Monday, December 27, 2010
Madrid: Breakfast, a Meal On Your Feet
One thing to remember about Spain is that the eating hours are unlike other countries, and strict. From the early morning until about 11 a.m., you can get breakfast. Spain is not England or the United States, and breakfast is not an important meal here. Most people eat breakfast in a bar, standing at the counter. The most important part of breakfast in Spain is coffee. Every bar you stop into will have a first class espresso machine. The coffee itself may vary in quality, but they will have a great machine. Usually, the coffee is a good experience. People drink cafe con leche for breakfast. You can order cafe solo, which is a simple espresso in a tiny cup, and it will not raise eyebrows at breakfast.
As a side note, you cannot order coffee with lunch or dinner. You can get it after the meal, but not with the food. It simply is not done. Also, you do not order cafe con leche after a meal. You can order cafe solo or cafe cortado, which is a cafe solo with a splash of warm milk. This practice actually goes against my own personal coffee drinking habits, which include coffee during meals (always black) and coffee after dinner with milk. I've tried to get coffee during a meal, but I've never been able to. The waiters have agreed to my order, and then added that they will bring the coffee after the meal. It's an uphill battle.
Most bars will offer some sort of inexpensive breakfast menu, which consists of coffee and a croissant for 2 euros, or coffee with toast and jam. There is also the barrita con tomate, which is a toasted roll with some grated tomato and olive oil. Eggs are not eaten for breakfast, at all. The only way to get eggs for breakfast is to order tortilla, which is more potato than egg.