• San Isidro What is your occupation in Las Ventas and what do you do?

    The legion of workers that supports a month of bulls

  • Bullfighting X-ray of urban bullfighters: "Looking at you in the shop windows of Calle Serrano gives a lot of bravado"

It is not the only restaurant near Las


that serves oxtail, but, without question, it is unique: owner of an exclusive raw material, the best.

Casa Toribio

(Cardenal Belluga, 14) closes today for retirement, after 28 years serving fans and residents of the neighborhood.

And proclaimed as an authentic Madrid institution.

The reason?

The meat of its star dish came from the bulls that are fought in the Monumental of the capital and in at least 100 other bullrings in Spain, such as those in Valencia or Alicante.

"I have had a bad Fair, for the staff and for everything, and I want to leave it," says

his employer, Toribio Anta , on the other end of the phone.

, with that harshness of the traditional tavern keeper.

"We have been fighting for 28 years, but I have come out very burned, I have rebounded and I have said:

I will close it


Toribio began his career when he was only 15 years old, at the Mesón Taurino Julián Rojo, and now he

cuts his ponytail

at the age of



"I'm fine," he clarifies.

"How many 30-year-olds would like to do what I do... But the problem is that I am very demanding.

I am from the old hotel industry and I see that today the workers are unpresentable

. The service has gotten worse, throwing people out of bad manners at the last minute of the dining room...", he denies.

Today, June 30, is the last day of this legendary venue, after completing its 43rd San Isidro Fair


"This was packed every day. Already 20 days in advance we didn't give tables, all the while calling on the phone to reserve," he says.

"But my wife and I can't be killing each other, because she gets beat up in the kitchen, poor thing, and then see how stingy there is. And with doubled salaries at the Fair, be careful."

With its closure, an illustrious recipe is lost, since there is no other place in the country that cooks fighting bull's tail "365 days a year," its owner boasts.

"Until tomorrow [for today], it was only at Casa Toribio."

And also for the good hand of

Mª Carmen Rodríguez, chef and wife.

"She doesn't want to give the recipe. But if someone wants to keep this, of course I'll give it to them. And the exclusive of the fighting tail, for now, but as of next Monday, nothing anymore."

July 31 is the deadline for Toribio to deliver the keys to his restaurant, since the establishment is for rent.

"If I can't sell it, I'll sell what I can from the premises," he announces.

"Today [yesterday] the business has been full, even tables outside. And this Sunday when there are bulls, a lot of people were calling, but I don't open anymore."

The specialty of the house, the fighting bull's tail.JULIÁN JAÉN

From the ring to the plate, the flavor was what distinguished its main stew.

Originally, the beef was carved and left

to marinate in red wine

for one night, to finish cooking it for at least four hours.

Olive oil, tomato, onion, garlic... After

the mad cow disease

, the pieces began to be taken first to the slaughterhouse so that, once they had passed the sanitary controls, they were vacuum-packed and frozen.

In a year, they could cook up to

"4,000-5,000 kilos of oxtail," he


"One tail gives two servings and the steer doesn't come as long as we do. Then there are people who sell kangaroo, ostrich neck, tails of other animals that aren't real."

There is no peer who works here.

Sprinkled with bullfighting decoration and with that television that relentlessly broadcasts Toribio himself preparing

gin and tonics,

the place originally

opened as a

New Street Pub


This gastronomic essential opened in


with the


cocktail and the gin combined with lemon peel among the most appreciated nectars.

And he claims: "Always with top quality goods. The anchovies, which we started with in 1976 in another previous business, are still cleaned at home."

His firm decision has also been prompted by the pandemic: "It has done us a lot of damage because, unfortunately, many large clients have left for the other world."

And he keeps a regret: "I am very fond of the business, I created it, and it has always worked phenomenally for me, with a spectacular clientele.

Of course I am fond of it, the clients above all


Today, at the end of the party, Casa Toribio will hang up

no tickets.

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