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As mentioned on a quite a few occasions on this site, it is well worth trying out Spain’s famous "menu del día". Whilst wandering around the Castellana last month, I took a shortcut to the area around Republica Argentina to try and locate a restaurant I went to in my ‘youth’! This part of Madrid is mainly residential, even though it is a stone’s throw from Nuevos Ministerios, and is very wealthy with quite a few embassies, consulates and private colleges located here. It is also one of the few areas in the city centre which has 2, 3 and 4-story houses/buildings.

It didn’t take much to find the restaurant – Casa de Aragón – as it is located on one of the corners of the Plaza de la República Argentina. It is a great place to have lunch (and no doubt dinner) and visitors can choose either the terrace or indoors. I opted for menú del día the popular lunchtime meal which includes bread and a drink (often a bottle of wine). The menu del día is a great Spanish invention and given its reasonable price, starting from around 6 Euros, means it is enjoyed by people from all walks of life – the day I went there were workmen in their blue overalls, businessmen in elegant suits, pensioners and young students.

When I went the starters on offer were lentils or Aragonese salad, followed by Spanish meatballs (with fries) or small red mullets; the dessert I selected was Galician Almond cake (Tarta de Santiago) though the selection went up to around 6 items. I had a beer but could have ordered a bottle of house red wine. The price for this ‘home-made’ meal was around 8-9 Euros, which is in most people’s books is damn good value. Just on the other side of the Plaza you will find the excellent Arturo restaurant and on another corner the Atalaya restaurant – both offer good value menús del día.

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