The Real Thing
If it’s a little sophistication that you like then walk right past this place. This is the real Spain! Here they’ll throw you out for not spitting on the floor! Here, in the days before the world ended for some, the ‘Smoking Allowed’ sign used to be pasted onto a Spanish flag, just to make it clear that smoking was not only a democratic right, but a patriotic duty. In fact, if you had had a kilo of herrings in your fridge, then this would be the place to bring them. By the time you had finished your meal they’ll be well and truly smoked.
Los Malagueños is a restaurant of the old school; women are tolerated, but most of them have the good taste to go elsewhere. If you specify that you would like ‘just a glass of wine’, they’ll leave a half full bottle on your table and mutter in disgust if you don’t swallow it dregs and all.
The wines are especially bottled for the restaurant and consequently have no denomination of origin; the only information on the label is that it contains sulphites, which is another way of saying that if you can’t stand the heat, stay out of the kitchen!
Los Malagueños is open all day and has a long bar oozing tapas of all kinds, many of them comprising various ingredients that it is considered wimpish to enquire about. Just point at one that has nothing moving inside and state in a baritone voice whether you want it in a roll or splashing about on a plate.
Expect none of the finery or courtesy of haut cuisine here; your change will bounce on the bar for several seconds and any enquiry will be answered with a loud “¿Que?” That will add a fine layer of saliva to your face and discourage you from further intrusion on the waiters’ time.
Most of the waiters seem to suffer from an excess of hormones and have enough corporeal hair upon their bodies to stuff a large sofa. If you want to invite their scorn, just ask for an ashtray or a bin, both of which are in fact freely available on request or without, but are usually referred to as ‘the floor’.
If it’s individually, hygienically-wrapped toothpicks that you require, don’t make me laugh, just suck it clean before replacing it in the glass.
The menu of the day offers a choice of four starters, four main courses and four sweets, which are changed on a daily basis, or at least they change the order, and are nothing out of the ordinary, but are intended for men in filthy overalls who expect to leave the room sated and flatulent. Coffee and sulphite wine is included in the price, or, if you prefer, a carajillo (coffee with brandy) before you return to an afternoon on the scaffolding, kicking bricks down onto the pavement below.
The décor is minimalist, white paper tablecloths doubling as serviettes and large windows which would allow you to watch people walking by if it wasn’t for the thick smoke.
C/ Serpis 13, just off Plaza Xuquer. Telephone: you’ve got to be joking!