Happy spring everyone!
Thankfully, the season has finally changed! Spring time in Europe in general is my favorite time of the year. A whole range of new opportunities for the palette are born. Everything is blooming and your appetite will not be left behind.
The start of Spring also means a long spring vacation. This week, most of us are have fully returned to the office, post-Spring break. If you’re anything like me, most of your break was used to indulge in mid-day tapas and the start of Terraza season. After a week of being spoiled by vacation bliss, the idea of a cold packed lunch inside of an office is the nemesis to leftover holiday dreams. Have no fear food enthusiast, Muchbites to the rescue!
Ladies and gentlemen, this week the slow food challenge has been kicked up a notch. I took it all the way back to Mama’s house or rather Mum’s, an up-in-coming restaurant in one of Madrid’s busiest business districts. I guarantee you this place is like nothing we’ve seen in Madrid so far. One taste of the food at Mum’s and you’d swear a bunch of moms and grandmas were working to the bone creating everyone’s comfort food favorites. The only thing I see wrong with this place is that I didn’t find it sooner. Who would have ever know that the key to my tummy’s content was tucked away one block behind Gregorio Marinon?
Foodie Finders Sidenote: Never, underestimate a side street in Madrid; it’s usually where all the food magic happens. Calle Zurbano isn’t one the less.
Mum’s is a cafeteria-style restaurant which means all of the dishes are cooked fresh and brought out for patrons to choose from. Friendly staff members serve you up your heart’s content in cute, eco-friendly to-go boxes. If you’re in a hurry, you can pay at the very quick checkout point and pick up your complimentary bread and earth friendly silverware on your way back to life. Those who have a few more minutes to spare can dip downstairs to the ultra cool cellar/bungalow that quickly fast forwards any stressful day to a chill happy hour. The only thing you’ll regret after a lunch at Mum’s is having to go back to the office.
Like every good mother’s kitchen, the motto at Mum’s is home cooked food at great prices. That is exactly what they deliver. Everyday Mum’s offers up a new set of feel good Mediterranean and International dishes any mother would be proud of. All of their dishes are made from high quality, seasonal food that you can feel good about putting into your body.
The day I visited, the fresh made main dishes to choose from included Greek Moussaka and a Mediterranean-style baked fish. In my opinion, the show stopper of the day was their Jamaican chicken with huge cuts of chicken breast chunks, black beans, corn and a cilantro cream sauce that paired perfectly with the sneaky punches of cinnamon and fresh herbs in every bite. Each of these options could be served alone or paired with your choice of white rice or Spanish, oven crisped potatoes.
The lovely homegrown goodness did not stop there. Right alongside the entrées was an impressive salad bar that featured three types of fresh, handmade salads with ingredients such as pears, goat’s cheese, root vegetables and nuts. As if that weren’t enough, patrons also have a “make your own” salad option with various toppings to complete your leafy creation. If by chance you aren’t full yet from all the yummy eye candy splashed before you, Mum’s goes ahead and throws in a hot kettle of house soup right at the end of the serving line to further complicate your lunchtime decision making skills. Oh, and did I mention that they took things even a step further by adding a fridge to the back of the store stocked high with snack packs, desserts and on-the-go cold food options? Like every good mother’s kitchen, the options are overwhelming. Good thing is that price matters here–At Mum’s, ever item is sold by the gram, so you can mix and match dishes according to your liking. Best of all, most options are priced at less than 2 euros per gram.
At my first visit to Mum’s, I went all out and let my eyes rule my wallet: I ordered the Jamaican chicken with rice, a chickpea and root vegetable salad, the Vichyssoise soup and a drink (don’t judge, I was excited.). When I came to my senses, I cringed at the thought of going to the checkout point. To my surprise, the bill was less than 11 euros. Even better was the fact that the food was so filling, I packed up half of it for dinner later on. Let’s be honest: Buying the ingredients to get your real Mama to make all those things wouldn’t even be that cheap! Mum’s is definitely a slow food triple threat worth trying: Fresh, comforting and easy on the wallet. What more could you ask for?
Calle de Zurbano, 84, 28010 Madrid
Tel: 911 89 79 44
Metro: Gregorio Maranon/Ruben Dario (Miguel Angel/Almagro exit)