by Katie Goldstein
I love a neighborhood bar with its requisite old men, antiquated decor, and dirty floor, but sometimes it’s refreshing when your neighborhood bar isn’t that way. So it goes with the Taberna de Moncloa — a place where owner Luis calls everyone jóven (youngster), regardless if that person is young or old, a long-time customer or newcomer.
Luis envisioned his local differently than many neighborhood spots in Madrid. There’s a large flat-screen television perched high in one corner of his small bar, but it’s always tuned to a music channel playing jazz. The clientèle is markedly younger than any of the bars in the vicinity, and it’s definitely not because he calls them jóven.
But maybe the best part about the Taberna is that Luis offers a grand menú del dia (set lunch menu), and a welcome variation on the tried-and-true primero and segundo (first and second courses) found in so many neighborhood spots. For only 6.90 Euros, this menú includes a green salad, and choice of two tostas (toast with someting lovely on top) from a menu of 85 different kinds, plus the requisite drink and coffee. The tostas range from the typical jamón con tomate (ham and tomato) and many varieties of tortilla-topped bread, to more inventive ones like bacon with dates and solomillo (sirloin) with Brie and mustard. It’s one of the best bargains in the city.
Open Tues.-Sun. from early to late. Closed Mondays.
Metro: Moncloa. Calle Andrés Mellado, 45 (corner of C/ Fernández del los Ríos). See map below: