Situated just off Calle Pez, Abrásame is a fantastic restaurant specializing in traditional Caribbean and Latin American cuisine such as grilled chicken, arepas and tostones, at great prices.
I went with James on a Friday night and we were quickly greeted by Carmen, one of the owners, who guided us through the menu. Their specialty is pollo a la brasa (charcoal-grilled chicken), made with love and marinated in a secret sauce (she did let out there’s ginger in it).
We also couldn’t resist ordering the ribs marinated in orange and honey, so we shared half portions of each. Both were packed with flavor, incredibly tender and not too greasy at all, something I much appreciate.
Their arepas are also musts according to Carmen. I had the delicious reina with chicken and avocado, and James ordered the carne mechada which was truly unbelievable (€4.40 each). They came with two homemade sauces: Abrásame Piri Piri (spicy) and Guasacaca (mojo verde), a traditional Venezuelan sauce made with avocado and parsley that I loved and slathered over everything. I’ll be dreaming about these till I go back for more.
To top it off, we heeded Carmen’s advice once again and ordered the quesillo, which to my surprise has no cheese in it! It’s similar to flan but oh so much better. It was seriously to die for – if you’re going to share it, a battle will surely go down to get the last bite.
After wiping our plates clean and finishing off our beers, we got the chance to chat with both the owners, Carmen (from Extremadura) and Ronald (from Venezuela). Both have called Madrid home for over 15 years, having lived in Malasaña since they first arrived. They decided to open Abrásame six months ago because they noticed Madrid lacked authentic and well-made pollo a la brasa.
At first they were going to open a take-away place but because preparing this dish requires a big grill with a large ventilation system, they ended up creating a full-on restaurant that seats around 35 people. The space is very welcoming and well-designed. They also have a comfy couch you can wait on if you decide to order to go. One of their main sources of business is takeaway and home delivery.
So, folks, with such delicious food at prices this good, I wouldn’t think twice about getting your home-cooked Caribbean-Latin American flavor fix here!
Address: Andrés Borrego, 16, Malasaña.