Everyone has a food they don’t get. For instance, my wife Yoly doesn’t get hamburgers. You could serve her the juiciest flame-grilled, breast milk-fed, Nuru-massaged Wagyu beef burger, and she’d still shrug. Strike that. She’d eat it, she might even kind of enjoy it. But she’d never get it. She’d never crave it. By contrast, I desire a good, beefy burger about once every two months. And until I’ve gotten my fix, I dream of greasy rivulets trickling down my jowls and running up my wrists.
Which brings me to the Spanish food I don’t get. The tortilla de patata. What’s the big deal? Potatoes, egg, salt and – if you’re lucky – onion. It can be sort of yummy, but I’m never going to kill to get my hands on one. I might not even cross the road.
Let me say it. Spanish omelettes bore me.
So, it was interesting to try the tortillas de patata at La Tortillita. It’s a recently-opened tortilla temple (in fact, the first Madrid iteration of a Galician franchise) on Calle Preciados. They do thirty variations on the classic (they also do the classic), including tortilla with Cabrales cheese, tortilla with prawns, tortillita with gulas, tortilla with garlic confit and onions, tortilla with bacalao and Piquillo peppers… you get the idea. Prices are reasonable, omelettes are cooked to order and you can build your own, mixing in a variety of ingredients.
The menu includes other Ibero-comfort foods like ten variations on huevos rotos (fried potatoes draped with two fried eggs and your choice of toppings), croquetas, patatas bravas and the like. But here the tortilla is king.
So, are their tortillas any good? I tried one called La Gallega (grelos, tetilla cheese and chorizo), one with caramelised onion and Cabrales and one with roasted vegetables. And dare I say, they were pretty good. La Gallega was my fav, stuffed with more ingredients than most tortillas see in a lifetime. The egg was nice and runny and I could imagine myself dashing in for a quick meal or a snack (they do takeaway). The tortillas (in fact called tortillitas) come in two sizes (€4.50 and €5.30) and are apt for a one-person meal or a few shared between enemies.
La Tortillita is part fast food, part restaurant. It feels like a franchise, which makes it fine for a bite or takeaway, but a terrible place to propose to your future wife. Having said that, if you think it’s acceptable to pop the question over a tortilla de patata, then you don’t deserve her anyway you cheap bastard.
Verdict: I still don’t get tortillas, but the variety of ingredients (including the ability to build your own) means I can imagine swinging by La Tortillita to fill the hunger gap. If you’re a tortilla freak (shame on you), then you should give La Tortillita a whirl.
Disclaimer: My meal was paid for by the restaurant.
Calle Preciados, 34
910 165 615
Metros: Sol, Callao, Gran Vía