By Lori Fredrich Senior Writer & Dining Editor Published May 27, 2018 at 9:03 AM

Looking for a delicious option for your Memorial Day weekend Sunday Funday? Enjoy a little friendly competition (and a whole lot of delicious paella) at Paella Palooza.

The event takes place Sunday, May 27 on the patio at Hotel Madrid, 600 S. 6th St., from noon to 3 p.m. And it will feature kitchen teams from both Movida and Hotel Madrid cooking up vats of both vegetarian, seafood or meat-based paella in an effort to win the coveted "Golden Paella."

General admission tickets are $25 and include all the paella (both vegetarian and meat-based options are available) you can eat.

For an additional $15, you can purchase a VIP ticket that also entitles you to all-you-can-eat MOVIDA empanadas (filled with a traditional tuna, tomato, onion and pepper blend with sundried tomato aioli) and Hotel Madrid empanadillas (filled with suckling pig and drizzled with orange honey).

Once you’ve had your fill, you can also vote for your favorite of the bunch.

The paella recipes are still under wraps. However, the following statements from the restaurants' respective teams offer a bit of insight.

"Bodegon will seize this opportunity to show off our world class ingredients ranging from Iberian pork to Carabinero prawns in an effort to create a new outlook on fine dining contemporary paella," notes a member of the Hotel Madrid team. "We will also prepare a vegetarian paella using the finest locally grown produce available."

On the other hand, a member of the Movida team boasts: "We will be offering a fresh take on the favorite paellas over the years ... from fresh seafood to roasted prime cut meats, we will be pulling from years of perfected recipes to recreate the most amazing and beautiful paella. Additionally, a seasonally fresh vegetable-only paella will be prepared in the most traditional way."

There will also be plenty of thirst-quenching beverages available for purchase,  including Spanish wines and a menu of traditional Spanish cocktails, including gins and tonic, sangria, a riff on both rebujitos and kalimotxo (the traditional Spanish mixer featuring cola and red wine). Hotel Madrid will also roll out a brand new summer offering, sangria slushies.

Get your tickets

Paella Palooza will function as the launching pad for a series of patio-based events which will be held throughout the summer on the Hotel Madrid Patio, including Paella Palooza (May 27), Sangria Fest (June 24), Summer Asado (July 29), Harley Hog Roast (Aug. 30) and the Second Annual Pulpo Fest (Sept. 23). For more information, visit

Tickets for Paella Palooza are $25 each (or $40 for VIP tickets) and can be purchased online.  Of course, you can buy all five events in the summer series for just $100. Yeah, that's a deal. Plus you have fun things to look forward to every month all summer long. All events are held, rain or shine; tents will be set up to keep guests dry if rain is in the forecast.

Lori Fredrich Senior Writer & Dining Editor

Lori is an avid cook whose accrual of condiments and spices is rivaled only by her cookbook collection. Her passion for the culinary industry was birthed while balancing A&W root beer mugs as a teenage carhop, fed by insatiable curiosity and fueled by the people whose stories entwine with each and every dish. She’s had the privilege of chronicling these tales via numerous media, including OnMilwaukee and in her book “Milwaukee Food.” Her work has garnered journalism awards from entities including the Milwaukee Press Club. 

When she’s not eating, photographing food, writing or recording the FoodCrush podcast, you’ll find Lori seeking out adventures with her husband Paul, traveling, cooking, reading, learning, snuggling with her cats and looking for ways to make a difference.