Thursday, July 20, 2023, 8:33 p.m.
Almost 60 years ago the history of the place we visited today began: El Chupi restaurant. It was in 1965 when the father of its current owners opened the Coliseum bar, on what is now Trinidad Street. Later they moved through various locations in San Roque, changing their name, in 1983, to the current El Chupi, which is nothing more than the family nickname. In 1987 they moved again, this time to the gas station bar located at the intersection of the old Madrid highway and the Seville highway—now there is the Vaquerizo cafeteria, of which our long-missed Turófilo has done a magnificent review— , remaining until 2007, when they decided to cross the river and move to a new premises located on Antonio Nebrija Street, on one side of the Jardines del Guadiana park. It is there where his sons Paco and Camilo take the reins, and continue with their management.
The establishment is divided into two areas. In the first is the bar, with high tables attached to it, and several lower ones to have portions or tapas. After crossing the bar, you will find the dining room, with a formal decoration and style, although with details that could be taken care of, such as dressing the entire tables with tablecloths or using the same type of glasses for all diners. The cards are differentiated. In the first you can choose tapa, half-portion or portion formats, while in the second the two small sizes disappear, as well as some dishes. I can understand that they want to differentiate themselves and that the restaurant does not become a tapas area, but I don’t think it offers them any advantage if customers decide not to order a dish because it is served only as a portion. I suppose that years of experience in the courtroom will solve these issues.
At El Chupi you will not find avant-garde or fusion cuisine, only traditional and grounded cuisine. It is Paco, the older brother and current bearer of the nickname, who, in charge of the stove, keeps the family’s guisandero tradition. The star dish is their famous lamb chops, whether grilled or empanadas. They are really delicious, small, very clean, and with a fantastic grilling or frying point, depending on the type of preparation. I prefer the former, which better respect the mild flavor of the lamb, but the latter are also highly recommended.
Traditional stews and, especially, their offal dishes are also highly recognized. Fantastic, for example, the tripe, accompanied by ham tacos, very sweet and with a good spicy touch. Tasty sherry kidneys, which are actually a house version that “extremely thrills”, with paprika, the original recipe; and delicious grilled lamb gizzards. I liked the brain dumplings a little less, which had an excess of batter that prevented me from enjoying the texture and flavor of this organ meat.
The stew deserves a special mention., which is finger-licking good. This traditional stew, ours, whether in its version with lamb, common in the southern area of Extremadura and which is what they serve, or with goat, more from the north, is pure simplicity and use at the service of the main product.
Unfortunately, this culinary gem is increasingly forgotten and its preparation, whether in our homes or in restaurants, is anecdotal. How I would enjoy seeing a modernized, and also more salable, version of this stew, prepared by one of the great gastronomic restaurants in Extremadura that, due to the enormous speaker they have, could give new life to this dish. Meanwhile, we can enjoy it in restaurants, such as El Chupi, which still rely on our traditional recipes. Possibly, attachment and respect for traditions has been the secret of its longevity.
C/ Anthony of Nebrija,
924 27 17 22
Monday to Thursday from 12:00 to 17:00 and from 20:30 to 24:00. Friday and Saturday from 12:00 to 17:00 and from 20:30 to 1:00. Sunday closed