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Why life is more fun closer to the equator

Eating Madrid #5

Something special is happening at the end of this month in Lavapiés. It’s a one-euro tapas crawl which they’re calling Tapapiés. I’ve got my eye, as usual, on the immigrant food. This photo is of a tabouli that Alma Café is offering. Then Chez Farida will have a lamb couscous and Maisha will do Indian fare. It looks like there are several offerings from the Canarias, which has a very nice cuisine about which I still need to learn more. And Lamiak is Basque. I’ll report back in a few days on what not to miss.

I’ll take this opportunity to mention another cuisine that I should have sampled long ago, which is Senegalese. This summer I tried the dish thiebou diene at Touba Lamp Fall (Calle Amparo 61). This savory rice dish with generous portions of vegetables and fish is a nice alternative to my usual cravings for Moroccan couscous. Lavapiés has a second Senegalese restaurant that I’ve yet to try, Baobab (officially at Cabestreros 1, which is on the far side of the plaza on Mesón de Paredes). It’s closed on Tuesdays and seems to keep typical (restrictive) Spanish restaurant hours. So whereas Touab Lamp Fall and my favorite Moroccan restaurant are almost always open when I might want to eat (be it at 2 or 5 or 8 PM), Boabab just often isn’t. Even with the tantalizing smell of food wafting through the air, I’ve been turned away, most recently at 5 PM. Takes the wind out of one’s sails, doesn’t it?

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