La Panza es Primero/ Barriga Llena. Madrid

These two restaurants, with multiple sites in Madrid, are almost identical in decor, menu and service – some of the serving staff alternate between the restaurants too, especially in Chueca where they are just a stone’s throw from each other.
So it’s a mini-chain, with the worst business practices associated with the greedier ones: paying desperate immigrants under the minimum wage and overworking them, ripping customers off, ignoring feedback. The food and drinks are just average, waiters are not clear about what goes into each dish, and not surprisingly, a lackadaisical attitude prevails.
The only dish I’ve had here – on two of my four visits – that I can truly recommend is the mole. Gooey, meaty yet just not spicy enough, lacking a certain edge that was compensated for by a little too much salt, it is just about the best thing on their menu. If you do find yourself here, order a mango daiquiri and some extra jalapeƱos for whatever you eat. Or go to ChirriĆ³n instead.