Tag Archives: Tribunal

Madrid’s Mercado San Ildefonso — Food Market at the Heart of Malasaña

2017_101017_1354_744Whenever I am bound for Gran Via or Puerta del Sol, I always insist on using the Calle Fuencarral route, as I enjoy walking through one of the most touristy streets of Centro Madrid. In the middle of this road by the corner of Calle Santa Barbara, with boutiques of famous clothing and shoe brands dominating its length, is the food market called the Mercado San Ildefonso.

Where numerous food stalls are found under one roof, San Idefonso is in the same league as the Mercado San Miguel of Plaza Mayor and Mercado San Anton of Chueca. Here you can find and enjoy a wide variety of foods, not only Spanish but all types of cuisine — American, Mediterranean, Latin American, and even Asian (mainly Chines and Japanese).

Hence, if you happen to drop by at Malasaña, satisfy your hunger by dining at Mercado San Ildefonso. It is the perfect place to have some quick (and often necessary) chow that will energize you for your day-long shopping at Fuencarral or surrounding areas, or chat with friends while enjoying some rounds of drinks.

2017_101007_5529_388The place boasts of three levels, although the 2nd floor is where you can find the most number of food stalls. The picture above reveals a vinos bar on the top floorreceived_1142983672470334The specialty of this stall are savory paellas and other arroz-based dishes. They are served as tapas, which I thought is rare as paella is available in restaurants as raciones (bigger servings) to ensure the quality of the dish)2017_101017_1319_552This plate of paella of sticky rice of saffron and shrimps sells for 4 euros, one of the dishes I always try whenever I visit San Ildefonso. I’m just surprised that they serve it with a slice pan2017_101017_1306_410Madrid is known to be home to delicious tapas — they’re everywhere, especially in Mercado San Ildefonso. No doubt the chorizo tapa with pan above is inviting. You will certainly have a good fill to last for a day with this tapa. 3.50 euros a platereceived_1142983732470328San Ildefonso will never run out of jamon tapas. Jamon dishes costs from 3 to 15 euros, depending on the type of jamon, and quantity of your order (tapa or racion).

What to expect at San Ildefonso:

Venue: The market has three floors, with the second floor hosting most of the food stalls

What to Eat: All varieties, paella, bocadillos, all types of jamon, seafoods, brochetas, even crepe

Wine: There are bars to be found on every floor of the mercado, perfect for those who want to while their time away with family and friends.

Horario: From Sunday to Wednesday, the establishment is open for business at around 10AM and closes past 12AM. The rest of the week, it stays open until 1AM.

How to go: Take Autobus number 149 and get off at the last stop, Tribunal Station. Proceed to the nearby Calle de Fuencarral and take the portion going towards Gran Via until you reach Santa Barbara.


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