There is a new vegan in Madrid: El Perro Gamberro (literally Hooligan Dog) moves away from the current predictable culinary vegan cuisine and rediscovers grandmother’s kitchen.
In the past two years, the opening of a vegan restaurant in the Spanish capital always led to two types of premises; a restaurant for hipsters where each dish is so sophisticated that it seems to have descended from another galaxy, or vegan space so extremely wholesome and pure that you seem to be eating in the waiting room of a futuristic hospital. Fortunately there are always wonderful exceptions, and one of them has opened a few months ago: El Perro Gamberro.
Four years ago, Virginia Mayo, a dedicated vegan and cook, decided to start a blog with recipes of her own vegan creations. One thing led to another and now she has opened El Perro Gamberro, possibly the best homemade vegan food venue in the city. Her idea was to rediscover traditional recipes and substitute some ingredients to make them 100% vegan.
The place has a warm and inviting ambience; flowery and colourful, with an upretentious interior. Upon entering, you feel instantly welcome and comfortable.
In true Spanish tradition the specialties of El Perro Gamberro are croquettes and tortillas, all of them vegetarian. Every day you can find different types of croquettes, according to the vegetables that are in season or the Virginia’s inspiration. Ingredients include spinach and dates, eggplant, mushrooms and teriyaki sauce and, above all, Iberian tomato with spices. As for tortillas, she makes a great one with pumpkin and chickpea flour.
Other fantastic dishes are the Russian salad, a creamy vegan dish of soy milk and capers and a ‘trio of cheeses’, and a lentil and mushroom burger that is one of the most in demand. And, of course, all is washed down with a fine craft beer.
For dessert you can forget the boring sophistication of the millennial vegan to rediscover traditional donuts and spectacular banana and chocolate cakes; the perfect opportunity to go back in time to your childhood.
You should consider making a reservation on Saturdays or get some takeaway. Bring your own containers though, as part of the philosophy of El Perro Gamberro is to make the planet a better place to live, and be environmentally responsible.
Hours: from Thursday to Sunday from 13.00 to midnight uninterrupted
Average price: 15 €
Calle de Segovia, 16, 28005 Madrid