Now that I’m starting school at IE this fall, I need to have a full arsenal of lunch places in my Rolodex. For a few weeks I kept passing by Wanda thinking to myself, I’ve got to come here. So finally, as things start to wind down and I find myself full of optimism, Daphne and I got together to have lunch at Wanda Café Optimista.
The décor makes it a perfect place to have some coffee, get lost in conversation (as we did), AND for IE students (especially with those who will have classes in María de Molina, 4) there are big tables for group projects. As I perused Wanda’s website to get the final research components to wrap up this article and make it ready for publication, the owners of the restaurant did have the oasis idea in mind. With primarily light, nautral woods, along with splashes of neon colors reminiscent of summery ikat prints, the hustle and bustle of the Castellana and the Plaza del Doctor Marañón seemed a world away.
At lunchtime, there are a number of deals. The plato del día the day we were there was salmon, basmati rice, and roasted tomatoes. This, along with a coffee and drink, was €9.
What was even more amazing was Daphne’s iced tea, with fresh strawberries and mint.
Now that I have received a temporary reunion with fruit, I am even more determined to go back and have it.
There are some other deals as well, including the salad buffet. For an absolute hardcore salad eater like myself, the setup is great. You have your salad (with you choosing the toppings and having it tossed like the tried and true salad establishments in my hometown of New York City that line every major area with office buildings) and a natural juice. So not only do I need to go back to Wanda to get myself a delicious strawberry iced tea, I also need to have some salad and juice.
If you don’t want to take advantage of any of the deals and want to have a more traditional restaurant experience, then there’s plenty of things to whet your appetite. While I add the ventresca (tuna belly), tomato, and onion salad, there were also plenty of other options. You can have something more traditional, like salmorejo, bacalao, cecina de León, or croquetas, but if you crave something more international, then there’s plenty for you too. You can find a selection of thin-crust pizzas, chicken tikka masala, eggs benedict, AND onion rings.
But if you thought Wanda was just for lunch, it’s also open until 2 AM. If you find yourself having a long night of work and studying, you’ll have yourself a great oasis.