Tasty, cheap, great atmosphere
Posted on 04 / 16 / 2009
Tucked away down a side street in Northern Madrid (nearest Metro: Alvarado) is Restaurante Vegetariano Ceres. It may look a little tatty from the outside, but I can recommend it. I was met by the smiling owner and waitress who immediately brought a jug of tap water, a seeded brown bread roll and olive oil for dipping. I chose the amazing value Menu del Dia (menu of the day) for 9.50 Euros. There were 4 choices of starter and main course, and I think 3 desserts.
For my starter I had cauliflower in garlic - interesting but very tasty. The cauliflower was cooked almost to a mush but mixed with roasted garlic, olive oil and seaweed. Really good. Then I had croquettas of carrot and leek, with a side salad of lettuce, carrot, cucumber and red cabbage. For dessert I chose the batida de fresa - basically a strawberry smoothie. My only complaint was that it was a little too sweet - I think they may have added sugar. Then a cup of camomile tea.
For 9.50 Euros, it was great value. It's got a good atmosphere too - nice tinkly music in the background, little bits of veg art on the walls. I got there when it opened at 1.30 and by 2.30 it was almost full. It has about 10 tables, variously set for 1, 2 or 4 people. It had a good mix of clientele. I was there alone, as was an older man. A young couple at another table, then 2 local workmen, then a group of 6 young men and as I left, a group of 4 elderly ladies arrived.
One word of warning - the menu is all in Spanish and I didn't get the impression that the staff speak English. It's not exactly in a touristy area so this is hardly surprising. Good chance to practice your Spanish, and if you don't konw what anything on the menu is, take a chance and just order anything!!!
One note - as far as I can tell, it now only opens from 1.30 to 4pm Monday to Saturday. I don't think it's open on Fri or Sat evenings now. I lived right by it for a month and I certainly didn't see the shutters open on any evening.
For the money, this place is well worth seeking out.
Excellent value, Friendly staff, Tasty food
Out of the way