I was in Spain last week and when I arrived in Madrid after a long train ride I was starving. The bright idea was to see if Spain’s capital had anywhere dedicated to eating cheese…it did. The Poncolet Cheese Bar. Brilliant I thought – Tripadvisor said they didn’t close for a siesta so going early evening to fill up on cheese and then get an early night after an early start seemed like an excellent idea.
Anyway, after a bit of broken Spanish/English it turned out that their kitchen wasn’t open until later, but that I could eat from their bar menu. Fine by me – it’s still cheese right? So I go through their menu, clearly marked for allergies and such, and after a bit of google translate, which I still understand to be unreliable, the waiter came to take my order and I picked two of the options…it’s all cheese right? Google translate hadn’t really been helpful or so I thought….
On the left is a delicious tartiflette…I’ve no idea what cheese it had but it had a really strong flavour and along with the ham and potatoes it was delicious! Yum. I ate a bit of that and then moved on to the “Callos y morro a la madrilena”. Opened the dish, went for what looked liked chorizo…nope. I thought it was a bit odd to have chorizo in a cheese sauce…turns out it wasn’t chorizo. Still not sure what it was. Tried some more of it. Nope, not feeling this. Unidentified meat! As a recovering vegetarian, I still am a bit funny with unidentified meat….particularly when I am expecting cheese! When I put “madrilena” into Google translate it said “woman from Madrid..”
Anyway at this point I was feeling pretty sick so gave it up and went back on to the delicious tartiflette….mmm yum. Finished that and realised I genuinely couldn’t eat any more of the “other dish”. So went back to Google translate….
turns out I’d eaten “tripe and nose….” if Google translate is accurate of course! I felt a bit sick. I still feel a bit sick….
So the moral of the story is….check your language skills before going into a restaurant full of your favourite food. Please. Luckily I laughed at the time and have laughed ever since so, please mock me relentlessly!
Poncolet Cheese Bar itself is nice and I would go back (just not to eat tripe) – preferably when they have the full menu on! Anywhere that has its entire focus on cheese is well worth a visit if I’m honest, and would say to any of my cheese eating friends that they should head to Madrid if they are there. It’s at Calle de Jose Abascal, 61.