If you follow the food press you’ll know that eating in is the new eating out, and so I don’t really need to go into that. I could throw a few fancy pants tricks your way (pour truffle oil over thinly sliced courgettes, sprinkle with parmesan, trust me your guests will coo like turtle doves), but since the whole point of Thursdays is to provide somewhere cheap and cheerful to spend your hard earned centimos over the weekend, I’ll point you instead to a place where you can get a hulking great steak grilled over real flames.
Hailing from Valladolid, the Vino Tinto (C/Aribau 27, 93 451 1027, www.vinotinto.es) franchise now has branches all over Spain and Portugal, and as restaurants from Old Castile tend to be, it’s rib-sticking stuff—chorizo Maragato (spicy), Morcilla de Burgos, slabs of pa amb tomaquet topped with Cecina de Leon—with a few token salads thrown in. That’s about as far as the nod to rusticity goes: the front has a fairly slick looking bar with a great selection of wine (mainly big, beefy reds), the rear a large, 'designer' canteen with thick wooden dining tables, generating a raucous Friday night atmosphere, every night.
With all this conviviality it’s easy to blow the budget at Vino Tinto as the prevailing mood tends to make you want to eat and drink like a lord. But if you stick to a hunk of properly hung and aged beef—the chuleta de buey for 2—seasoned with a firm hand and char-grilled over hot coals so that they form a delicious chewy crust with a juicy pink centre (it comes with a baked potato, and a couple of grilled peppers) and a bottle of the house wine, you should get out of there for under €30 a person. Conversely share a stack of starters and skip the mains.
PLEASE NOTE THAT AS AT FEBRUARY 2010, THIS VINO TINTO RESTAURANT WAS CLOSED