Cava Baja is a destination street that winds due south of Madrid’s Plaza Mayor. At night, people spill out of bars and restaurants, which all have different specialties. Wood-roasted lechal (baby lamb), cones of jamon Ibérico and Mediterranean seafood a la plancha are all readily available. Casa Victor is a bar with orange walls, L-shaped counter and blackboard menus that serves terrific pork-centric tapas, none better than their off-menu morcilla.
Morcilla, aka blood sausage, is bound with pig’s blood and often appears dark as night. Depending on the region you’re in, results can be quite different, whether it’s plump Orio-style links in Basque Country, fatty fall-apart Botifarra Negra in Barcelona, and the kind I experienced at Casa Victor, which packed plenty of rice. Their morcilla contained onion, garlic, and spices and fried up beautifully on the plancha. Each slice, which was a quarter-inch thick and the size of a silver dollar, featured crispy edges and juicy centers. Like many ingredients in Madrid, there wasn’t much embellishment. No need when the product’s this good.