Friday, 4 January 2013

VIPS Spain: Good, Fast Food

Some reviewers refer to VIPS as Spain's equivalent of IHOP(International House of Pancakes, USA). I know that VIPS offers breakfast fare, but to be honest, I have never tried VIPS for breakfast so I can't comment on that.

However, I've eaten at VIPS a number of times, always during lunch. I'll be straight about something, there is nothing spectacular about VIPS's food. Sure, they taste good, the service is fast(at least by Madrid's standards), and, okay, so this is really the reason why we often eat at VIPS haha, VIPS offers free wifi to diners. But there is nothing gourmet about VIPS.

I think of VIPS as the Spanish spin on good fast food. There are burgers, ribs, pancakes, ice creams. But they also have steaks, salads, pastas, flautas. All the western and Spanish comfort foods you can think of, you could probably get at VIPS.

Most days of the week, we eat at the cafeteria near our office. This cafeteria, with a bar and a wine cellar ambience to it, is our favorite haunt. To call it a cafeteria gives our favorite lunch haunt a disservice. It's a restaurant essentially serving office workers around Adequa, the complex where our office is located. The food, let me tell you, is great. The servers already know us by face and automatically talk to us in english when they see us. Then when we attempt to order in Spanish, the waiter, encouraging as he is, would smile and tell us, muy bien! How cool is that!

So anyhow, we eat our meals at the cafeteria inside our office complex every day except Fridays. On Fridays, we only have work until 1:30 PM so most of the time, for a change, we eat someplace else.

Well, today, Friday, because we were itching to get free wifi, we walked to the nearby VIPs for lunch, about 10 minutes away from our office.

INSIDE VIPS:the frills free table and chairs.

Feels fastfoody right?

VIPS menu and table setting

Condiments at our table, bottles of Olive Oil and vinegar, plus packets of Heinz catsup, mustard and mayonnaise.

Just like most Spanish cafeterias and restaurants , VIPS offers Menu del Dia (Menu of th Day) options for lunch. Menu del Dia allows you to customize your three course lunch meal for a fixed price.

Here's what I got, but, ooops, before I forget, here's the free crusty bread.

Food is served in courses. That is, first you are served your primer plato (first dish), and you are allowed to savor and finish it before they serve the second dish(segundo plato).

I got cannelloni filled with ground meat for my primer plato:

The serving size was big, and as expected, the pasta dish was cheesy and yummy enough. I've ordered this before so I sure knew what I was getting. :-)

After I was is done with the first course, a server came to get my plate and then served me my second course.

Here's my secondo:
Grilled Steak, green beans, french fries.

I loooove steak, so given a choice between pork, chicken or seafood, I always choose to satisfy my beef yearnings.

After I've eaten my way through my steak and fries, our pretty and efficient server cleared away our plate and asked us what we want for our postre(desserts).

I got myself some badass (i.e. bad for my waistline) chocolate mousse.
And it came topped with a choco chip cookie :-)

The chocolate mousse tasted like extra creamy and very light chocolate ice cream. It certainly satisfied whatever sweet cravings I had.

For bebida(drink), we opted for Agua, which came in pretty, retro glass bottles.

For this three course meal including the drink and a complementary 45 minute wifi pass, I paid 11€, roughly PHP 590.00. Yes, it may be steep in Manila prices, but here in Madrid, considering that it's a three course meal, it's reasonable.

To be honest, I only eat a proper meal during lunch, thus lunch is my heaviest meal of the day. Dinner is usually just fruits, juice, and if I'm not too lazy and I'm hungry enough, some easy to cook meat and salad. So I feel I deserve to eat good, yummy food for my most important meal of the day! :-)

I think this is how it is here in Spain, lunch is heavy and long drawn (Case in point: we are allowed to take two hour lunch breaks in the office). While breakfast and dinner tend to be light, smaller meals.

So that's it about VIPS in Spain. It's not gourmet, but it's reliable, clean and approachable food.

1 comment:

  1. I miss bread and Europe! There's something so romantic about them still made fresh each day. I remember once walking the streets of Prague with nothing but a baguette in hand and I was happy all day :)

    VIPS sounds so everyday, i like it!


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