ask Edgard about
local food • culture • outdoors • walkways • designer clothes • pop culture • views
a bit about Edgard
What do you do and why do you do it?
I am a Brazilian journalist/photographer who came to Spain to spend a sabbatical year... in 2006. Life brought me here and life made me stay.
You’re broken hearted - what tracks does your heartbreak playlist consist of?
Probably some REM (Everybody Hurts), Tom Waits (Downtown Trains), Jeff Buckley (Hallelujah), Bruce Springsteen (State Trooper), Pearl Jam (Black) and last but not least, the best Brazilian song ever recorded: "Romaria", sung by the amazing Elis Regina.
What are the best TV shows of all time?
Let's try and not to be obvious: "Friday Night Lights", a hidden gem about a football coach in a small town in Texas that tells you all you need to know about friendship and love, "Six Feet Under", where you can find an acidic but kind view about family dynamics, "Luther", the best detective show ever made, and "Orphan Black", because of –obviously– Tatiana Maslany.
Name some spots in Madrid that are good for a Tinder date.
It depends... the CBA (Circulo de Bellas Artes) rooftop is an incredible place to be at sunset, tailor made to impress romantic souls. But if you want some good old fun and to conquer your date showing your best moves, maybe Siroco is your place: there's a reggae night on Tuesdays and every Friday is dedicated to black music (soul, funk and groove). Take your pick.
Who’s your hero and where in Madrid would you take them out for a serious hang?
My hero is the one and only Ernest Hemingway, whom I'd take to a place called "Prada a Tope", where you can find delicious tapas and meals, and the wine from the Bierzo region, which is as good as the product from La Rioja and Ribera del Duero.
Where do you buy those fabulous clothes of yours?
As a tall guy (1,90m/6'3") and a big lover of the Spanish outdoors –in 30 minutes by car you can leave the city and find true Mediterranean scenery– I mostly buy my clothes in the mountain shops in Calle Ribera de Curtidores, where you can find everything from North Face, Columbia and Trango. Sometimes I'd go to Malasaña to look for designer T-shirts.
What’s the area/ spot in town you’ll never be caught dead in?
That's easy: Madrid's discount malls. They're always located in dead neighborhoods and there's nothing to do there but shopping.
What’s the thing you LOVE to do in your city that you never get to do?
Being a photographer, I go to lots of places, but sometimes I wish I could just stop for a minute and wander around without having to do something. That's what I did mostly when I came here almost eleven years ago and that's what I miss the most from these first days: walking slowly and seeing the city as a newcomer.
What’s the most decadent / extreme dish you ever ate in Madrid and where did you get it?
Chitterling is something most of the locals consider a delicacy but a foreign palate can find it a little to the extreme side –deep fried and salty lamb intestines can be a bit too much, who'd figure? But if you're in an adventurous mood, one of the best places to try it is at Freiduría de Gallinejas, in Embajadores.
Is there a hidden bar / hole in the wall in Madrid that you particularly like?
Sala Palermo, located in a garage in a residential neighborhood outside the city center orbit, is a sure way to get to know Madrid's underground better. It has a prohibited vibe rock'n'rollers will love.
What’s the most expensive restaurant / spa / hotel you’ve ever been to in Madrid? How much did it cost and what did you get there?
I went to La Terraza del Casino –a restaurant which in its early days had none other than Ferran Adriá as a consultant and today is under Paco Roncero's supervision– during a photo session. Luckily I didn't have to pay the bill because the menu is for VIP's only: around 110 euros per capita.
What restaurant in Madrid looks crap, but the food’s amazing?
That's hard to tell, because lots of places looks cheap and dirty but they're amazing places to eat. One of them, the restaurant A' Cañada, in Barrio de las Letras, is the perfect example: no design furniture, but where the the always cold beer is served with very well made typical Spanish "tapas".
Where can you get the best cocktail in Madrid? Which one do you like?
The Fabuloso Coconut Bar, in Malasaña, is a sure choice. Ask for a Tequila Sunrise and dive to the basement, you can do no wrong.
Where would you take your partner in Madrid if you wanted to really pamper them?
I'd surely start with the best "spa experience" in Madrid, the Arab Baths of Hammam Al Andalus. There we'd first dive in pools filled with warm, hot and cold water, then we'd spend some time in a Turkish sauna before letting their experienced masseuses give us a traditional Arabian massage. That's my definition of how to spoil someone properly.
Which snacks can you only get in your country, and which ones do you recommend?
First, "jamón serrano", ideally "pata negra" –sorry, Italy, prosciutto can't compete– and second the Spanish omelette ("tortilla de patatas"), a delicacy that only the ones who tasted it can vouch for the incredible mix of flavors.
What’s the one place you think is overrated in Madrid?
The restaurants in Plaza Mayor. They're a tourist trap.
What’s the one place you think is underrated in Madrid?
Chamberí is out of most of the tourist guides, but it's a neighborhood filled with good places to eat and drink, besides being at just 10 min from city center. It's a place that usually only the locals go to party. But you can go too!
What are the Madrid spots a first-time visitor can’t miss?
Gran Via, Sol, Plaza de Oriente, Parque del Oeste, Plaza España, Malasaña and Lavapiés. You can do all of this in just one day, walking, so there's no excuse to leave Madrid without knowing at least these places.
Tomorrow’s your last day in Madrid. How do you spend it?
I'd probably go to Lavapiés, start with a beer with "boquerones en vinagre" at the Bar El Boquerón, then I'd go to another round of beers at El Económico, and surely would eat at one of the many Indian restaurants that made this neighborhood famous. Then I'd go to the Reina Sofia Museum (a 10 min walk from the main square of Lavapiés) to have a last look at Guernica, the most incredible painting there ever was.
What’s your favorite vacation city in the world and why?
Cudilleros, in Asturias. It's a city built in a giant rock wall facing the sea, hidden behind a bay with deep blue waters. Do I have to say anything more?