Madrid’s Turning Quite Awf…Erm…I Mean Offal…

9-11 April 2015

When I arrived in Madrid one of my priorities is to find foods I cannot easily find elsewhere, especially back in the States. I know madrileños love to each just about everything, and during my short time here, while limping around, I wanted to get as much of it as I could.

After I first arrived in town I didn’t anticipate having to limp (thanks to that moron on the Iberia flight, as I chronicled earlier) around, so the first day I went to lunch at a nearby restaurant called Lakuntza. I chose to stay in the bar area and had an interesting lunch. After a rather uninteresting potato salad and some wine, my first item appeared.

1-Revuelto de gambas y caviar de erizo

Hmmm…not quite what I expected. Revuelto for this restaurant seems to be more starchy than the usual egg dish… But this was interesting as it covererd a nice portion of shrimp and sea urchin. Mix it all together it was okay. I would honestly have preferred a more traditional revuelto rather than the Argentinian version

2-Delicias de solomillo al ajillo

The second dish was beef sirloin with ample garlic. I liked the garlic and this place specialises in beef, and it was pretty darn good — but oily.

I enjoyed the meal but was a little hungry still so ordered a plate of jamon. I won’t subject you to a picture as it was probably the worst tasting ham I’ve ever had. Do NOT order anything that’s not Pata Negra in Spain; there’s no reason for it. I could have sliced my arm off with some pieces of this ham…

I limped back to my hotel and later that evening had my little exploration in the Retiro district. The next day began a bit disastrous having slept little (again, refer to the previously-linked entry). It got worse as I got into an argument over photography with a member of the Guardia Civil. I do admit my Castillian is much better than I thought it was…

I was an unhappy chappie when I ventured to the venerable Casa Alberto for lunch. This place has apparently been here since 1827, during the second reign of Fernando VII (after restoration from the Napoleonic anomaly). I stood at the bar enjoying some wine and some house chicharrón when I ordered a larger dish. I went to sit down as this would take a bit of time to eat…


Wow…now this is awesome. A huge bowl of braised pigs ears. This is totally awesome. It’s much softened after a lenghthy cooking session; I usually enjoy the crunchiness of these treats but this is an excellent preparation. Lovely stuff that I can’t get elsewhere! In fact, the only place I’ve seen this dish reproduced in the US is, well, my kitchen a few days ago!

I enjoyed this so much and still had a bit more room in my stomach — and knowing I need to hold out until the ridiculously late dining hours for dinner — I ordered more food. The restaurant was now full and full of teutonic tourists, all seemingly intrigued by my first dish and even more by what appeared…


Yep, caracoles. Madrileños love their snails as do I. This was a huge dish in a similar tomato base. Honestly these were wee bitter, but this was a voluminous dish. The same tourists were mesmirised watching me expertly remove these treats from the shell with just toothpicks, not dirtying my hands once.

I was full and left this 188-year-old restaurant happily. Later that night I would revisit caracoles at Viridiana, and they were much better to be honest, but the oreja will live on in my mind…

The next day, after a slightly better sleep, I had a less busy day it being Saturday. I made my way a bit south of the central area as I wanted to be as far away from the Bernabéu as possible (Real Madrid at home in the afternoon). I made my way to a place that is famous for its offal, Freiduria de Gallinejas.

I walked into the unpretentious fry shop and was not sure what to have, seeing so many wiggly treats behind glass, so the proprietor fried up a sample for me. Then I knew how good it was — and I ordered. Turn away if you don’t like offal…

Entresijos y zarajos

Wow, what a dish. This comprised of entresijos, fried lamb large intestines, and zarajos, the small intestines wrapped into a ball. They were fried expertly and were amazingly tasty. No way I can find this in the US made in this way. They actually didn’t have their namesake that day (chicken intestines), but I was more than content with this rustic and hard-to-find item!

I took a long, hard walk after this oily and unhealthy lunch and nowhere as appropriate for this stroll as a large, sprawling cemetery… That night I had the utterly amazing but horribly frustrating dinner at Álbora. I was missing the entresijos and the simplicity throughout that exhausting dining experience…

I had one more full day in Madrid and I have explored a lot of good food. Frankly, the lunches at the simple places were honest and good — the Madrid I really enjoy. Shame about the other parts…

Next up, the final day…

Calle del General Díaz Porlier 97

Casa Alberto
Calle de Las Huertas 18

Freiduria de Gallinejas
Calle de Embajadores 84
Madrid, España


11 thoughts on “Madrid’s Turning Quite Awf…Erm…I Mean Offal…

  1. Hi Mel…me again 🙂
    Seems you really on a food trip on all your travels. I am getting hungry just by looking at it.
    Some of the foods are similar in Philippines such as the nails but cooked with coconut milk and braised pig ears with vinegar and soy sauce etc. and yes i like it too as it is crunchy to eat.

    Can you help me how to put the “Like” with the star on my page or blog?
    I am a novice and still learning so i only have 2 writings at the moment and only short one.
    I hope I can finally write something long and tells a good story like yours.

    Please feel free to read mine if you have time. Thanks!

    • Hi there! Yes, as you know the influence of Spanish cuisine on Filipino cuisine was strong over the Spanish period, but what’s great about the Philippines is that they turned it into its own wonderful style that naturally combines all the good aspects of different culinary cultures! I enjoyed eating in Manila, if not for the huge portions! 🙂

      As with the “like” button it depends partly on which WP platform you use. If you play around with the Dashboard you should be able to see it. Go to options and you can click so people can “like” the blog entry. I thought it was default, but WP changed it I think.

      We all have good stories, and I look forward to reading some from you! Thanks!

  2. Wow you really are a World Traveler person. You know a lot of places and foods 🙂
    Soon i hope i will have the inspiration to do a long blog especially my impending travel to ME.
    Thanks Mel.

    • The best thing to do is just write. The more you write, the easier it becomes, the more it flows out. And don’t compromise, just write what you want, and express what you want. That’s the joy of blogging, it’s all so individual and unique, an honest expression of each writer with no editorial restraint. Good luck!

      • I think it’s good. If your goal is to be honest, then it’s great to be honest and open. Let the words flow and it becomes second nature in no time!

      • thanks Mel i do appreciate your feedback. Honestly i really like your bio and your blogs as I love different type of foods! 🙂 maybe that is why i am not that “sexy” haha!

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