12 days in Spain & 4 days in Paris- 9/12/14- 9/9/28/14

Madrid -Day 1 Madrid -Day 2

Madrid- Day 1 - Dinner at Botin

I saw on the Travel Channel an episode with Andrew Zimmern eating crispy roasted suckling pig at Botin (pronounced: BOTEEN) and I told myself I will go there one of these day...

I make reservation 1 month ahead and I was able to get the firs seating at 8:00PM.

Restaurant Sobrino de Botín in Madrid is certified by the Guinness Book of World Records as being the oldest restaurant in the world.

Botin has been operating continuously since 1725. Originally opened as Casa Botin by Jean Botin and then it was inherited by his nephew Candido Remis, which changed the name to Sobrino de Botín (nephew of Botin).


It is exactly 8:00PM and people are lining to get in.  If you don't have a reservation then don't bother 'cause you ain't getting in.   The restaurant is always full with tourists all around the world and also lots of locals business men.


The door is open and we are ready to get in....

The kitchen with lots and lots of roasted suckling pigs.


Here is a better view of the roasted suckling pigs.

The place has a rich history and is rumored that Francisco Goya (Spanish painter) worked as a dishwasher here.  It used to be Hemingway’s favorite restaurant during his days in Madrid.  Hemingway wrote about eating suckling pig and drinking Rioja Alta (red wine from Spain) towards the end of The Sun Also Rises, a novel he published in 1926.

The menu at Botin is very limited. They are serving traditional food and their specialties are roasted suckling pig and roasted lamb. It has basically been serving the same food since the day it opened its door.

The restaurant has four levels and we were given a choice to pick so I selected the cellar which I think has a unique look.


Loan and I looking at the menu

Simply Plate setting


The place filled up very rapidly.  Remember this is the 1st seating people keep trickling in.


Hoa and Minh selected a nice bottle of Spanish red wine which was recommended by the waiter.

Dominio De Atauta  2010 is pretty decent red wine.

We definitely miss not having our sommelier extraordinaire with us.

For appetizers we choose a green beans with Iberico ham




The green beans is Spain are long and flat but they are very tasty.


Next we ordered some Blood sausage from Borgos.  They are called Morcilla in Spanish.

Morcilla is generally a thicker sausage, about 2 1/2 to 3 inches across, stuffed with pig’s blood, rice, onions and spices, although like all Spanish cuisine, ingredients will vary from region to region. Morcilla from Burgos has the reputation for being the best in Spain and that is what we are tasting tonight.


Morcilla are very different from the French's blood sausage called Boudin.  Morcillas tend to be milder due to the rice filling and I think the fried it so the Morcilla are crunchy.

Minh and Hoa selected the Cordero asado, lamb roasted in the old Castillian way.

The roasted lamb is also one of their specialty.


It is simply roasted and served with potatoes.

Loan and I we ordered the Roasted Suckling Pig which is their most famous dish on the menu.


The skin was crispy but could be crispier, the meat was moist and very tasty.  Did it leave up to expectation?  I think it was over hyped.

If I have to compare, I think Chinese version is better.  The Chinese really master the technique of roasting suckling pig.  The result is a crispy skin that will disintegrate in your mouth. I am still I was able to eat at the oldest restaurant in the world.  It was a nice experience.

Loan and I enjoying our meal.


Not much left on the plate....



For Dessert we ordered an apple pie with ice cream.

The apple pie tart was very good.

After our meal I went upstairs to see the other 3 levels of the restaurant.  On my way up one of the waiter are platting the roasted lamb and roasted suckling pig for a large table.

We are in the cellar below street level, now I using the wooden stairs that look like they have been here for over a century.

This is the 1st floor - Each floor is a decorated differently.  The 1st floor has wood paneling.


The 2nd floor has blue and white titles.  I could not go to the 4th floor as it was off limits.

After our meal we are heading out...

The facade of the restaurant is made with beautiful sculpted wood, with big windows.

In the windows the most outstanding moments are displayed in the restaurant’s history, as well as its credentials as the oldest restaurant in the world accorded by the Guinness Book of World.


on the left hand side inside a large the window there is scale model of the restaurant showing the four floors of the restaurants.

We were seated at the cellar all the way at the bottom.


Next.. Madrid at night



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