As the Canadian of the Fooding duo, I felt it my absolute duty to try this restaurant as soon as possible. We tried a bit of everything – poutine, burgers and dessert. And while El Canadiense definitely reminded me of home, I wasn’t exactly transported there. Allow me to explain…
El Canadiense, run by the same group as Bar Galleta (Malasaña), has the same chic style. Two words: beautiful and cozy. We love the airy vibe and even think it smelled like pine needles when we walked in.
We were lucky to get a long table in a slightly-secluded side room that was decorated from floor to ceiling with luscious plants, wood tones and an antler chandelier. A great first impression, we were off to a good start!
What we tried:
As soon as we found out there was going to be a Canadian restaurant we knew we had to try the poutine. But was it the poutine that we’d grown to know and love? Not exactly.
It’s served with a base of sweet potato fries (which we were totally thrown off by, but honestly weren’t so bad!). They were nicely cooked and not so sweet that they took away from the other flavours, like the delicious gravy. We found out after our visit that the poutine could be ordered with normal fries, too, so we’ll probably give that a try next time.
The gravy was really good, in my opinion. It had that meaty, salty flavour that you would expect from a poutine. The bacon also added a nice bit of savouriness. The only thing here that was really missing was the cheese curds. For us, a poutine isn’t poutine without the hard saltiness of a cheese curd, and this poutine, with its fresh cheese, didn’t quite cut it.
This shepherd’s pie reminded me of the one my mom makes; ground beef, mixed with peas, beans and corn, topped with buttery, creamy mashed potatoes and chives. It was easily shareable and really delicious. A great choice for those cool winter days.
This shredded pork burger topped with cheddar cheese, bacon and arugula. This was definitely one of our favourites. The meat was flavourful, tender and juicy and the toppings complemented it perfectly. The bun was also a good choice – you can choose between brioche, ciabatta or multigrain (+0.50€).
Granjera burger & Canadian burger
The granjera burger came with a choice of bread and a choice of size – you can order either 200g of wagyu beef or 400g (+5€). This one (above) was 200g topped with cheddar cheese, Canadian bacon, tomato and a fried egg.
Although not pictured, all burgers come with a tin full of oregano-seasoned, crispy french fries. Ketchup, mustard and mayo are set out on the table.
We ordered this Canadian burger with just beef and cheese because we think it’s easiest to see the quality of a hamburger when it’s at its simplest. This burger was a bit smaller (150g) because it was part of a menu del día (12.50€).
In both cases, the meat in the hamburgers was perfectly cooked and noticeably of high quality. They didn’t skimp on the cheese or the toppings and the bread was nice and soft.
Costillar braseado a baja temperatura al sirope de arce
Ribs cooked at a low temperature in a maple syrup sauce
These ribs had lots of meat on the bone, which was a nice surprise. It was also falling right off, which is also a good sign. The sauce was plentiful and the meat tender, we would have just perhaps expected a bit more BBQ flavour.
Now on to dessert. I have to admit, I’m a little sad about dessert. And it’s not because what we ordered wasn’t good! It’s because I was so excited to try the Nanaimo bars (my grandma used to make them) and they didn’t have them. So I decided to try the key lime pie. And they didn’t have it. So then I decided pecan pie would be alright. And they didn’t have it! They were out of all of them.
So, in the end, we ordered Bar Galleta’s most popular dessert, Tarta de Mama, and some cheesecake.
Tarta de Mama
Disappointment aside, this was really good! The chocolate mousse was sweet and smooth and the cookie crumble on top was buttery and delicious. We can definitely understand why it’s so popular.
This cheesecake was tasty, rich and creamy. The fruit compote on top was tangy and the cookie ice cream and crumble on the side were AMAZING. Maybe it wasn’t the ending we were expecting from El Canadiense, but it was a good one nonetheless.
(El Canadiense also offers all kinds of non-Canadian inspired dishes like chicken curry, eggplant lasagna or a spicy tuna poke bowl. And they have breakfast! To see the full menu, click here.)