) are made with ice cream for a more American-style milkshake. They’re served in enormous glasses and topped with whipped cream, ideal for sharing (or not). Not too sweet, perfectly rich, and deliciously creamy. You might be surprised at how fast you can finish one.

DSC_0098

Galleta Biscoff batido: “Like drinking a cookie”

Still hungry? Try one of the sweet empanadas, dreamed up as a way to combine Aderly’s talents with Zakiya’s passion for baking. The same perfectly fried dough, stuffed with apple pie, dulce de leche, nutella cheesecake, Oreo, white chocolate, strawberries, or pineapple… it’s clearly a match made in heaven.

All of the desserts are made entirely from scratch, and rumor has it that Zakiya’s cheesecake is the best in all of Spain. If you want to taste it in all its glory, you can order it by the slice as well as in empanada form. For something a bit more traditional, try the majarete or habichuelas con dulce, classic Dominican desserts made from corn and beans, respectively.

DSC_0174

White chocolate caramel cheesecake

To wash it all down, you can choose from a variety of espresso drinks made with Dominican Café Santo Domingo (“Even the coffee is amazing,” according to Sophia), including bulletproof coffee and affogato. Or give into temptation and go for Zakiya’s signature Nutella hot chocolate, or the Dominican specialty morir soñando (orange or passion fruit juice mixed with evaporated milk). If you want something a bit lighter, there are also several kinds of natural juices.

DSC_0089

Keyaan’s offers weekly specials and events that draw a crowd of expats and locals alike. If you want to sample as many empanada flavors as possible, you’ll appreciate Lunes de Locura, when mini empanadas are available for just €1 each (and larger ones for €2.50). There are also monthly language exchanges, giveaways, and much more on the horizon. Zakiya has big dreams for Keyaan’s, hoping to one day turn it into an international chain with locations in London, Santo Domingo, and the United States. Her customers are already begging her to expand, so they can feed their newly formed empanada addictions no matter where in the world they may be.

DSC_0077

For now, though, we’ll have to be satisfied with this cozy café and its incredible power to transport us from the center of Madrid to the middle of the Caribbean. Keyaan’s is unquestionably authentic, but it’s so much more than that: it’s a place where real homemade food takes center stage, giving us a taste not only of Dominican culture but also of the genuine tradition, dedication, and love that’s folded into each and every empanada. No wonder we keep coming back for more.

DSC_0121

Professional taste-tester Sophia enjoying Keyaan’s specialties

Info

  • Facebook & Instagram
  • Address: Calle Blasco de Garay, 10
  • Metro: Argüelles and San Bernardo
  • Phone: 915 99 38 76



Cervezas Madriz: Craft beer with Vietnamese treats in Chamberí


There is no doubt that Madrid has a long-standing relationship with beer, but the city’s newly thriving craft beer scene is revitalizing the bars of its diverse neighborhoods. Cervezas Madriz Hop Republic attracts those in search of a damn good craft beer and does not disappoint. Each week, their eight taps rotate to include their own artisanal beers as well as a selection of other local and craft beers.

Cervezas Madrid by Naked Madrid

Cervezas Madriz exemplifies the balance-and-blend authenticity of Madrid from the heart of Chamberí on Calle Cardenal Cisneros. The chic bar draws inspiration from the city itself by naming its craft beers after barrios (including their very own Chamberí) while adding a unique spin to the menu by featuring Vietnamese-inspired tapas. The cat, symbol of Madrid residents, can be seen throughout the bar on every label and menu.

Cervezas Madrid by Naked Madrid

It was Thursday night; my friend Annette and I were seated on the last pair of bar stools except for those in the back corner. The lively atmosphere was amplified by the sounds of chatter and laughter while the bartender, Javi, gave us an overview of the beer list and suggested we try a tasting flight of some of the most popular.

And so we did.

Cervezas Madrid by Naked Madrid

Bar-goers are invited to educate themselves while they enjoy themselves at Cervezas Madriz. The menus feature profiles on selected brews and enumerate the proper way to taste beer.

Cervezas Madrid by Naked Madrid

Following the steps, Annette and I tried the four beers on our flights. While my favorite was the Chamberí and hers was the blonde Arapíles, they all were perfectly paired with our tapas of dumplings and spring rolls.

Find your new favorite artisanal brew? Not to worry, Cervezas Madriz can bottle it for you take bring home.

Madriz offers a fresh, new atmosphere where craft beer connoisseurs can taste the spirit of Madrid.

Info

Facebook & Web

Address: Calle Cardinal Cisneros 21