Have you ever had a really great waiter - knowledgeable, attentive, attractive, helpful - and then waited for over 20 minutes for the first sign of food prep, in an open kitchen yet, even though you ordered only four tapas and were the only customers in the entire restaurant?
Strange sensation. I don't recommend it. As we sat and sat and sat at Madrid, we played the game of, "Hypothetically, how long would it take to get our order if all the other tables were full and had ordered before us?" Well that got old quick, especially when we figured it would be upwards of four hours.
Really, if you're going to have an open kitchen, please get a chef that doesn't wander around looking like it's their first day. Does not inspire confidence. We had just decided that we would leave if it took one minute longer, when we heard the patatas going into the fryer. We sighed in relief, almost there. I mean, everybody drops the fries a minute or two before everything is served, right? Then we waited 20 more minutes, wondering if someone else had called in an order of fries. Nope. It really was our order. We saw them coming out after 20 minutes in a WARMING DRAWER when they could have been dropped on the spot and served fresh and hot.
The waiter arrived with the fries and our other two dishes - yes there were supposed to be three others, but for some reason, the sliders weren't ready yet... after 40 minutes. The first tiny plate held eight matchstick thin asparagus (not even pencil thin, matchstick I swear!) huddled beside teensy dried out slices of jamon (ham) and a brush of balsamic on the plate. Then the mystery began. Was it supposed to be a hot dish that hot gotten cold? Or was it a cold dish that had been left out too long. Neither was a comforting thought. Funny thing: none of it had any flavor to speak of. The ham had a little saltiness to it, but no richness of umami, and it turned into unchewable jerky in the mouth and had to be swallowed whole or spit out.
The fries were flabby, cold slivers of what must have been potatoes once, but they were fried so dark I won't swear to it. The aioli could have used some salt and garlic and lemon - anything to make it taste other than olive oil mayo that had been left out too long.
Along with those un-lovelies came three gooey somethings that tasted like Chicken a la King cream sauce wrapped in pankow and fried.
And then in another 17 minutes the sliders arrived. Dried out husks of yesterday's bread with burnt black grill marks on it, soggy in spots from too much aioli, but... I'll give them points for the burger itself. Obviously made from quality beef. Too bad the "chef" did not know the old trick of pressing a thumbprint into a burger so it will not billow up into a golf ball.
So long story long enough, we finished our meal with bread husks that sandwiched a golf ball of really good beef, with tasteless aoili drooling down our wrists. And when we were finished, guess what? Still hungry. But not for anything Madrid had to offer. Then or ever again. Not even a free coupon.
One nice thing I have to say, that great waiter was very understanding when I sent the fries back. And I think I heard him call goodbye as I walked out before my hubby even finished paying the bill so I could stroll on down the cute little "ruelle"... looking for a place to eat.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
August 20, 2013
As co-owner of Madrid Tapas y Sangria, I would like to thank you very much for your visit, and for your constructive feedback! It is wonderful to hear that our service was excellent! However I apologize that your overall experience did not meet your expectations, and I assure you we are taking every step to ensure that these issues do not persist.
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We tend to take a bit longer than other large restaurants or fast-food style places, and this is for a better quality outcome with all of our food preparations. Everything is made fresh from scratch everyday. We take great pride in the quality of our dishes, which means we must be consistent. Our homemade aioli has always been a favorite of customers, and we will diligently make sure all cooks are following our high standards so it continues to impress.
Despite what I have mentioned above, there are no excuses for having to wait as long as you stated. We have never had a ticket time reach such lengths, and that is completely unacceptable. Our staff will be informed of this and it will be remedied immediately. To address your specific concerns, we do not actually have a "warming drawer" as you described seeing in the kitchen. We do have an oven, but we do not have any heat lamps or warming devices whatsoever. This is to encourage fast, fresh, and speedy tapas. I apologize again you received the opposite, and the staff members working that day will be informed of this failure.
The asparagus dish is sauteed just before being served, and the serrano ham is seared. If it was not to your liking it should have been replaced immediately, I apologize for this oversight. This is the only dish where we sear the serrano ham, giving it crispness that many customers find desirable with the fresh asparagus.
The described "chicken ala king" tasting dish is the traditional and authentic way of serving croquetas. The creamy filling is homemade bechamel, which is similar to a roux. We have had many customers including Spaniards traveling from abroad comment on the quality and reproduction of this classic. I assure you we would never use Panko, or anything prepackaged and prepared of that nature. I apologize that they were not to your liking, and we always gladly refund or replace anything a guest does not completely enjoy.
We do take doneness requests with the beef sliders, I am happy to hear that you found the beef to be high quality and delicious! If there is not a request (such as medium or medium-rare) they are prepared well-done.
Thank you again for your visit and review! I hope you decide to return, tapas are smaller portions and it can take more than a couple to fill up depending on your appetite. If you do decide to return, please consider our happy hour for a great value, everyday from 4-6pm. I assure you will not be disappointed, we have a staff that puts a lot of love and effort into our restaurant, and we challenge them to never compromise, and deliver 100% satisfaction every customer, every time. We hope you will give us another chance to not only impress, but exceed expectations.
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.