Tierra Burrito Bar

What do you get when you combine fresh, affordable food, craft beers and two cool central Madrid locations? You get Tierra Burrito Bar. Anyone familiar with the Southwestern part of the U.S. knows how much we love our Tex-Mex food. For me, stepping into Tierra was like taking a short trip back home because before Tierra, getting a decent burrito was practically impossible in Madrid.

Tierra Burrito Bar at Calle Sagasta

Tierra Burrito Bar at Calle Sagasta

Tierra is like the cool, hip sister of the U.S. based Chipotle restaurant. You start by choosing between a burrito, 3 corn tacos or the naked burrito (burrito bowl) and then go on to select your ingredients of choice (chicken, beef, pork or vegetarian). From there, you can choose to include rice, beans and a variety of delicious sauces ranging from mild to the spiciest sauce that is made from habanero peppers and jalepeños.

A delicious burrito with a side of guacamole from Tierra Burrito

A delicious burrito with a side of guacamole from Tierra Burrito

But what makes this an especially great place to go is the laid-back setting. They’ve taken great care to make it a cool place to hang out, and in true Spain style, you don’t feel rushed. The kitchen is open all day and the location in on Calle Sagasta is a great option if you’re looking for a casual and affordable place for large groups. Another reason to check this place out are the prices, a burrito and drink will set you back about 8 euros, a bargain! Currently, there are two locations, the original Tierra is in the neighborhood of Moncloa and the newest location is in Chamberi, near Alonso Martinez.

When: Open Monday to Thursday from 12:30pm to 12:30am

Fridays and Saturdays from 12:30pm to 2:30am

Sundays from 12:30pm to 12:30am

 

Where: Calle Guzman el  Bueno 52 (Metro Moncloa or Islas Filipinas)

or the second location at Calle Sagasta 30 (Metro Alonso Martinez)

 

Aío; Authentic Italian food in a casual Madrid setting

Pizzas at Aío

Pizzas at Aío

I found this place one hot August afternoon in Madrid. I was set to meet a friend for near Gran Via and just wanted something quick to eat, but different. Did I mention it was the middle of August in Madrid? Not only is it hot, but slightly deserted too. Most of my nearby favorites were closed for summer break, so I kept walking hoping to bump into a place that got my attention. As I walked down the street, the smell of fresh pizza drew me closer to Aío, a centrally located Italian restaurant. Take a look inside and you’ll see that it’s a bit eclectic, but overall its cozy and makes for a nice place to hang out.

Inside Aío

Inside Aío

I decided on the menu del dia, which included a drink, appetizer, main dish and coffee for less than 10€. I’ve come to believe you can tell a lot about the restaurant by their menus del dia. The quality and presentation of the appetizer is pretty indicative of what’s to come. As a first, I ordered ensalada caprese. I’ve tried a few Italian menus del dia, and didn’t have very high hopes. Then, they brought this beauty.

Caprese Salad

Caprese Salad

It was fabulous! Quality ingredients, a great portion and absolutely refreshing! As a main, I ordered the lasagna del dia. I was told it was pesto. I’ve never had pesto lasagna, but then remembered that a friend of mine once told me that the best Italian food is often made of simple combinations. Done, bring on the pesto lasagna!

Lasagna

Pesto Lasagna

The combination of the cheese with the nutty pesto sauce and the crunchy baked exterior of the noodles…it was perfect! I later found out that Aío was opened just a couple of years ago by Marcello and Andrea, two guys from Sardinia, Italy who now live in Madrid. I have yet to have their specialty, pizza, but will certainly come back for more!

I have to say that I was pleasantly surprised by everything about this place. The food was simple and delicious! The woman who served me was genuinely nice and made sure I had everything I needed. When dining solo, I like going to places that make you feel welcome. Aío is a great casual restaurant to enjoy great Italian food, by yourself or with friends!

Where: Corredera Baja de San Pablo 25

Metro: Callao

Hours: Monday- Thursday from 12:30pm – 01:00am
Firdays and Saturdays from 12:30pm – 2:30am
Sundays from 12:30pm – 01:00am