Category Archives: Madrid Cafes and Restaurants

Sanissimo: That Healthy Fast Food in Madrid

You can call Spain the Land of Meat Lovers (think jamón) and you’re right about that. But definitely, it is not without its share of food joints that cater to vegetarians and vegans. From what I see around and online, the current trend veers towards healthy living.  This is apparent in the good number of restaurants and fast food establishments that offer veggie dishes to meet the needs of the health-conscious Madrileños.


Craving for Burger

I am a burger guy. Serve me quick a warm burger anytime, and I would devour it just as easily. And it would not hurt a bit if it is created and cooked in a healthy way. In fact, I love it more if it was vegan. It is why I was beyond happy to have chanced upon Sanissimo, at Calle de San Vicente Ferrer in Tribunal.

Scanning Sanissimo’s menu board by its entrance, I see that it boasts of great options: veggie burgers, bagel, and wrap, and healthy juices and smoothies. If offers heavenly desserts to indulge in such as cookies and cakes – perfect to cap the meal and keep any customer satiated for the rest of the day.

imageSanissimo’s glass counter display with its many vegan and vegetarian goodies

Who say veggie foods are bland and boring? Not if it is done right – and Sanissimo makes sure of it. According to the restaurant’s website, “Saníssimo is a young, dynamic company committed to offering safe and healthy food with dedication…” I can say that not only do they serve “safe and healthy food” but they churn out ones with delectable flavors as well.

I went for Terra Nostra, Sanissimo’s burger with patties made of lentils, a grain legume that’s basically carbohydrates, starch to be specific. The good thing about lentil is that it’s healthy. Apart from being protein-rich, it full of dietary fibers. Hence, it takes more time to digest (a boon to those with blood sugar levels that shoots up whenever simple carbo is consumed). Just perfect for me!

image My food so divine in the form of Terra Nostra, one of Sanissimo’s four veggie burger offerings. This one’s made of lentil patties. I like that it’s filled with tomatoes, a heap of spinach, and the most delectable veggie dressing. A good portion of steamed broccoli as side dish makes it more healthful. With a refreshing Bavaria lemon drink that washed everything down, it’s such a complete healthful dish option at only 8.95 euro. Such a steal, right?

I chose Terra Nostra mainly because I crave for garbanzo-based food big time.  Why wouldn’t I, after all those years of eating felafel and humous in Tel Aviv? After a good bite on my burger, I swore I wished I had a bigger sandwich to consume. Of course, it didn’t taste like beef, but heck, it was just as juicy and tasty as the real thing. Overall, it was a yummy treat.

I was served enthusiastically by its courteous “senora de sanissimo.” She tried to speak in English upon seeing how I struggled with my Spanish, groping hopelessly for the right words as I ordered. I got express permission from her to use this photo, by the way.

And so, I queried if indeed, the patty was made of lentils. I must have scared her off because she was quite frantic when she asked if I had any problem at all with lentils or chickpeas. I assured her that there’s nothing to worry about, and that I was just gathering facts for my blog. Its website advises customers to disclose any allergy or adverse reaction to a particular ingredient. Such information will help the staff in making proper adjustments and recommendations regarding orders.

Apart from Terra Nostra, Sanissimo has three other burger offerings: Red Dragon and Green Peace, both patties of which are made of Chickpeas or Garbanzos, and the soy-based Gossip Girl burger. There are many other delicious and healthy meal items to choose from, like bagels, wraps, salads, cakes, and pies. You may order online via its website.

Location / Dining Area

Sanissimo is cozy and makes you feel quickly at ease. The place’s not overly decorated, no serious frills, and just a few frames here and there that feature signs and sayings (about life and health). Accentuating the tables are cute lamps, which i don’t know if they’re functional or not. I wish they could add a few tables more (currently, there are three) to accommodate the anticipated influx of customers during peak hours, albeit doing so might be quite impossible since the area is small.

Simply put, vegetarian is the way to go. I’ve done this in Manila for a time, and happy that I was at my lightest and healthiest then. But this time, it’s one herculean goal. As it is, I am now “living the dream in Madrid”, which meant having acquired the taste for these fine meats, and my current food pleasures – jamon, calamares, and albondigas. Even so, for the sake of my health, I’ll make sure to go vegan once in a while, and drop by at Sanissimo and enjoy the healthy benefits that its food offers.

Calle San Vicente Ferrer, 28, Tribunal, Madrid
How to go: Near Tribunal Station and Autobus Station of 149, 40

Giangrossi Helado Artesanal – Madrid’s Premier Gelato (and Coffee)

Salamanca is like any other distrito in Madrid – reeling in the biting coldness of winter that officially started third week of December. But this doesn’t stop gelato-loving Madrilenos from trooping to Giangrossi Helado Artesanal, Madrid’s premier ice cream shop, located along the district’s Calle de Velasquez.

Beautifully decorated Velasquez Street during Christmas Season, Salamanca, Madrid
It’s Christmas in Calle de Velasquez, Salamanca District, Madrid

Why wouldn’t they? Giangrossi’s ice cream is such a yummy delight. It is considered as one of Madrid’s best ice cream brands. Madridenos’ dedicated patronage of its gelato fare has helped Giangrossi establish a respected name and attain success in its industry.

Actually, there’s more to Giangrossi than just gelato. While ice cream easily takes the spotlight (with classics like Turron and Helado de Vainilla as two of the best-sellers), its coffee gets a good share of attention as well.

Colorful balls and cone-shaped decors hang by the window of Giangrossi, aptly decorated for the Christmas see wason
Silvery Yuletide balls and cone-shaped decors hang by the window of Giangrossi

And knowing how delicious coffee is at Giangrossi, we decided to take a break when we passed by it. (Actually, we chanced upon Giangrossi by accident, unaware that it is located along Velazquez, which we visited along with Calle de Goya for their high-end shops, like Zara, Benetton, and H&M.)

But I didn’t order ice cream, despite the inviting presentation at the counter display.

Since that evening’s temperature was 7 degrees Celsius, I had to pass up on the frozen treat. (Even if you buy me one, no gelato por favor – thank you very much!)

Understandably, everyone else settled for coffee instead.

View of the dining floor from  Giangross's mezzanine area
View of the dining floor from Giangrossi’s mezzanine

The group had either café con leche or Americano, both of which are affordable at 1,50 euros a cup. Checking the menu, I see that everything is reasonably priced, considering that the shop has an upscale location.

My friend found the Americano quite strong, so he went to the counter and requested for more water to be added. Just right is how he described his coffee afterwards.

Mine was really good, almost perfect in taste. Giangrossi’s con leche is hot enough (might be that the milk was amply heated) to warm myself up after hours of stay outside the freezing cold streets.

Care for Con leche and Americano? Giangrossi, Velazquez, Madrid
Care for Americano and con leche? Deliciously-hot coffee at Giangrossi

There were a number of appealing cakes and pastries on the menu, but we opted not to, having decided that coffee is enough to cap the evening. Next time, for sure.

Plan it now. Cool down your summer days with naturally-made gelato, and for the rest of the chilly winter season, enjoy some piping hot, flavorful coffee – all at Giangrossi.

Getting there: 41 Calle de Velazquez, Madrid

From Colombia, Principe de vergara, take autobus 29 and get off at Calle de Goya. Walk up to the third block where Goya traverses Velasquez.

Via Madrid Metro, nearest stations are Velazquez and Goya. If you’re coming from Plaza Puerta del Sol, take the Vodafone Sol at Line 2 and get off at Goya. Transfer to line 4 and alight at Velazquez.