Last night we went for one of our recently adopted Spanish traditions; an evening paseo; around the neighborhood and decided to stop at my new favorite local bar, El Pajar De Manolita. Located in Chamberi close to the heart of Plaza Olavide, it is easy to miss when walking by as the intersection has bars on 2 of the remaining 3 corners. On the outside it has a textured facade and looks a bit like it’s partially below street level. So when I first spotted this joint I looked inside and could tell right away, it was a cozy and maybe a good date night bar. Last night was our 2nd time entering successfully (we tried on a Thursday at about 1:15am and they were just closing up) and upon entering, if there’s a seat at the bar grab it. They have an additional table and some bar-stools under the stairs which we posted up at until some of the seats opened up at the bar. They also have a bigger space upstairs that was open last night and hosted a few Real Madrid fans as the Copa Del Rey tournament was on.
Anyway what makes this bar great is the cozy, laid back and local atmosphere that can sometimes be difficult to find here in Madrid. Another thing that we love is the bar is run by a husband and wife duo. While the wife works the kitchen and occasionally tends the front, the husband tends bar both most nights. The wine runs from 2.40-3.50 euro and they have small plates up to some options of heavier fare. We’ve only gotten the smaller plates so far; Hummus & Chicken Bites. The Hummus was just OK, but I was happy with the chicken bites as it’s something I normally can’t get in the typically Madrid bars. They have 3-4 types of croquettas, mushroom and shrimp caught my eye on the board. But last night we opted just to stick with the free tapas they provided. First and second round we got olives and some salami jamon on top of bread. On the 3rd round we could smell Pilar making some popcorn and she graciously gave us some, I’m a sucker for bar popcorn.
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