City Lifestyle

Want to start a publication?

Learn More

Featured Article

Pollo a la Pepa 

Travel and childhood memories fuel Abe Ruiz & Swani Gonzalez at Madrid Spanish Taverna, celebrating their first year in Roswell.

Article by Stacy Conde

Photography by The Madrid Spanish Taverna

Originally published in Roswell City Lifestyle

Madrid Spanish Taverna, which has quickly become a Roswell institution, celebrates its one-year anniversary with a weekend-long celebration on May 13, 14, and 15.  

Known for its authentic Spain-inspired ambiance, music, folklore, and tapas, paellas, and wine, the restaurant features a gorgeous patio and gazebo, where sipping sangria on a Georgia day is unrivaled.

The concept for the restaurant was born after many years of travel and research by owners, Abe Ruiz and Swani Gonzalez. Stories from Swani’s grandmother, “Pepa”, and her love for Flamenco, inspired the initial idea. Abe and Swani dreamed of bringing a slice of Spain closer to home; and sharing their love of living life to its fullest, travel and new experiences.

“I have been in the restaurant business for 34 years. I have created multiple food and beverage concepts, and certainly know a thing or two about operations.” Abe says, “Swani and I have always talked about Spain and the feeling of “tapeando”: hopping from bar to bar for tapas, great wine, and even a cold Estrella beer or two." 

On any given day, Swani is in the restaurant and greets every table and guest. She really has a passion for her visitors and immediately makes them feel at home.

For its one-year anniversary, Madrid Spanish Taverna’s celebration is inspired by the La Feria festival, born in Andalucia, Spain, with music, art, food, toreros and Flamenco dancers.

Madrid Spanish Taverna

1055 Canton St. Suite 110

As a gift to their customers and our readers, Swani and Abe are sharing a special family recipe.

“I see my grandmother in every corner of the restaurant and on each plate,” says Swani. “Here is one of her recipes that we are adding to the new menu in May. My grandmother's nickname was Pepa - a nickname for Spanish women named Josepha. She made this a lot, especially for big family gatherings.”  

Pollo a la Pepa (chicken Pepa style)

1 whole (3 3/4 pound) chicken

1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced

4 garlic cloves peeled and thinly sliced

1 tablespoon minced fresh flat-leaf parsley

Kosher salt and black pepper 

1/4 cup blended oil

2 cups beer – We like to use Estrella Damm. You can also substitute with dry sherry wine.


1- Cut the chicken into 10 pieces (wings, drumsticks and breasts). Season the pieces on all sides with 2 teaspoons of salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. 

2- Heat oil in a large, deep skillet over high heat. Add half of the chicken and cook, turning once, until golden brown on all sides. 4 to 6 minutes. Place on a plate and cook the remaining pieces. 

3- Reduce the heat to medium and add the onion and garlic. Stir frequently, until soft, about 5 minutes. Place all the chicken back in the pan with juices in one single layer. 

4- Pour Beer (if any left or open a second can) and raise heat to high and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low. 

5- Cover and cook until the chicken breasts are no longer pink. Cook for 10-20 minutes, checking regularly.

7- Transfer the breast pieces to a plate. Cover again and continue to simmer the rest of the chicken until very tender. 

8- Check after 15-25 minutes. You want meat to pull away from the bone. 

9- Uncover and raise the heat to high so the sauce cooks away the acidity of the beer (alcohol) and the sauce thickens a bit. 3 to 5 minutes. 

10- Put the chicken breast and juice back in the pan and coat in the sauce to warm up. 

11- Toss in the minced parsley 

Buen Provecho!