Wandering in Barrio Salamanca
Living in a big city means we often fall into the habit of walking with our eyes looking dead ahead of us as we rush from point A to point B. I can personally attest to the stone-cold stare I emit while running late for my appointments. This is probably why I’ve been told by strangers to smile so many times. After living in Madrid for so long, I can’t remember when I last took the time to look up and appreciate the ornate building facades. This rush- and -go habit blinds us from the opportunity to find hidden gems in our beloved Madrid. We decided to play tourist for the day and nonchalantly stroll through Calle Velazquez, and look up for the first time in a long time. Imagine our delight when we saw DINGO, and even better, we saw the list of mouth-watering fresh burgers they had. A peep in the window showed us a cozy chic interior, to save us from the grey day outside. We figured stopping for a fresh burger couldn’t hurt, so we marched in with an appetite.
Walking into DINGO is like walking into Madrid’s idea of Soho. It’s pretty much Soho in Salamanca. We were surprised to find such a gem of a fresh burger restaurant in Madrid. The café in front boasts loads of natural lighting and perfect, marble-top Parisian-style café tables. The interior promises a 10 out of 10 on the Instagram friendly scale. From the outside, you wouldn’t think that a trendy restaurant like this could exist tucked away so humbly.
But don’t let the aesthetics distract you. The food is just as impressive. Everything on the menu is made in-house. Although everything seemed to have “muy buena pinta”, we opted for their most recommendable choice: the fresh burgers and fresh salads.
Goat Cheese Salad
We started off our foodie excursion with their Goat-Cheese Salad. The salads are not the typical baby-portioned salads where you end up coughing up more euros than the size of your plate. These salads have sustenance. Ours was sprinkled with in season strawberries. Fresh, light, and satisfying, there’s no better way to get your taste buds ramped up for the second course.
In-House Fresh Burgers
We each had a burger, one with goat cheese, caramelized onions, and sun-dried tomatoes. The other, a french-take on the classic cheeseburger, with fresh brie cheese and arugula. Each served with a generous helping of fries and a side of cole slaw. The fresh beef patties leave you feeling good and not like a fat kid on Thanksgiving, barely able to breathe. You can definitely tell that these Madrid fresh burgers are made with high-quality ingredients because they leave you feeling satisfied, not suffocating in a food coma. I even mentioned at one point that this is the kind of burger I’d eat while on “operation bikini”. That’s the kind of guiltless burger I can wrap my fingers around any day of the week.
Of course, it took us awhile to finally decide on those burgers because DINGO offers so many interesting items, like their deconstructed king crab croquetas (woah), their mixed egg dishes, and their roasted ribs. We loved the fresh burgers, but we are so excited to go back and try their other options.
The portions were satisfying but not overwhelming. We would have loved to have tried one of their homemade desserts, but the first two courses left us feeling so satiated we had to pass (that’s a rarity). Instead, we plan to use it as an excuse to go back and have a coffee and dessert at their beautiful coffee bar, right in the entrance.
We need to give a shout out as well to the extremely attentive staff. I’m sure you feel our pain when it comes to eating out in Spain, waitstaff and service isn’t always the greatest experience. The people at DINGO raise the bar for Spanish service and make you feel welcome, not as a nuisance. We definitely will be bringing” out-of-towners” here, It’s a solid option where you know everyone will leave feeling pleased with their Madrid restaurant experience.
With their Madrid fresh burgers and generous portions, DINGO had us feeling as if we were back home. They’ll do everything to ensure a good dining experience. The burgers are gourmet yet maintain the simplicity of a juicy, filling fresh burger. We discovered they open until 1am most nights and 2 am on weekends. So the next time you’re strolling about on Calle Velazquez, take the time to look up. You never know what you might stumble upon.
Calle de Velázquez, 47, 28001 Madrid (Metro Line 4, Vasquez Stop)
Article written by Bianca Galan and Tamar Cohen