Welcome to Madrid, city of the living, the vibrant and elegant capital of Spain and a cosmopolitan jewel of the Iberian peninsula. With a rich and ancient past you can literally taste Madrid’s history in its food, and while it’s easy to get lost in the cobblestone lined streets, there is one place where you can literally step back into history, or at least your stomach can. Restaurante Sobrino de Botin, the oldest restaurant in the world.
This is one of the best meals you can have in Spain, if not the world. But don’t take my word, listen to Hemingway who writes about Botin in Death in the Afternoon: “…but, in the meantime, I would prefer to dine on suckling pig at Botín than sit and think about the accidents which my friends could suffer.” I have to agree Ernie, the suckling pig is better then listening to all the accidents your friends could suffer (who are you hanging out with bro?), infant dear Papa loved Botin so much he wrote about it again in the Sun Also Rises: “We lunched upstairs at Botin´s. It is one of the best restaurants in the world. We had roast young suckling pig and drank rioja alta. Brett did not eat much. She never ate much. I ate a very big meal and drank three bottles of rioja alta.”
I’m not sure what’s up with Brett, because I was salivating before I even got through the front door. Let’s break down the meal for you a bit … first the finest succulent pigs are first basted then slow roasted in a clay pot in this ancient wood burning oven for hours until the color of dulce de leche. Then there is the ballet where they are butchered, split and carved by these culinary magicians. Throw in a little au jus and some roasted potatoes, add back the finely carved roast pig, and you have a dish so good it’s kept them in business for 300 years making them the oldest restaurant in the world, filled not with just amazing food, but amazing history.
Every corner of this restaurant had some amazing curio from the past that makes it so much more than just a place to eat. Beautiful stained glass windows, and fine pieces of porcelain line the walls, halls and even the steps here making it more like a museum then a restaurant. Jose had me running up and down through three floors of 3 centuries of Spanish history that this unique restaurant kept safe.
I am happy to report that Botin’s pedigree is well deserved and the meal here lives up to the legend. Crispy, mouth melting crackling candy coating a juicy pillow of flavorful meat that shreds on the fork, that once placed in your mouth renders the diner absolutely speechless . In a word this meal is simply fantastic, and a good indication that Botin will be here for another 300 years if we’re lucky.
Thanks for watching, this episode brought to you by Get Lost Magazine (www.getlostmagazine.com) and Kosmos Tennis (www.kosmostennis.com) who is hosting this years Davis Cup Tennis Finals in Madrid!
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