A little while ago, my friend Maxime took me and another friend to a restaurant he had heard about called El Rincón de Jaén. We had just finished a very long day at school and I was so hungry that all I could talk about was ice cream (which I’ve been known to crave when the weather gets warm).
The restaurant has a number of locations in Madrid, but we went to the one at Calle Don Ramón de la Cruz 88. The restaurant itself was cute with the bar and walls made of stone, white tablecloths and green plants hanging about. It gave the place a very quaint feeling – accented by the two old men sitting at the next table that did not say an entire word during their meal.
Not only was the atmosphere great, but the place provided a fantastic food experience from start to finish. We approached a table where there was already roasted almonds and fresh bread already waiting. It was nice to feel that the restaurant was ready to serve us from the get-go. We quickly ordered a drink and along with it came some Spanish cheese and chorizo (I am a big fan of both).
My friends and I decided to share a platter of three different types of beef. Our meal came with an appetizer and we excitedly chose a salad. Vegetables are often hard to come by in Madrid restaurants and most of the time you meal does not come with a side so the salad was a welcomed change. It had lots of delicious vegetables including roasted red peppers and a simple oil and vinegar dressing.
I was already starting to get full by the time our platter arrived, but didn’t have any trouble digging in. I don’t remember the names of two of the types of beef, but it doesn’t matter. I recommend anyone going to El Rincón de Jaén go straight for the solomillo because it was the best by far. The platter also came with grilled asparagus and tomatoes – more vegetables!
It was a great meal and I was definitely satisfied and ready to go home and rest my full belly, but it wasn’t over yet. As those who are living in Madrid know, often a meal is followed by a small shot of a sweet digestive liquer. This is common, but the great surprise was that the liquer was accompanied by small orange juice slushies, chocolates and even small ice cream treats. I was a little creeped out – had they read my mind about the ice cream?
I happily gobbled up my desserts and walked home satisfied that the restaurant was able to provide me everything I could want in a meal, even though I had only ordered a drink and some meat. Such a well rounded meal is rare in Madrid so I encourage one and all to make their way over to El Rincón de Jaén. Thinking about it makes me want to go back. Thanks Max for the great discovery!