Spanish version

Mushrooms at Meson del Champiñon

One of the most typical tapas in Madrid have their own meson in the oldest part of the city.

Meson del ChampiñonLocated at Cava de San Miguel, 17 quite near to Plaza Mayor we find a typical meson or inn, the Meson del Champiñon. Champiñon is the Spanish word for mushrooms, so it is clear what speciality their offer.

This meson opened about 1966. Before in this street were mostly warehouses, for coal, bicycles, etc. Where the meson is now was a fabric warehouse.

It is a very old building and between the main entrance and the door we can see part of the ancient wall of Madrid. Poli, Manuel, Paco, Juan Angel

The owners had another bar in Carabanchel, were they offered mushroom tapas that were very appreciated by their clients, so they thought it would be a good idea to offer the same dish at the new meson. We must say that the name Meson del Champiñon is registered, so no other meson can have the same name.

Most of the waiters have been working here for a long time: Manuel for nearly 39 years, Jose, who was not there the day we made the interview, for 31 years, Paco has been at the meson 29 years, Poli 17 and Juan Angel 2 years. They have seen hundreds of people during all these years and are known for their friendliness.

Meson del ChampiñonFrancisco Jose Barrera has been in charge of the business for 11 years now. He tells us the most of the clients are tourists. During the week mostly of other countries and during the weekend people from other parts of Spain that sometimes introduce Madrilians to the meson. This area has always been more visited by tourists than by Madrilians, although times are changing. Possibly also due to the fact that nowadays we can find in most of the restaurants or mesones prices similar to those in other places in Madrid. Years ago they were much more expensive and Madrilians stopped going.

On weekends they prepare about 150kg of mushrooms daily. They come from a village called Villamalea in Albacete. The whole village is dedicated to grow mushrooms and they distribute them all over Spain.

Those offered at Meson del Champiñon have the same size, not too small, not too big. They are served with two toothpicks in order to use both to put them in your mouth and not spill the jar and mushrooms

The mushrooms are filled with fresh chorizo, a typical Spanish saussage, garlic and parsley. The difference to other mushroom tapas is the mixture of these ingredients that asure us that they always have the same taste. They do not use olive oil but neutral oil in order that the mushroom taste prevails. The mushrooms are fried in front of the client.

The meson is open from Mondays to Thursdays and Sundays from 18:00 to 01:30, on Fridays and Saturdays until 02:30. And from October to May on Saturdays and Sundays also from 12:00 to 16:00. It is open all days during the year.

preparing the mushroomsThere is also a pianist every evening, who plays soft music until about 22:00, then the guests have the opportunity to sing traditional songs from all over the world as he knows almost all of them.

Another interesting thing this meson offers is the possibilty to buy the tipical wine jugs, that are almost impossible to find anywhere these days.

If you like mushrooms, do not miss this place and try one of their portions!

@Copyright 2008, 2009 Mª Dolores Diehl Busch. All rights reserved.
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