It is plenty of beer and chicken wings to be had
There are places in Spain that are very touristy and very typical. Casa Pepe (also known as “Pepe el guarro” or “Dirty Pepe´s”) is not such a place. This bar is way off the beaten path and pretty much known only by people who live in Madrid, however it is worth the walk from the subway!
The bar is chaotic and loud, the waiters are so typical with their greased back dark hair and white button down shirts, and of course, there are plenty of cañas (glasses of beer) and chicken wings to be had. Actually, the reason Casa Pepe is nicknamed “el guarro” or “the dirty spot” is because people wind up throwing the bones from their wings directly on the floor. At first it is a bit off putting, but you realize that everyone is doing it, so you might as well join in the fun.
It is possible to get a couple rounds of beers along with tapas (among the ones we have enjoyed are salchichón (a kind of sausage), patatas 2 salsas (potatoes with garlic mayonnaise sauce and also spicy tomato sauce), and of course, the wings.
The atmosphere is one of friends meeting up, forgetting any of the worries that might be waiting outside, and of course, purely Spanish. On the wall, there is a photo of Franco, the former dictator of Spain, and a small glass case that holds the Virgin Mary and the baby Jesus. It is a bit extreme, but who can argue with a place that consistently provides a good environment and beer.
When you are ready to leave, the waiter counts up the rounds of beer and food you have ordered (often a gross underestimate) with the surprise of its low cost. If you leave him a tip, he will ring a huge cow bell out of appreciation. All in all, this is a place to go if you are looking for an authentic tapas experience, or if you want to enjoy the light-hearted atmosphere with friends on a Friday or Saturday night. I always remember the line from the Wizard of Oz where Dorothy says, “Toto, we´re not in Kansas anymore.” Maybe we aren´t in Kansas, but I always leave Pepe “el guarro” glad to be in Madrid.