BOTIN, MADRID: THE OLDEST RESTAURANT IN THE WORLD

Posted: September 22, 2014 in Carnivore!, Food, pork, restaurants, Spain, travel, Uncategorized
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Restaurante Botin, in the great old city of Madrid, Spain, is a must-visit. At first, I thought it might be more of a tourist trap. But this establishment, which holds the Guinness Book of world records for oldest restaurant (it opened in 1725), has some fantastic dishes that you just can’t get anywhere else.

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The suckling pig at Botin is world-famous. If you’re a vegetarian, you’ll probably be freaked out to see the row of little pigs on plates, waiting to be placed in the almost-300-year-old wood burning oven. These suckling pigs were only 20-something days old when they became dinner, and the slow-roasted flavor of this pork is like nothing you’ve ever had before. The roasted baby lamb, a gamier lamb than most Americans are used to, thanks to its grass-fed upbringing, was also exquisite.

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imageCroquettes are big in Spain, as popular with the kids as nuggets are here in the states. And the croquettes at Botin, breaded and fried to a perfect crisp on the outside, with an oozy, creamy cheesy center, are addictive.

The servers, handling three levels of dining rooms, are fast and efficient, but also have time for a sense of humor.

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Just around the corner from the Plaza de Mayor, the city’s best people-watching location, Botin is my kind of attraction: a food museum where they still create many dishes like they did hundreds of years ago. In fact, the famous artist Goya was a dishwasher here in his youth, back in 1765.

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Walk around the restaurant, and check out the different rooms that have been renovated over time…and the ones that have been there all these years. It’s a fascinating trip through history.

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