The other day when I arrived at one of the offices where I give English classes, only one student showed up for class. The class is at 2pm, during their lunch hour and since neither of us had had lunch, and it was his birthday, he suggested we take our class out of the office. I readily agreed and we left the present perfect continuous for another day and headed out to satisfy our stomachs and practice more social English. We went to a bar/restaurant around the corner called Jose Luis, which I was happy to visit since I wanted to write about it for TapasTalk.
The bar “ceveceria” is an upscale, white collar, businessperson’s bar and the clientele reflects that. It’s located near the Paseo de la Castellana, Madrid’s main thoroughfare, and the roundabout of Emilio Castelar. Some of the businesses in the area include Price Waterhouse Coopers, La Caixa’s Madrid headquarters, several law firms, insurance companies, and several 4 and 5 star hotels such as the Hesperia Emperatriz, InterContinental, and the Occidental Miguel Angel.
At Jose Luis they serve Basque influenced tapas called“pinchos” (most served on a slice of bread) and there must be over 40 tapas to choose from. There are also full courses and “raciones” if you are in the mood for a proper lunch which is traditionally the main meal of the day. Jose Luis is a highly respected chain, which has traditional and modern pinchos. At the busy lunch time, eat at the bar, if you are quick you may get a table. The pinchos are quite good, although some are quite simple for the price that you pay. But the service is professional and the food of excellent quality
We ordered a plate of hot pinchos which cost €10.50 and included 5 pinchos, solomillo de cerdo (grilled pork loin), a ham croquette, brie cheese, battered cod and tortilla española (Spanish omelette). All cooked to perfection, the croquette was fabulous.
I then ordered a pincho of “tartar de ahumados” which was a tartar of smoked salmon and trout topped with a bit of caviar and capers. Not a typically Spanish dish and my student was a bit wary of it. I convinced him to try it reminding him its not raw fish, and he loved it. So imagine, me teaching a Spaniard about tapas!
My student ordered another pincho of brie with Chistorra, which is a mild paprika infused sausage common in the Basque province of Navarre. The lunch was great, we had a great conversation, in English of course, and got these pictures to share with you!
C/ General Oráa
Tel. 915 61 6413
Directions: Just off the Castellana and the Glorieta Emilio Castelar
Nearest Metro: Gregorio Marañon and Ruben Dario.
Visit their website for all locations, most are in the business district around Nuevos Ministeros and the Santiago Bernabeau stadium. Also on the website is a section called “José Luis le Recomienda” which has some tasty Jose Luis created recipes!