Horchateria

“Viva los churros!” is the quote that will greet you at the Horchateria Rio Luna cafe. Located in Paramount, California, Horchateria opened its doors in March 2016, and boasts a menu with traditional Mexican treats like the concha (a pan dulce found at any local panadería in Southern California), churros, agua frescas, and a variety of horchata. Horchata is traditionally a rice-based beverage with cinnamon and sugar but this cafe steps up their game by creating ice cream sandwiches with their conchas, and ice cream sundaes substituting churros for bananas. *Drools*

There are vegan options available and a variety of sweet sauces for your churros. During my outing with two other friends I ordered an horchata iced coffee and churros with a Nutella and lechera drizzle. It was decadent. It was sweet. It was gone quickly. My friends ordered concha ice cream sandwiches and one had a cajeta drizzle. The ice cream itself was horchata flavoured so expect hints of cinnamon. Overall, this cafe is a must and you should definitely make the trip out here to indulge and willingly put yourself into a sugar coma. Added bonus: souvenirs are sold including totes, dia de los muertos-styled items, concha-shaped bags, and lots of Frida decor. For a full menu, click here.

 

Madrid, Te Amo!

Siestas are much needed. I know this now. Large lunches in the afternoon and tapas at night are a way of life in Madrid, or at least it was my way of life when I visited over the holidays. I ate so much during lunch that I needed a nap (didn’t take one though), and by night I wasn’t that hungry so, I ate small plates, or tapas. Totally get it now. Here are the food highlights during my stay:

Cañas y Tapas

I visited this tapas hotspot in the Sol district of Madrid where you can order a beer and get a free pre-set tapa. That’s right, free with each purchase of a drink. Talk about your 2 for 1 special! Unfortunately, I am a vegetarian but my carnivorous friends got to benefit from my meat-happy tapas. They do have vegetarian tapas, which I ordered: Verduras Fritas (fried vegetables) and Tortilla Española. Yum!

Chocolatería San Ginés

Within walking distance of Cañas y Tapas is this wonderful churro mecca. There is the sit-in café as well as a take-away shop directly across the street if you don’t want to wait for a table. The procedure: order at the register, get your receipt, find a table, provide waitress/waiter with said receipt, and patiently wait for churros with cups of chocolate. These are traditional churros, so you won’t find them sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon, instead, you get plain churros with mugs of chocolate. You then dip your churro in the mug and bathe it in chocolate deliciousness.

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Café Irlandés

I also ordered an Irish coffee, because why not? (Café Irlandés on the menu). And woah. It was like whiskey with a hint of coffee. It was so strong that my waitress saw that I drank it all and patted me on the back for my accomplishment. Needless to say, after the beer at the tapas place and the Irish coffee here, I was a little drunk. #WorthIt

El Caldero

Along the Barrio de las Letras is this A-MAZING paella restaurant. Cards on the table: I got drunk here as well, but to be fair there was only two of us and we shared a bottle of wine, and to top it off, our waitress surprised us with aperitifs at the end of the meal. For appetizers, I ordered artichokes that were breaded, fried, and bathed in garlic. It. Was. Delectable. My friend ordered jamón ibérico, which you can compare to prosciutto. Most of the main courses are for two as the paellas are large and a waitress will serve you at the table. We ordered the vegetable paella and it was glorious! I couldn’t even finish my half. It’s also served with three different types of aioli. If you are planning a trip to Madrid, this paella place is a must.

La Casa del Abuelo

Located just outside Plaza Mayor is this tapas place established in 1906. We ordered una jarra de sangría (jug of Sangría) and patatas bravas, which is potatoes covered in a hot sauce. It was delicious and I was keeping my buzz going from visiting El Caldero earlier. Don’t judge.