It’s not uncommon for even the most veteran madrileños to stumble upon tucked-away eateries they’ve never noticed. That’s exactly what happened to me when I was strolling along the surprisingly calm Calle de las Hileras near Plaza Mayor. The spicy smells stopped me in my tracks, but what brought me inside was the menú del día written on the window in puff paint.
Monday through Friday, El Sombrero Azul offers a menú salvadoreño-mexicano that includes a bebida (Coke products, beer, sangria, or wine) with a starter big enough to fill you up (like the pupusas shown below), a cocktail (margaritas, mojitos, you name it) along with a delicious main entree. And for dessert, you can choose from coffee/tea, cheesecake, bizcocho de tres leches, and more. All for 12€.
What’s a pupusa, you may ask?
Most countries have their own version of a warm, breaded ‘sandwich’ filled with meat, cheese, and/or veggies. Food pockets, if you will. Pupusas are the food pockets of El Salvador, and El Sombrero Azul has them down to a science. Shown above are two veggie versions, one with zucchini and the other with frijoles and cheese (my favorite).
Admittedly, I was a little disappointed in the main entree options, but only because I’m vegetarian. Meat lovers will feel right at home here among the pastelitos de carne, cazuela de cochinita pibil, tacos flauta, and the plato de carne. However, the accommodating staff offered me some pretty good alternatives, like fresh yuca (above) or huevos rancheros.
If you have room after the first two courses, kick back with a fresh cocktail. Pictured is a delicious blackberry margarita, but they also have mojitos and micheladas, as well as fresh Mexican fruit juices and horchata (although those aren’t part of the menú).
TIP: The best time to go is during the week, because on weekends and holidays the menú price is 15€.
Oh, and the same space hosts a totally different concept by night: it’s called La Cueva de Lola, and it’s all about Spanish food and flamenco shows. Post to come soon on that!
- Address: C/ Hileras 6
- Metro: Ópera or Sol
- Phone: 910 18 54 53