Having forgotten to take a picture of Bar Pepito a search for images for ‘Pepito’ brought back savage memories of childhood boredom watching mystifying variety acts on Saturday night television when I stumbled across Pepito Alvarez, juggling superstar.
But watch Pepito do his stuff without the sound on (or your own choice of sound) and the experience is hallucinogenically entertaining. The man juggles (and drops) clubs (natch) and fire (impressive). But PING PONG BALLS?!?!? How stoned do you have to get before you think, ‘Yeah, the kids are going to love the ping pong ball act?!’ Although, give the man credit, the 8 year olds in a Madrid TV studio are sucking on that shit like it’s a mega-sugared, fully-aspartamed bottle of 80s Fanta.
Pepito Alvarez, post-Franco Spanish juggling king, entertains the kiddies.
Which is what you won’t get in Bar Pepito. BP does quality Spanish sherry and wine, which is why we were in there while a friend waited for a train.
For the first visit post-lockdown the first impression was that they’ve somehow got more tables than they used to have. But my mind could be playing tricks on me. Otherwise the room is Spanish without being ‘Spanish’ if you know what I mean. It soon filled up with genial types inside and out. Being told there was no draught lager available (we were hot and thirsty) we kicked off with a couple of finos while we perused the menu. Which has a good selection of simple tapas. We took meats, tortilla, bread, croquetas and olives. Service was kind of hit and miss but not in a terrible way (everything arrived swiftly but on arrival they didn’t seem to know which of their tables were booked).
The meats were high end pig, dried with care. Joe is a connoisseur of the tortilla and approved of the liquescence of this one. Being an egg sceptic it made me a bit queasy. The croquetas were glorious – crunchy on the outside, runny on the inside. I would have ordered more if I was staying longer. More sherry (him) and a good glass of white Rioja (me) did the job of getting him ready for the train and me in the mood for rehearsing Mirbeau. It’s a good place.
To see where else I’ve been click on the google map below.
Blue Badge guide to London and academic specialising in early twentieth century history. Blogging on history, academia, and food and culture in the capital (and occasionally elsewhere).