There are two great incentives to working hard at the national library in Madrid:
the first is, the place is air conditioned and given that it reached about 40 degrees at mid day this was welcome.
Of course, should one be forced to pound the torrid streets, there are always shops selling these:
Or cafe terraces with these vintage style water spray fans - so effective, when accompanied by a cool beer.
the second is the canteen. An average menu del dia comprises of the following:
First course could be: Gazpacho OR Arroz a la Cubana (white rice, tomato sauce and a fried egg) OR Paella OR salad (various - e.g. 'Russian salad')
Second course could be: Magro con Tomate (pork cooked in tomato sauce) OR Sardines OR Fillete (beef steak) OR Roast Chicken OR Escalope - with either green salad OR chips
Pudding could be: fresh fruit (a slice of watermelon, for example) OR baked apple OR flan OR rice pudding
In addition, there is bread and wine OR beer OR water - all for just over 7 Euros.
Did I make you hungry? One fares equally well in the outside world though, look at this gorgeous plate of Salmonetes (little red mullets) with Pimientos de Padron (these were hot little so and so's.... have you ever had them?):
And, yes, I did find what I was looking for in the library as well!