Mola Mucho (Madrid): Restaurante Sombrero Azul
Lost. Don´t get Lost.
When it comes to dinner at Sombrero Azul, that's the first piece of advice I can give you. The restaurant is tucked away between Plaza de España and Gran Vía. Once you find the right street, beware: blink and you'll miss it, which is especially frustrating when you've spent 20 minutes trying to find it. It´s almost like something out of a novel. Walk down a pretty much empty street and find the tiny door that leads to a cozy little space.
Next tip: Don't make too much noise. That was a hard one for my group because we were a large party. Seven Americans at the same table doesn't exactly make for quiet dining. At the same time, it's a bit irritating to be mocked, and later shushed by your server for having the nerve to do things like talk and laugh over dinner. I mean, we're a large group at a large table. What were you expecting? Hand holding and Gregorian Chants? Monks on a silent meditation retreat!? Between the shushing and the “Girl, Bye” attitude we got, by the end of the meal we felt we were inconveniencing the server just by being there. But I can get sarcastic servers anywhere. I came here for the pupusas.
In case you don't know, pupusas are a Salvadorian dish made with a handmade corn tortilla and filled with goodness. I ordered three pupusas revueltas: pupusas with all the fixings — queso (cheese), chicharrón (pork), and frijoles refritos (refried beans). (If that's not your style, you can get them with just one of these ingredients). They were only 2€ each and trust me when I tell you: Three pupusas is enough. They came with several sauces and a kind of coleslaw dish to go on top. One of the sauces was rumored to be spicy, but my New Orleans tongue felt nothing. I was full, happy (with the food, at least) and the price was more than right. With my sangria, the grand total was 8.50€ and when you're on a budget... that can't be beat!
As we left, we made sure to thank the cooks and bartenders for everything. We also said goodbye to our server as he walked by... He didn't even look at us. Nice.
Would I come here again? Well, I would like to return and try a few other things on the menu. If I have a die hard craving for Salvadorian food and I'm in the area, yes. Otherwise, I'm on the fence. The pupusas at Sombrero Azul are great, but I'm not spending 25+ minutes on the Metro for them.
Khephra is a New Orleans native, who re-located to Madrid, Spain at the absolute end of 2013. Some of her favorite things are: food, Theatre, yoga, tinto de verano, and traveling through the country she's only seen in dreams. She can usually be found wandering through the streets of Madrid [because she's lost... again], or at an intercambio. When she's not accidentally cursing at old ladies in Castellano, or wading neck-deep into the dreaded dating pool, she spends her free time working to be a better writer, teacher, and dancer.