Upon entering Opalo Gastropub, you’re instantly greeted by a full bar with a huge list of cocktails and beers to choose from. If you choose to take a seat at a table, you’ll see two separate menus: one with tapas and typical Spanish dishes and the other with…American Brunch?
“This is our idea,” chef William Chancellor, a Dallas, Texas, native said. “We wanted to make a place that could appeal to many people. We have Spanish dishes with our own personal touch, American brunch, and a wide range of beers.”
Opalo certainly casts a wide net in their dining selections, which is perfect for any patron. The daily menu is filled with typical Spanish dishes like tortilla, croquetas, or bocadillo de calamares. The brunch menu is filled with American brunch classics like chicken and waffles, eggs benedict, and huevos rancheros. The place is perfect for any Americans missing brunch food or anyone that wants to try something they’ve never tried before. Chicken and waffles does sound a little strange from the outside looking in, but it’s a classic dish that doesn’t disappoint.
Opalo also features a wide variety of beers, with IPAs, APAs, porters, and much much more. Many people come in to sit at the bar and enjoy a new beer. If you’re not a beer expert or you’re not sure which beer to order, the staff will happily help you in determining which beer to try. If you’re still unsure, you can get a flight of 4 beers, choosing from the list that rotates every month.
A Personal Touch in the Menu
Bringing in a style of food as American brunch could be seen as a limiting option, but that’s not how Chancellor sees it. “Lots of people are going to come and try something they haven’t tried yet. Even if they have, we’ve made our own changes.” Take the mac and cheese, for example. Usually one of the most basic of meals to fix, the pasta comes with broccoli and a range of spices on top. Not to mention the bowl is huge! The chicken and waffles are accompanied by coleslaw and a honey chipotle sauce. The usual bocadillo de calamares? It comes on pan de cristal with mayo and sriracha. According to Chancellor, this is another theme of the restaurant. They’ve taken some regular items and made given them a little international flavor. “You come here and hear English, Spanish, Portuguese, whatever. We’re a bilingual staff. We wanted that to translate to our food as well. We had certain plates in mind that we wanted to change and truly make them our own.”
Events and Future Plans at Opalo Gastropub
Opalo is divided into three physical sections. There’s the main bar, situated in the front with an ample selection of beers and liquor. There are tables as well, but the place has more of a “stand a talk” feel. On the other side of the main floor is a more private area. This area is used for parties, small events, and seating for those who want a quieter meal. Most recently, there was a wine tasting and food party, where separate tapas and food were paired with drinks to give the best experience possible. On the lower level is where one can find more of a restaurant feel. The expansive area can seat about 30 people and gives a comforting feeling with the exposed bricks, slightly dimmed lights, and colorful decor.
Just like the beers and food specials that change every month, Opalo will also be hosting certain events as the calendar rolls around. They recently finished up their Oktoberfest, having a few special beers to choose from. Next in line are the brunch specials through the puente (long weekend) and every puente to come after that. What many people are excited for is the Thanksgiving event they’ll be having in November. Even better (in the opinion of this writer) than the Thanksgiving event, is the Leftover Thanksgiving Brunch they’ll be having on Friday and Saturday.
Even though the restaurant just opened, there are still a few changes to look out for. The wine list is still being finalized, WIFI is being added, terrace seating is in the works, and music will soon grace the establishment. The daily menu is set to be tweaked as well while the staff is receiving feedback across the board. The beer list will only continue evolving throughout the year, bringing in seasonal beers for all beer lovers out there. There will also be a new brunch item coming soon. “We’re adding red velvet waffles. Not a typical item but I wanted to make something unique for people to try,” Chancellor said.
The current atmosphere, excellent dishes and desserts, friendly staff, events, and big things to come for a great price are all reasons you should be going to Opalo as soon as you can. Whether it’s for a private party, afternoon brunch, or just a few drinks, this is the perfect place for you.
And for any native Texans out there, I did ask Chancellor about Shiner beer. “Unfortunately, I don’t know if that’s going to be a possibility,” he said, laughing.
Useful Information about Opalo
Opalo Gastropub is located at Calle Zaragoza, 9 right next to Plaza Mayor. The closest metro stations are Sol (lines 1, 2, and 3) and Opera (Lines 2 and 5).
Food menus, drink menus, and opening hours can be found on their website. Menus are available in both English and Spanish.
Reservations can be made via phone (91 057 88 80) or online.