For many years my father has worked at the Telefónica building located in Gran Via 32, a privileged location from which you can contemplate the beautiful chaos of the most famous street in Madrid. My father, from whom I can say proudly that I´ve inherited the pleasure for eating, has visited some of the best restaurants in Madrid, and thanks to him I learned to appreciate eating good and travel miles for a good stew or a good steak. One of his favorite restaurants is just behind Gran Vía, next to his old workplace, is La Tasquita de Enfrente. The history of this restaurant dates back to the time when Triball was not Triball, and the neighbourhood was only frequented by “prostitutes”. Although there is still a lot of that, this are on the backs of Callao has become one of the rising neighborhoods in the city. La Tasquita (whose story can be read on their website) is a family business started by to Juanjo Lopez‘s father, but only when he took over, the restaurant became a place of pilgrimage for any self-respecting gourmet. Years later, my father still remembers some of the dishes that you could taste in this peculiar place that does not have a menu.
Personally, I´ve been able to visit only through my father´s stories given that La Tasquita is not exactly one of the cheapest places in town. And precisely because of that, I was particularly excited to hear about Juanjo López´s new low-cost project: El Porrón Canalla, just a few meters away from the original location of La Tasquita. The Porrón Scoundrel is a completely different concept from its predecessor: it´s a very casual factory-like decorated place, with concrete walls, graffitis and long wooden tables where you can have sandwiches and wine / beer jars. But despite the change of concept it shares with La Tasquita the traditional flavors and quality products.
You can choose among three types of bread for the sandwiches. Bread comes directly from Viena La Baguette, also a traditional family business currently located in the Mercado de San Anton that apparently has become the favorite supplier of many bars in Madrid. And for inside the bread: Iberian cold cuts from Arturo Sánchez, canned food from Galicia (Frinsa) and some cooked sandwiches such as the traditional squid one. In summary, the best quality products in order to honour their slogan, “bocatas de madre”. Also most cold supplies are avalaible to take home.
And as you may have guessed from the name of the place, you must order your drink in jars, might either beer, red or white wine, sangria or sherry. Altogether, having lunch or dinner will cost no more than 20 euros pax. It´s a casual and cheap plan and the only thing we might improve is the lighting which creates a non-so-cozy atmosphere but the scamp style and the tasty sandwiches are totally worth it and make it perfect to stop by before going to Teatro Por Dinero, or before continuing drinks around Malasaña, or if not, also for lunch during the day if you visiting the city center and want to get away from the crowds of Gran Via.
And… tomorrow May 28th you have a chance to try these cool sandwiches accompanied by a vermouth thanks to the guys of Vermutería Pop Up who will be there from 1 to 4 pm making us enjoy with vermouth Miró. And if you follow them up on Facebook, you will find other events such as the “Sandwiches by” where they invite over celebrity chefs to prepare limited edition sandwiches for one day. The last one was the pastrami sandwich by José Andrés, so you see these guys know what they´re doing. Do not miss it!
El Porrón Canalla is located in calle Ballesta 2, metro station Gran Vía (L1 y L5) and Callao (L3 y L5). Opens from Monday to Thursday 1 -4 pm and 4 pm – 1am , Fridays 1-4 pm and 7 pm – 1,30 am, and Saturdays non-stop from 1 pm to 1,30 am.