San Ginés and La Reina Sofia

Lunch on our second day of Madrid was extremely disappointing; so much, in fact, that my friend and I decided that we couldn’t just go on with our day after such an unsatisfying meal.  Thinking back to our previous travels, we knew just the thing to revive our taste buds: churros.

In Madrid, the most famous churro place is San Ginés.  This hundred-year-old institution is supposed to have the most traditional form of churros and chocolate.  Apparently, it’s also a popular stop for a lot of famous celebrities.  The walls of San Ginés are covered with pictures of celebrities who have eaten at the store.

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There are two types of fried dough that you can get at San Ginés: churros or porras.  San Ginés’ churros are thinner and crispier than the ones we had at Valor in Barcelona.  They also have grooves especially for dipping into the chocolate, a nice feature to get maximum chocolate coverage.  Porras are thicker, softer, and reminiscent of doughnuts.  The ones at San Ginés tasted good, but they were so oily that we preferred the churros.  We had ordered the smallest portion of two (€1.30).

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The chocolate was not as thick as the one we had at Valor, but it had the better taste because it was not overly sweet.  This chocolate was much more manageable when it came to drinking.  We ordered one chocolate with six churros (€3.80).

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My friend also ordered a café cappuccino (€2.40).  She said that it was good because just having the chocolate would have been too much.

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It’s easy to see why San Ginés has been so popular for so many decades, and it’s amazing that the store has been able to adhere to tradition for so long.  The churros and chocolate that we had at San Ginés were certainly comfort at its best.

After San Ginés, we knew that we had to be on our feet to walk off all those calories or else we would fall into a food coma, so we headed for the Reina Sofia.  The museum features works of art from the 20th century, and it’s most known for housing Picasso’s Guernica painting.  Temporary exhibitions are not open after 2:30 PM, so go early if you want to see them.  Also, you can’t go in order by floor if you want to see the collections chronologically.

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The Reina Sofia houses the most bizarre work of art that I have seen to date.    I entered a dark room with what looked like an old film; thinking it might be a movie from the ‘40s, I lingered longer.  Big mistake.  The seemingly old film was a reel of just a tree and a low voice quickly chanting “tree” over and over.  I nearly screamed because it gave me the chills.  My friend’s reaction was just as bad.

One of the museum volunteers saw us come out with terrified faces, and he agreed that it was an awful work of art.  He told us that no one who had gone into that room ever came out enjoying the movie.  Afterwards, we looked up the exhibit.  The tree movie was made by Jackson Mac Low, and it’s titled Tree Movie.  We couldn’t figure out Tree Movie’s artistic value, and frankly I don’t believe I ever will.

8.5/10
San Ginés
Pasadizo San Ginés, 5
28013 Madrid, Spain
www.chocolateriasangines.com

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