Time Out rating:
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Time Out says
Wed Jan 27 2010
It’s a simple set-up at this low-key Spanish café: queue at the glass-fronted counter, point to what you want, wait while it’s heated up and plated, then squeeze on to a table (not easy on frenetic Saturday lunchtimes). The food is equally fuss-free, with staff dispensing ladles of rich cocido madrileño stew, slabs of empanada and robust chorizo in red wine. The quality can be hit and miss; bland, dry albóndigas (meatballs) left us unimpressed, while ratatouille-like pisto manchego (served without an egg) was superb, along with beautifully light triangles of tortilla. Despite the lunchtime crowds, there’s no sense of rush; along the mirrored counter at the front, lone diners pick at paella and sip cervezas over the café’s well-thumbed copies of El País and El Mundo. Tables at the rear are a sociable mix of chattering Spanish students, weary shoppers and well-heeled locals. Sweets range from thin, crunchy olive oil and aniseed biscuits to slices of dense, almondy torta de santiago and some extravagant cream-filled confections. The best seller, though, is the unctuous hot chocolate – best consumed at a contemplative pace, with ample supplies of sweet, doughy churros.
Café Garcia 246 Portobello Road