My girlfriend and I are going to Madrid in a week, and have budgeted ~200 euros per person for 5 days of eating, Sunday-Thursday (leave early on Friday morning). At about 40 euros/day per person, that's not a large budget, but hopefully will allow us to have some great food and splurge on a nice meal once or twice.
We're not that familiar with Spanish food (much more familiar with all types of asian), but we love food, eat all types, and are quite adventurous. Given our short time, we'd really hate to waste a meal on so-so food. What we're looking for:
1. Great "typical" Spanish cuisine.
2. Outstanding dishes and/or restaurants on/off the beaten path (tend not to like touristy places)
3. Any good food in any environment (street, museum cafe, etc.)
A few specific questions:
1. We arrive around Sunday noon. It seems like there are few restaurants open on Sunday -- any simple good options for Sunday late afternoon/early evening dining for two jetlagged individuals? Maybe some great pork soup...?
2. We will be in Toledo Monday and part of Tuesday and were thinking of going to Locum or La Abadia. Thoughts? Alternatives?
3. Going to El Escorial on Thursday for a day trip, any good eating near there? (would hate to waste a meal on mediocre food!)
3. Is good asador within our price range?
4. For tapas, we were going to go to an area, probably La Latina, and just walk around and find places with lots of people and order what seems to be popular and/or looks good. Does that sound right? And how much can we expect to spend? (Just FYI, I tend to have bad reactions to alcohol, but my GF can drink)
5. Any "typical" Spanish dishes we absolutely must try?
6. Restaurants we were looking at: Principe de Viana, La Repanocha, maybe Arce (though it may prohibitively crimp our remaining budget)
Thanks in advance for your advice! Also, we would love to meet up with any hounds who wouldn't mind sharing some great food or food finds. :)