“Honest and Andalusian,” proclaims the logo on the door. After months of waiting due to a permit issue, Dani García opened his second Tragabuches last month in the heart of Madrid’s Barrio de Salamanca. With a non-stop cuisine model, which offers both breakfasts, lunches, dinners and a bar that does not require reservations, the Malaga chef’s new establishment in the capital is inspired by his origins, when he became known as the head of an establishment of the same name located in Ronda, with which he obtained his first Michelin star.

With this new opening, the Dani García Group further reinforces its presence in Madrid, where it already had six restaurants such as BiBo, Lobito de Mar Madrid, Lobito de Mar La Finca (Pozuelo), Dani Brasserie (Four Seasons Hotel), Leña and Smoked Room (Hyatt Regency Hesperia Hotel), as well as the El Coleccionista cocktail bar. Is there still room for an eighth culinary proposal from Dani and his partners on the banks of the Manzanares? Well it will turn out that yes.

This Tragabuches, which occupies the space of the legendary Galician dining room Combarro, is more similar to its Marbella brother – inaugurated last year – than to the original Ronda restaurant, where the promising 22-year-old chef mixed experimentation with a recipe book with a kilometer zero vocation, always with the Andalusian recipe book as a non-negotiable reference. My only visit to that mythical place comes to mind, then located next to the Real Maestranza de Caballería de Ronda. After having trained with Berasategui in Lasarte, García was revealing himself in the Ronda mountains, taking the rich cuisine of his land to a new dimension, based on contrasts of temperatures, textures and flavors: carabinero, almonds, cheese and honey; cod with melon and pig’s feet; Beet gazpacho with frozen oyster water… What memories of dishes that played with the mixture of sweet and salty and where the use of liquid nitrogen was an almost global novelty!

Twenty-six years later, the capital’s Tragabuches is not so groundbreaking, but pleasantly predictable, although it retains some iconic dishes from that time such as strawberry gazpacho with fresh cheese, pistachios and basil or ajoblanco (without garlic) with shrimp tartar, grape and herring caviar. In his desire to cook his land, García has conceived a multifunctional establishment more similar to a typical sale than to a fashion restaurant, whose extensive menu includes a selection of muffins, tortillas and free-range eggs – which will delight lunch fans. mid-morning salty dish – with traditional stews and roasts. In other words, this is a place where you have to come several times and at different times to understand it and get the most out of it. Since I am lucky enough to live nearby, I will definitely do it.

On my first visit, we just went to eat. To get to the table we had reserved, we had to climb stairs and go through several rooms in a somewhat labyrinthine route. How many diners can they serve? “Up to 180 customers, if we include the bar and the four booths,” a friendly maitre d’ informs me. Little joke!

Once installed, one is lost in the wide selection of bottles of all styles and origins at quite sensible prices. Do you have any pasture wine from the Jerez region? Of course! The selection of Andalusian references is impeccable and any diner can improvise a menu accompanied by fine wines, amontillados and others served by the glass.

Going into the subject, it is tempting for those who have never been to the founding Tragabuches, to discover cold dishes representative of that place such as the seafood salpicón or the foie millefeuille and Ronda goat cheese with caramelized green apple – a variant of the foie millefeuille , eel, onion and apple created by Álex Montiel and popularized by Berasategui–, along with many other hot ones with an oldie aftertaste such as stewed and crumbled oxtail wrapped in ravioli or the creamy rice with Ronda blood sausage and razor clams.

After the obligatory appetizer of bread with colored butter, we opted for a delicious white prawn tartar from Malaga with sheep butter and umai caviar, followed by the pringá del puchero tucked into a (unctuous) croquette, a delicious charcoal-roasted leek with a nationalized Andalusian romesco sauce and, as the end of the gocho party, a quarter of roasted Malaga goat, which came in a clay dish with its accompaniment of fried potatoes, cornicabra peppers and Coín lettuce. Tasty, but somewhat dry goat; very improvable potatoes; the rest, more than correct.

Desserts include such surprising proposals as a cheesecake accompanied by an Expresso Martini cocktail, which I resisted ordering because the agape had already been sufficiently substantial. So we consoled ourselves with an egg custard of impeccable execution and left the roasted pear with mulled wine granita on note for future visits. Service somewhat distracted, but diligent, smiling and eager to please. Mixed business and family atmosphere in a relaxed way. Reasonable prices for how Madrid is getting lately. One of these days I’m going to come back for a big breakfast and I’m not going to miss the white loin zurrapa muffin or the eggs Benedict with meat mechá…