El Rocio: serving the biggest mussels in Madrid
Casual, buzzing, local. El Rocio is a local secret, although it might attract some tourists that got a great tip from their Spanish friends to eat there. Overall though it is very local and unpretentious. Its location in the central barrio Salamanca in Madrid is convenient as you can pop in between browsing the Madrid’s sights or just before or after going to a cinema. The staff os super friendly, effective and speaks some English so no worries about getting something else then you ordered.
Food: Casual, honest and excellent quality of the ingredients. Many lucky seafood eaters who know, come to El Rocio regularly and order just the mussels (in Spanish: mejillones). Once you see them, you will understand why. Yet, it is not only their size that impresses many of the constantly returning seafood lovers, these mussels also taste wonderfully! Juicy, sumptuous, delicate with a mineral salty touch from the sea … a glass of a refreshingly aromatic white Albariño (wine from Norther Spain) … a group of nice friends – equals a heavenly time out perhaps not just for me. Usually they are served in a spicy broth, but you can ask for a non-spicy version as well if you are not a fan of too hot food.
After eating a pot or two of such marvellous mussels, you might feel like switching to something simple and different. A plate of fried Spanish green peppers with flakes of crunchy salt goes well not only with a pint of beer, so popular in Spain, but almost any white wine such as the Albariño. The later does a great job balancing the oily texture of the fried veggies.
Other tapas such as fried onions, squids and other seafood are optional, but make sure you do not miss out trying possibly the biggest mussels ever in this casual setting right in the centre of Madrid. It is an ideal spot to get a quick bite before going to the cinema, night club or at any time you feel like having a plate of honest seafood.
Cuisine: Spanish seafood
Visit: November 2012
Price: Medium to low (great value for money for the quality you get).
Drinks: From sangria, beer to great value for price/quality wine you can drink anything that will not ruin your wallet while enjoying the taste. The drinks mostly suite well to the tapas style seafood served at El Rocio.
Address: Pasaje Matheu 2, 28012 Madrid, Spain
Contact: Tel: +(33) 91 523 31 93