Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Tasty Tuesday: El Brillante

Calamari sandwich with World Cup special edition Spain-coloured peanut M&Ms :D

Cholesterolly foods are delicious. Don't lie, because I won't believe you.

And one of my favourite forms of it is seafood - clams, mussels, crabs, shrimps, lobsters - especially calamari!

Seafood plays a big role in Spanish cuisine because they have a lot of access to the sea, being a peninsula. There are all kinds of seafood tapas, appetizers and main dishes here, and I LOVE them.

So when I was doing my research before coming to Spain, I read up on (affordable) must-try foods in Madrid, and one of them happened to be calamari sandwiches (bocadillos de calamares) from El Brillante.

This joint was splashed all over lots of blogs, sites and guidebooks, so I finally made the pilgrimmage one day with my girl JD, when she was here visiting me.

We were on our way to Toledo for a day trip - which is breathtaking, by the way - and we decided to get a sandwich to eat on the train, since the restaurant is right by the train station.

And, I must say...it was quite good.

I'd had two other calamari sandwiches in Madrid before this one, and this one was the best, although it was also the priciest, clocking in at...just under 6 €, I believe, while the other ones I had were slightly smaller but 2-3.50 €.

When I had calamari sandwiches before, the calamari was always a little underdone, in order to prevent it from getting too rubbery. There would be little to no batter on the calamari, which would be fine if I were eating them alone, but in a sandwich, it just made me mouth brutally dry.

My sandwich at El Brillante was better than the other ones because the calamari was done just right - not undercooked and not overdone by any stretch of the imagination. It was also very, very lightly battered, which was perfect because the little bit of batter not only adds a pleasant crunch and texture to every bite, but also because the batter retains a bit of oil, which moistens the sandwich slightly.

A co-worker advised me to ask for mayonnaise next time, though, and I will definitely be taking her advice.

The bread, however, could have been improved. I prefer calamari sandwiches to be served on crusty bread with fluffy insides - this one was served on a chewy roll. I love chewy rolls by themselves, with jams, butter, or fillings that don't take much chewing, but paired with calamari, I don't think it's the best combination.

But despite that fact, this was indeed a very, very good sandwich and I would recommend my friends to visit this place if they ever decide to go to Madrid - for the sandwich and to take a picture of the kitschy, giant calamari sandwich that stands outside on the patio! :P

El Brillante
Plaza Emperador Carlos V, 8
28012 Madrid

1 comment:

Stace said...

Lol you didn't explain the m&Ms :D