Friday, November 14, 2008

La Daniela

I like modern restaurants that have been thought about, that are functional and serve decent food. You call yourself a restaurant because you serve food, not style. The problem being that most of these modern restaurants have been designed by people who have never worked in one. In other words the food should be the star not the interior. And the food is the star in many Spanish restaurants, but then they take it too far sometimes. Strip lights, stainless steel counters and plastic furniture. More like a canteen than a restaurant. Anyway the theory goes that the dirtier the floor, the better the food. You can see ladies in pearls throw napkins, bones, fish bones or whatever is not edible on the floor, sans gêne. It is a habit, albeit a primitive one, quickly picked up which I am only aware of when I have visitors. I read somewhere that Spaniards are the biggest consumers of bleach in Europe and from experience I can tell you that they live to clean, at home that is, because as soon as they leave the house they turn into, well, never mind. Anyway, this is supposed to be about food and I want to tell you about La Daniela.

The restaurant is a typical old fashioned bar restaurant with a bar for tapas y cañas (beer) and two dining rooms where they serve Cocido Madrileño and no, they do not have plastic furniture.

Cocido Madrileño is the typical Madrid dish that consists of a meat stock and vegetables, chickpeas and cooked meats served separately. It looks very rural. Madrid is a big city but the connection between the city and the farm is never far. It is especially great during the colder months. I would probably faint having this meal in August. It is also the main dish served here and it made me think how great that must be for a business. Concentrate on only that which you are good at, you can't lose and neither can the customer, unless of course you get the wrong people to serve the food for you. This, thankfully is not the case in La Daniela. The staff are professional and don't think of themselves as more important than the customer.
As a bar the place is great as well; the cañas are cheap, the few tapas that come with them are good and the place is always packed, with or without a dirty floor.

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