Just like it’s name, Restaurante Ojalá is unique to Spain. With an indirect translation of “hopefully,” or “God willing,” Ojalá’s label reflects its laid-back atmosphere in Madrid’s creative neighborhood of Malasaña. Another novelty restaurant, Ojalá has a touristic catch— you can dine in sand. Though the idea of having a meal sitting cross-legged on a just-barely raised cushion in a basement full of sand would be a nightmare for some, I could not wait to experience the novelty.
Unbothered by the hour-long wait for our abajo (downstairs) seats, I was intrigued by the aesthetic of the establishment. American music by some of my favorite artists, such as Kendrick Lamar, Future, and The Weeknd, floated around the aqua blue dining room, over hanging spider plants and tables of friends out to brunch. Offered from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., we came for the eggs and juices on the brunch menu. Upscale diner fare, the eggs Rancheros that I ordered was a sophisticated twist to the usual omelette-with-hot-sauce that I prepare on Sunday mornings. My milkshake, though it tasted delicious, was runny like regular milk, not thick, like I prefer. A great meal for a great deal, ojalá que I return!
Madrid has many markets. From food, to flowers, to groceries, to everything else, meandering from stall to stall on a lazy Sunday is relaxing retail therapy, even if you don’t make a purchase. Open only on the second weekend of each month, the Mercado de Motores was a priority on this weekend’s schedule.
The Mercado de Motores is held in Madrid’s Railway Museum in the old Delicias train station. Not only did historic locomotives serve as the backdrop to vendors’ booths, but shoppers could venture inside the vehicles for a visual train ride back in time. Customers were continually transported to decades past with vintage clothes and décor. Food trucks, homemade goods, and innovative products, however, assured patrons that the Mercado de Motores is alive and thriving, a must-visit market in Madrid.
These pictures are for you, PopPop. You would have loved the trains!
- Use an ATM connected to a bank. Just before brunch at Ojalá, one of my friend’s debit cards got stuck in the ATM. Fortunately, our program advisor warned us that this could happen to foreign cards. The rule is to use an ATM outside of a bank, so that if the card gets taken, you can return at opening the next morning for the best odds of retrieving the card.
- Restaurante Ojalá
- Calle de San Andrés, 1, 28004 Madrid
- Popular metro stops – Tribunal, Noviciado
- Mercado de Motores
- Museo del Ferrocarril, Paseo de las Delicias, 61, 28045 Madrid
Paz, Amor, Madrid