Growing up in Appleton, Wisconsin, we had a restaurant with a charcoal grill called Mr. Cinders. It was on the other side of town and served artery clogging food, so my parents rarely took us, but man did they serve the best steak sandwiches. Inside, the fire burned all day long so the place was always hot, which was perfect because we only went there in winter when it was too cold to grill out at home. Since I left my hometown over a decade ago, they expanded to three locations and shortened their name to just “Cinders.” I would include a link here for them, but there is sound without an option to turn it off (a definite no-no), so Google it at your own risk.
Just down the street from Hotel Preciados in Madrid is Parrilla De Maria, a restaurant featuring a charcoal grill and outdoor seating. It is much nicer than Mr. Cinders, but the smell was the same. And just like Cinders, their website is terrible (which is almost a deal-breaker for Kindra), so click here for a picture of the menu. They offer grilled steaks, sausages, ham and tuna in generous portions and they are all delicious. I wish could be hungrier so I could eat more. And with sides of potatoes and cheese as well as salads, there is something for everyone, even the vegetarian. The staff is very polite and patient with non-Spanish speakers. The bar offers cold beer and digestives for after the meal. This is a nice break from tapas and paella at a reasonable price. Make sure you ask for a seat outside as the inside is stifling. After all, a fire has been burning in there all day.
Unless you are me, supper is served a little later in Spain than you are used to, so if you go early (before 9pm, say) you may notice the place is empty. By 9pm, there may be a wait for a table outside.
Charcoal-grilled food at a reasonable price with a great outdoor atmosphere and friendly staff-what’s not to like?