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What Is This “Mediterranean Diet?”

September 5, 2016

restaurants in madrid offering the med-diet

To all readers currently living la vida loca in Spain or intending on starting soon, I’ve got good news. Apparently, you are all most likely to live longer because of the Mediterranean diet you have been eating or are scheduled to start eating. This is fantastic news as you will avoid many health problems, including heart diseases.

Surely, your endless searches for the best tapas in Madrid and the best restaurants in Madrid have brought you many health benefits or will bring them to you. I remain convinced that the famed med-diet was part of the lure of the Spanish life for you. Having said that, no doubt you will all agree, the likes of deep fried croquetas, calamares, boquerones, buñuelos de bacalao, etc, etc, don’t exactly constitute a healthy diet. Indeed, at first look, the best tapas in Madrid seem to be deep fried.

So, what exactly is this med-diet? According to the BBC, a Mediterranean diet consists mainly of fish, fruit, vegetables, nuts and oil olive. All these ingredients contain many nutrients that are essential to a well-balanced diet. There is no doubt that many will agree these ingredients are abundant in Spain and wherever you look, you will find them with no effort whatsoever. This is great news for all the foodie, home chefs out there.

But, when it comes to the restaurants in Madrid scene, many have posed the question, “does the med-diet have to be synonymous with flavourless when it’s not deep fried?” It is true, the Spanish spice palette is not as advanced as other cuisines. But, whatever it is that is used, when done right and you find it, it is all delicious. As ever, I’ve been able to sample a new restaurant in Madrid and I willingly tell you about it and send you to it.

tuna tartar from restaurants in madrid
Tuna Tartare from Orgaz

You will agree with me, eating in the centre of the city is not always a write home about experience. Sometimes, you have to widen the net to find epic restaurants in Madrid. This time round, I got to go to the Campo de las Naciones Barrio, one of the more expensive neighbourhoods of Madrid. The neighbourhood is extremely residential, you wouldn’t be seen there otherwise, unless you worked there.

Taking into account the “gustos” of the residents, a place going by the name Orgaz has found itself a home there. What I personally appreciated about the place was the lack of evidence of the typical Spanish bar look. Don’t get me wrong, it is a good look, but sometimes one just wants a nice dining experience with well set tables and all the ambience going. So, Orgaz have managed to achieve this without the “shabby” look of a few good restaurants in Madrid.

fresh food from restaurants in madrid
Fresh Burrata with sundried tomatoes and honey mustard dressing

The food itself is the Mediterranean cuisine we so seek defined. From delicious steamed, grilled, raw, you name it, fish dishes to homemade breads and of course, the cheeky, olive oil fried patatas bravas, they have it all. All the elements of the med-diet seem to be in place, which is great. The likes of the tomato salad and artichokes all come with doses of flavour. The flavour is derived from fresh, good quality market produce mixed with subtle uses of olive oil, black pepper and flaked salt. (As I said before, the Spanish spice palette is limited, but done right, it’s all delicious)

terraza at restaurant in madrid orgaz
Avda. de los Andes s/n esquina Avda. del Arroyo del Santo • 28042 • MADRID

The prices are reasonable too as on the menu you can find dishes ranging from 6€ to 26€. The great thing is the mixture of traditional Spanish and with hints of classic international dishes. The classic international dishes you’ll find include the likes of a burrata salad, marinated ribs and the not out of place hamburger. In so doing, no one is left out of the dining experience. Having managed to utilise their space well, at Orgaz you will be able to dine casually while sitting at high tables by the bar, more formally in the dining/lounge areas or al fresco on their two, generously spaced terrazas! Whichever you choose, you can rest assured that you will be taking a bite at some of the best tapas in Madrid.

Really and truly, good on you for choosing the Mediterranean lifestyle and do make the most of it by eating at great restaurants such as Orgaz. Oh, and by all means, don’t confine yourself to the centre of Madrid, widen out!

More about Wesley Much

Seeking to bring culinary clarification to the readers based on my experiences in Milton Keynes, London and Madrid. An avid lover of everything food and Madrid. It's always been about the food and always will be.

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