After a couple of weeks of very salty frequently greasy / fried / meat laden Spanish "cuisine" I was feeling a bit out of sorts so I used Happy Cow to find some healthier options in Madrid. Yerbabuena was the closest option to me so I walked over to try it out.
First, the food was excellent and the menu was quite varied. Lots of options and they all looked good. Prices were very reasonable considering the quality and quantity of the food.
I opted for the Menu del Dia (daily special) which you find in just about every restaurant in Spain. Typically you get a choice of first course, a choice of second course, bread, your choice of drink, and your choice of dessert. And that applied here as well. All for 13 euros.
There were three options for the first course--one of them salad and the other two soups. They all looked good so I asked if I could pay a little extra and get a salad AND soup instead of either or. The waiter so, "no problem!" with a big smile and then brought out the soup... which was delicious AND very large. I immediately thought, "I won't need salad with this..." but it was too late so I just rolled with it, figuring the salad would be a small side salad. It was not. While still eating the soup he brought out a giant, delicious looking salad. And immediately I knew that this was not going to be the cheap option that I had opted for. Instead of just a small, extra, side salad he had ordered me a full meal salad--which I could have easily done on my own if that was what I wanted.
After splitting the salad with my friend and finishing the soup I was stuffed. But there was still a full second course left. Which was described as some kind of "wrap" but it turned out to be more like a giant fried dumpling of the chinese varietal... stuffed with tasty tidbits of soy and veggies... with a guacamole and a pico de gallo on the side. I did the best I could but I didn't want to gorge myself so I was not able to finish it.
The special included dessert--and they had several tasty sounding options--but I passed on the dessert and the waiter brought out some warm, digestive tea for us (also included).
We asked for the bill and, sure enough, instead of just the two 13 euro lunch specials there was a 9 euro salad on the bill as well... nearly as much as my entire meal. Not a huge deal but my $17 lunch went to $30 very quickly... which is ridiculous for a simple vegetarian lunch...
But food and service overall were excellent.Pros: fresh ingredients, inventive dishes, large portions
Cons: high prices