Madrid: Where to eat & run (Feb 2017)

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Madrid airport. I was in love with the architecture here already.

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Plaza Mayor at sunrise.

Many people told me I should spend more time in Barcelona and that I would like it more, but they were wrong. Not that I didn’t like Barcelona, but I feel like Madrid is underrated. I loved Madrid for its old cobblestone streets, the architecture, the random flower shops, the huge park where I went for a sunrise jog, and all the colors and history.

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CaixaForum 

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Templo de Debod

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Mercado de San Miguel was a food hall with lots of vendors selling jamon, wine, tapas, and I loved it. I loved walking around trying out different things.

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Tapas for 1 Euro each!

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Jamon everywhere.

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A glass of wine was only 1 Euro more than water, so I ordered wine everywhere I went.

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Chocolateria San Gines for churros and hot chocolate

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Street XO, a casual hip gastronomic restaurant whose menu features these:

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StreetXO is Chef David Muñoz’s more casual and affordable restaurant. We waited for maybe 15 minutes before getting a seat at the bar where we got to see the chefs work right in front of us.

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PORK BELLAYYYY! All of their dishes were creative and the decor reminded me of a Willy Wonka world.

And amazing, unique cocktails:

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Suckling pig at Botin, “oldest restaurant in the world” — tourist destination

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Rioja is a must.

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Of course I played around with some nighttime photography.

On my sunrise jog the next morning, I stumbled upon a glass palace inside el Parque del Retiro:

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Loved the details.

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This park reminded me of Central Park in NYC. I loved running solo here, and I felt safe. I used my offline Google Map (that I downloaded ahead of time) to get from the hotel in Plaza Mayor to here (~1.5 miles) and back. Highly recommended if you like to run on vacation.

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Sunrise + rainbow!

 

 

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Travelogue: New Orleans Day 3

We started off the morning with breakfast at the Ruby Slipper Cafe — one of the highest recommended breakfast/brunch places in NOLA. We didn’t go to the original location for fear of long lines (we had many things to do for the day!) but went to the newer location just a few blocks away.

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Eggs Cochon – basically pulled pork eggs benedict… it was kind of bland and such a disappointment.

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“Southern breakfast” is where it’s at. Eggs your way, bacon, biscuit, grits! Still, for the price you pay, you’re only paying for friendly service and wide booths to sit in.

We walk back to Chartres St and pass by a magical cup floating in the air… works of voodoo, they say. Everyone looks up and takes pictures.

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Of course, the cup is “suspended” in midair held by a thin string across buildings.

We arrive at our next destination, the New Orleans Pharmacy Museum.

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$5 entrance fee and if you go on Friday at noon, you get a guided tour. Why not?

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The tour was wildly entertaining and informative. He went over the history of the museum and told anecdotes about the physician who owned it and lived upstairs, and the alleged crazy experiments he performed on his patients.

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There is a second floor with exhibits.

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Too bad we had an important reservation to tend to. We left before the tour ended to go to Restaurant August for their special Friday lunch prix fixe, recommended by a friend who raved about it endlessly. The $20 special is only available on Fridays. Keep in mind this is another one of John Besh restaurant, a fancy one that normally would cost way more. And wow was it worth it!

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Their extensive beer and cocktail list was unique and fun.

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We start off with an amuse bouche.

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We also ordered a gnocchi dish (outside of the prix fixe menu) and it was the best gnocchi we’ve ever had.

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Crawfish bisque was creamy and had 2 little crawfishies swimming in it.

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Pate de campagne came with lots of pickled sides and mustard and marmalades.

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Beef.

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I loved my shrimp.

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Dark chocolate chiboust with peppermint and feuilletine – amazing!!! The peppermint element was on point.

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Progress buttermilk panna cotta with strawberry consomme and pistachio – one of the best panna cotta I’ve ever had, and I’ve had a lot…

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Even though the prix fixe was only $20 each, our total came out to be a LOT more due to alcohol and the gnocchi dish. No regrets though, as this restaurant became one of my favorites.

Next, we walk over to the St Charles cable car stop…

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We took the St Charles line uptown.

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To Audubon Park we go!

 

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Many joggers and nature lovers walk along the paths. A great way to spend a lazy afternoon.

 

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Then we walk through the Garden District.

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Creole Creamery. I love unique ice cream flavors like Lavender honey and Sarsaparilla!

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We continued our walk. Beads were everywhere!

We wanted crawfish boil but were tired from our day of walking, so we went across the street to Daisy Dukes.

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More gumbo.

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Lemon pepper wings.

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Crawfish at $10/lb. It was okay but later on we found a better place… (More to come in the next post)

We took a stroll through Bourbon Street at night.

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