Happy Day opened with a bang just a few weeks ago and has since been attracting many a passerby with the smell of its fresh baked goodies. Happy Day is made up of three parts, each more kitschy than the next; the first is the bakery and coffee shop where you can grab something for most any part of the day, be it in the morning for a quick bite or in the evening for an after dinner dessert fix. On the sweet side there are delicious brownies, cupcakes, cookies, muffins and cakes. The cakes are also available to purchase whole to take home and come in All-American flavors like: red velvet, carrot cake, NY cheesecake and double chocolate. One of the real hard to find treats that Happy Day provides is the Bagel. Anyone who has lived in Madrid for sometime can attest that this is a rarity. They come in three styles named after the American city from which they hale: The Chicago, The San Francisco and of course The New Yorker.
The second part of Happy Day is the American general store, which provides a ration of items that are almost impossible to come across here in the Spanish Capital. Happy Day sells items like: Dr. Pepper, Pancake Mix & Syrup, Peanut Butter, Pepperidge Farm Cookies, brownie mixes, cake mixes, Jack Daniels Barbeque Sauce and many other interesting treasures. But wait, that’s not it, Happy Day also has a Hot-Dog stand, which opens-up onto the side street complete with all the fixings. Along with all of this they sell great fresh baked bread.
Happy Day is a great addition to the neighborhood and a welcome sight to anyone who thought their days of eating bagels and red velvet cake were over.
Craving a big plate of noodles or something with a little more spice than the red sauce splattered on top of your patatas bravas? Then head down to Madrid´s version of China Town/Curry Lane and order some authentic Thai food at Siam.
Located in the stretch of Calle San Bernardino well known for its wide array of ethnic restaurants, Siam is a little gem that stands out above the rest. Some things are just harder than others to come by in Madrid and one of those is a quality Asian restaurant. Although in this particular area you will find more than just a few options of global cuisine, Siam delivers the satisfaction that others lack.
Approaching the establishment your “tourist trap” radar might initially sound – menu translated in English, all too typical decorations and lots of English speakers eating inside – but press on and these fears will soon be alleviated. Realizing that Thai food is not a typical Spanish cuisine and that it would cater equally to the international English- speaking crowd, I began to browse through their fairly extensive menu. The appetizer menu offers a mix of Asian themed salads and other Thai starters. The cheapest (3.50€) and best option being the spring rolls, a pair comes out, lightly fried, crisp and tasty. If you have a bigger group and want to sample more, they also offer a mix of four starters. Next they offer soups and vegetables, including the traditional Thai soup Tom Yam. On to the main dishes, it breaks down basically into the following options: Noodles, Rice, Curries and Specialties. The Pad Thai comes with your choice of with or without meat and stands up against any I´ve tried. They also offer dishes with transparent cellophane noodles as well as a broad noodle option. Curries come in red, yellow and green and are accompanied by your choice of fish, shrimp, meat or vegetables. The green curry was the winner in my book; extremely flavourful with just the right amount of spice. The specials include plates infused with Thai Basil (quite possibly the worlds best smelling herb), spicy minced meat dishes with chilli and cilantro and a nice selection of seafood options. Siam can also satisfy your fix for a good tropical flavoured Cocktail (Mai Thai, etc.) and offers a small but sufficient dessert menu, which includes green tea ice cream.
Next time you find yourself wanting a meal from another part of the globe let Siam satisfy your craving and you won’t be disappointed.