Mola Mucho: Bolero Meatballs
Meatballs are fun. There's no denying this. I'm almost certain that it's a scientific fact: everyone loves meatballs. When I found Bolero Meatballs, I may or may not have squealed. The menu is simple, and straight-forward and the customer service is phenomenal. I made the mistake of challenging their idea of "spicy" because, on the menu it's advertised as "Have you got the cojones?" I responded — without missing a beat — No, but I've got the ovaries! I shed 5 thug tears and will always come back for more. Bolero Meatballs, you're a gem. Spicy sauce, it's a marathon, not a sprint. I'll see you soon.
There are certain comfort foods that make me smile when I find them in random places i.e. not the US. This includes, but is not limited to: Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups (not the pieces), giant Dominican avocados, and Captain Crunch (with berries). There are some dishes that provoke strong, and undeniable feelings of nostalgia, and meatball subs are one of them.
Meatballs: they’re so simple when I think about it, but so rare, especially in Spain. The meatball sub is a childhood favorite from way back when I indulged in the meaty, saucy goodness and it evokes nothing but fond memories. When I discovered that there was a restaurant with only one item on the menu—the meatball—my heart did a summersault and I strongly considered making an (veg-ception) exception and diving face-first into a meat and sauce filled dreamland. Luckily, I didn’t have to because at Bolero Meatballs, there’s even a vegan take on the classic!
It isn’t rocket science; it’s a meatball! There are four options on the menu: the chicken & parmesan, the “oriental” made of pork and drizzled with cilantro and peanut sauce, the “abuela” or grandmother style with beef and tomato sauce and the vegan which is made of quinoa, shitake and comes with your choice of sauce as well. The sizes: three balls or four. Boom. Boom. Bam. No explanations necessary. If you’d like something more filling, you can order rice or chips. They’ve got homemade cookies, cocktails and juices to wash it all down. The service manages to be laid-back, and attentive all at once. I felt as though I had just rolled up to the house of an old friend, and they said: look, we’ve got meatballs and we’ve got beer; you want one or the other, or you want both? Both please!
There are two or three tables outside that make for the perfect people watching section, as well as tables and a bar inside. The owners are chill, and friendly, and to be frank, their tagline is “eat my balls”, so in short, we’re probably meant to be best friends. No frills, no words that are unnecessarily long and complicated, and no reservations required: roll (read: walk) up, tap the window, and let these savory, meaty, and hearty balls take you back to simpler times of pick-up softball games, and scurrying home before the streetlights turned on. Go, eat their balls and tell me later how you have zero regrets for doing so!
Danni, Community Director at Las Morenas de España, is a twenty-something, Chicago native currently residing in Madrid. Lover of language, words, and travel, she's managed to combine all of her passions through her work. In her free time, you can find her exploring the winding streets of Madrid, hunting down good flight deals, planning her next adventure and writing & researching for LMDES. Danni loves spicy food, natural hair, music and of course, her wonderful life partner. If you need to find her, she’s the girl with huge hair and her face buried in her Kindle.