By Fabiolla Loureiro – www.fabiollaloureiro.com
Ah Madrid! One of Europe’s best gastronomy capitals.
Travel within the villages of Spain and you will find that each has its own speciality. Travel to Madrid and you will find all flavours from Spain. In Madrid, eating is important. It’s one of life’s premium pleasures. Meaning, a social event taken very seriously where one should invest hours to savour it like the best thing in life.
Madrid is today one of the biggest seafood market cities in the world. Not only that, it is in fact home to the second largest fish market in the world, the largest one being in Tokyo.
Mercado de San Miguel
With that said, one of the ‘must do’ visits in Madrid is undoubtedly Mercado de San Miguel, the San Miguel Market. Located just a few metres from Plaza Mayor, the biggest food market in Madrid is a nirvana for every gastronomy lover. It was constructed from 1913-1916, purchased by private investors in 2003 where it was extensively renovated, to reopen in 2009 with its beautiful irons structures.
Today, the market is not only a cultural place, but also an important gourmet location in Madrid, with more than 20 food stalls which houses a huge variety of food and drinking.
Once you hit the market – doesn’t matter if it’s 12:00 pm or 5:00 pm – if you love seafood, you have to stop, drink and eat at the Morris stall. You will understand why madrileños and people from all over the world are so passionate about Morris seafood and stay there for hours drinking and eating.
The owner, José Bonales, aka El Morris, is a super host and makes you feel very welcome, explaining about the place, the seafood, the wine that goes better with each plate. What I mean is, Morris makes you feel like you are seated in the finest restaurant in Madrid, and – best of all – at a very competitive price. His Galicia oysters are the best I’ve had in my life. Juicy, tasty, a bliss for all five senses! And not only oysters, but also Galician octopus, lobsters, anchovies, shellfish, shrimps, barnacles, mussels, clams, scampi, prawns and scallops. Remembering it makes me feel like being there right now, eating everything! “Our product is very fresh, seasonal and of great quality,” Morris says. And indeed it is. It is a fantastic high-quality fresh product.
Morris has a great history. His family has owned this place since 1947. From a time when the stall used to be a traditional place, Morris is the only one from the old days. Not long ago, Monserrat del Valle decided to change the concept of the traditional market, that was lacking customers, and elevate it to a delicatessen gastronomy venue. So she started to buy all stalls, one by one, but not Morris. Not this one. El Morris didn’t want to leave the place where his grandfather started everything. Luckily, he managed to keep it and reinvented his stall from fish market to a new gastronomy place. A delightful place where you can consume all kinds of seafood platters, have some great wine and enjoy the atmosphere of Mercado de San Miguel.
Don’t miss the chance to indulge in the best Galicia oysters at Morris, a place where Bonales has mastered the art of seafood. You won’t regret it.
Last but not least, when I met Morris I was having a glass of wine at his friend’s stall El 19 de San Miguel, where Misael Rodríguez offers a wide range of wines, I mean, the finest Spanish selection carefully picked and updated every three months. If you want just to have some great wine and chit-chat with a friend, that is also a fine spot inside the market.
My point is, if you love excellency in Spanish cuisine, don’t miss the chance to visit Mercado de San Miguel. The buzz that surrounds the place is a memorable gastronomic experience. Located at Plaza de San Miguel, s/n 28005, Madrid, it is open from 10:00 am to 12:00 am from Monday to Wednesday plus Sundays, and from 10:00 am to 2:00 am from Thursday to Saturday (this time is the best!).
Also, don’t forget to enjoy Madrid, one of the most beautiful, cosmopolitan and cultural cities of Europe!
About Fabiolla Loureiro
Based in São Paulo in Brasil, Fabiolla Loureiro has been working as a photographer since 2010. In the beginning she mainly explored fashion and nude, but in the last few years she became obsessed with travel (over 30 countries), and found herself involved with this freedom and opportunity that this kind of photography allows.
With minimum use of Photoshop, we realize in her street photography the practice of natural light, rain, silhouettes, high contrasts and cold nights. The preference with black and white comes from her inspiration, such as Brassaï, Robert Capa, Robert Doisneau, Saul Leiter, Elliott Erwitt, Sabine Weiss, Willy Ronis.
Urban chaos and the period between wars are also a constant source of study and reference. In addition, Fabiolla is one of the permanent artists of Andreus Gallery in São Paulo and since 2017 participates in an architecture/design project with Casa Portoro. In this project, she has more than 40 photos in exhibition, different measures, that are part of a few ambiances in the house in collaboration with some of the biggest names of architecture in Brazil.
In the last 2 years she had exhibitions happening in London, Bologna, Madrid and Paris, and now in March again in Italy. Her first 3 individual exhibitions took place in 2016 in São Paulo. In January 2018, she was selected as one of the members of Contemporary Art Curator, an online contemporary art magazine, that covers visual arts, events and connects artists from all over the world, and also part of Art Productions New York, a network of representation for artists with prestigious standards and vision.
Last year she returned to write about her travel experiences for us and launched her own blog sharing her influences and point of view on photography. In all those years, Fabiolla studied only 3 months at Focus Photography in São Paulo, being an autodidact artist. Now in January 2019, she received the Excellence Award from the Circle Foundation for the Arts Foundation in Lyon.