I briefly mentioned something about a very good steak in my previous post about Madrid. Well, it was sooo good, it deserves it's own post.
Prior to my most recent visit to Madrid, I lived there for 14 months in 2002/3. Whilst living there, I found a rather posh Argentinian steak restaurant (chain) called La Vaca Agentina. This was the place where I'd had the best steak ever. Well, it's been toppled by a humbler establishment.
I can't remember the name of the place, but I think it was something like "la Cien" and it's located on the corner of Calle del Capitan Blanco Argibay and Calle Mundillo, behind Plaza de la Remonta (Google Maps). It's a little restaurant situated in the back of what looks like any other Spanish bar. One of my colleagues lives just round the corner and happened to discover their fabulous steaks out of pure luck... and hunger.
If ever you go, you must order the "solomillo a la parilla". This is a very large, thick chunk of sirloin steak served on a very hot ceramic bowl like skillet with a sprinkling of sea salt and a huge plate of chips to share. The steak is seared before being served and you can then cook your steak to your liking right there at the table. This is very much like the good old fashioned hot rock steaks Spur in SA serve (I wonder why don't they serve these in the UK?) but in a more basic sense. You're even given bibs to protect your clothes from sizzling splashes.
I think the beauty of this is it is plain and simple, no fancy sauces or dressings, just a huge chunk of meat and chips. And contrary to what I've heard, the sea salt really seems to help keep things juicy and tender and really enhances the flavour.
Oh and when I say huge, the average size of the piece of meat the 7 of us got was about 3 inches wide, 4 inches long and about 2 inches thick. Now that's what I call a real steak, however I could probably have polished off two of these :-)