Cheap Eats: Chico Madrid [CLOSED]

Allison Austin Scheff  |   September 2013   |  FROM THE PRINT EDITION
The ham and queso bocadillo at Capitol Hill’s Chico Madrid

Wide open and airy, teensy Chico Madrid is such a happy place that it’s hard to know where to begin. With the tuna bocadillo on Columbia City ficelle (like baguettes, but narrower; $8), with its singing high notes of preserved lemon and its creamy house-made aioli? Or the sangria ($6), punchy, citrusy and just right, served over ice in a pint glass? Or you could start, as I once did, with dessert: The olive oil and lemon-scented magdalena cake ($2.50) is so tender and fine-crumbed that I somehow finished it while waiting for the rest of my order (whoops). No wonder the cakes are so fine: Franz Gilbertson, pastry chef and owner of Ballard’s Honoré Artisan Bakery, is part owner, along with his friend, Jacob Daley. The horseshoe-shaped bar is tiled in shades of red and poppy orange; counter seating and a few tables suggest its easy-breezy appeal. No one will notice if you’re sipping a little Garnacha with lunch, or if you decide to play hooky and stay all afternoon. Maybe a trip to Spain isn’t in the cards. I say Chico Madrid is a fine substitute. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Capitol Hill, 711 Bellevue Ave. E; 206.453.3234; chicomadrid.com

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