Olde Madrid on 6th Street in Racine is a quiet restaurant (or at least it was when I visited, which was the day after Valentine’s Day). My date and I were greeted by a very nice woman who kindly showed us to our seats in a matter of seconds, without making us feel rushed. The restaurant we walked into was romantically lit with several small tables lining the walls and larger ones in the center of the floor. Considering it was a cold night, being greeted warmly and being seated in a comfortable spot for two near the wall of the establishment was greatly appreciated. When our waitress appeared, she kindly asked for our drink orders and left us to look over the menu by candlelight. There are a great variety of tapas, both cold and hot, not to mention other menu items, including paella. My date and I decided to go warm with the tapas and to partake in the baked goat cheese tapas, baked in a sweet tomato sauce, and served with grilled slices of baguette drizzled with olive oil. It was sweet and yet savory, and very filling on its own. With a burst of familiar flavors, the baked goat cheese was a genuinely tasty treat.
For our second tapas, we had the Serrano ham wrapped potatoes. When they arrived to the table, my date was concerned, given the bright red color of the oil the potatoes were sitting in, that the dish would be too spicy for her. Luckily, they were not. The potatoes were salty, that over-salted quality that usually comes with restaurant culinary selections. They were not heavy and the Serrano was cooked until perfectly crisp, a nice contrast to the soft potato. With a nice sprinkling of fresh parsley, the potatoes took on a light lemony flavor, which helped to alleviate the potential heaviness we feared we may run into.
We, believing that the meal would leave us wanting, ordered, alongside the tapas, the Don Quixote paella. This dish was outstanding. We had recently made paella on our own, but wanted to see what Olde Madrid had to offer and we were not disappointed. When the pan of paella came to our table, we were astonished to find how large the serving was. About a 14″ sauté pan came to the table, and inside it was the Don Quixote, a paella with grilled chicken and pork tenderloin, as well as bits of peas, carrots, and wedges of lemon strewn throughout. After the surprising portion size of the tapas, we were barely capable of denting the paella, which felt wrong because it was so good. The lemon flavors worked nicely with the pork and chicken, and the rice was perfectly seasoned. To our great happiness, when the check arrived, we found ourselves entirely content with our stomachs, and our total came to less than thirty dollars. We were in and out in less than an hour. The food came out quickly, but perfectly. The portions were generous, and the cost very slight. If you’re planning a date in the near future, with a new flame or an old, I highly recommend Olde Madrid for its quick service, hospitality, and its fantastic menu. You will not leave disappointed.
Article by David Haight