Quality is Timeless at this Madrid Landmark
Calle Cuchilleros, in Madrid’s Old City, is the location for the oldest working restaurant in the world, according to the Guinness Book of Records. Sobrino de Botin was founded by a French chef in 1725, and is now owned by Antonio González and his two brothers, who serve up their world-famous roast suckling pig and roast lamb to tourists, celebrities, royalty and regulars alike.
This old wood building has several “Wow” factors. First, and most important is Mr. González himself. He oversees the daily operation of the restaurant with an unwavering dedication to quality and freshness, as well as customer service. He is friendly and gracious in his demeanor, with a keen intelligence that makes this Spanish gentleman a perfect fit for the role he has undertaken.
Insisting that we try the Iberian ham, Mr. González generously allowed us to experience the shear delight of sampling meat that came from carefully selected black Iberian pigs. Cured for three years, the ham bore no resemblance to any ham I’d ever tasted. Thinly sliced, lean and slightly chewy, it had a mild flavor that seemed to slightly grow in intensity with each delectable bite.
Then there is the history of the restaurant. Among other interesting facts, it was a favorite of Ernest Hemingway. The upstairs dining area can be found in a scene on the second-to-last page of his novel, “The Sun Also Rises”.