Casa Adela‘s chickens have been a staple for cheap eats during my time abroad. A tiny and intimate space on Calle Embajadores, Adela’s is a watering hole for the residents of the barrio. Adela’s is a family-owned business operated by Señora Adela and her sons. During their 20 years of business they have refined their process of preparing rotisserie chickens and fried chicken breasts to perfection.
Besides her culinary expertise, Adela radiates a real affection for her diners. She shows it by showering recurring clients with terms of endearment such as corazon and cariño and by taking the time to stop and talk to them about their lives, always remembering particular details from the previous conversations. I would never have discovered this hidden gem had my first Madrid apartment not been directly across from it—we would often joke about creating a delivery system via basket and pulleys.
Adela’s holds a tender place in my heart because I have learned so much Spanish slang from listening to their banter amongst themselves and with their clients. Here, the unique sense of community in Lavapies is visibly apparent. I initially met two of my neighbors, fellow extranjeros Matt and James, while waiting in line for a chicken during my first year. This chance encounter directly resulted with my absorption into the larger social circle that has now become my family.
After I moved out of my initial apartment on Calle del Oso, I feared that I would lose such easy access to my primary source of protein. Fortunately, I was told that they hired an employee to make deliveries on his scooter within the barrio for a 0.50€ cent supplement. I often stop by and say hello while grabbing a bite when walking down Calle Embajadores. It’s comforting to frequent an establishment that is visibly frozen in time and has gone unchanged for 2 decades.