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Slow Food in the Fast City

February 25, 2016

Lunch at Mums Madrid

Weekday lunches are a nuisance for me…

In a perfect world, lunch would be my moment of relax during the day. I could just imagine myself sipping a nice glass of wine and people watching between courses during a midweek lunch. Yet, lack of planning in an already tight schedule has often times led me to just grab-and-go whatever I can get my hands on, no matter how fabricated and tasteless it may be. The few times I have been able to stop for something nice, I really haven’t enjoyed the experience. By the time I order, wait for them to prepare it and get it to go, the stress of the commute back to work and trying to shove it down my throat takes away all of the meaning.

Though this is a reality for me and many expats living in Madrid, this ‘grab-and-go’ ideology is the polar opposite to our adopted culture. Madrid (and Spain in general) is the stomping ground for the Slow Food nation. Taking your time is deeply ingrained in the culture and lunch is no less. The Spanish definitely believe that food is meant to be savored and the longer the experience, the more enjoyable. Even if “fast food” is the choice, it’s still served by Spanish rules: A gang of friends, two or three beers and at least an hour of conversation. (Side note: You haven’t lived until you’ve seen someone eat a burger with a fork and a knife!) En fin, being busy has never been an excuse for a true Madrileño to not have a proper, healthful, sit down meal at any time of the day.

lunch in madrid
Lunch that will meet you in the middle

To be honest, I wholeheartedly believe that Spaniards have gotten it right with their taking life slowly philosophy. Though many of us find it hard to fully adopt, this very lifestyle is what draws thousands of expats to Spain in the first place. If there was anything I would want to gain from my time in Madrid, it would be the ability to enjoy every moment of life.

Lunch would seem like the logical start but, at least for the time being, I can’t ignore my ‘busting at the seams’ schedule—

So where is the middle point?

That’s where good ‘ole MuchBites has come to the rescue. For the next few weeks, MuchBites and I will be on a journey of finding the best slow food in town on a city schedule. We do what we do best: Trying out different lunch spots in the merry city of Madrid that cater to busy people and then bring you all the stats (i.e. wait and travel times, prices, atmosphere and, naturally, overall quality).

Rest assured, this journey would not be complete without you! So stay tuned and chime in below with your suggestions as we tackle this slow food challenge one well chewed morsel at a time. Of course, if slow food is not your thing, you can check out the quick lunch edition.

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More about Mitzi Wallace

For the past 10 years, filling out Change of Address forms has become one of my many guilt obssessions. Yet, despite the miles and cultural experiences that have come and gone, one thing has never changed: A good plate shared with great friends makes my heart sing! So sit back and tune in as I continue my journey around the world, one bite at a time.

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