Niño Viejo, Mexican Food, Sant Antoni


Niño Viejo

Albert Adria is coming close to having more restaurants than I have fingers on my hands.   Just a couple of weeks ago a new one opened.  A fancy taqueria called Niño Viejo (a collaboration with Paco Méndez).  It will soon be joined by an even fancier Mexican restaurant.

Not unusually, Niño Viejo is located within the small perimeter of all the other Adria restaurants in the unloved area of Sant Antoni.  In true Nancy Drew style, I plotted the addresses of all the restaurants on Google maps.  A geriatric with a zimmer frame would have no trouble at all scooting in between these restaurants.TacosWhich makes me wonder?  How much is the current expansion about restaurants and how much is it about property development?  You think I am over thinking things?  With the opening of Union Square cafe in 1985 – Danny Meyer helped regenerate an entire area.   The Adria brothers in partnership with the Iglesias brothers, restaurateurs themselves, are putting all their chips within one square mile.  Their restaurants are all booked (less so the Iglesias ones, the ones without the pictures on the BCN 5.0 website) but think what unimaginable riches they could attain with a nice property portfolio tacked on to those restaurants? Read more of this post

Bardeni, Meat Bar, Sagrada Família

BardeniIt’s coming to a year now since I moved to Barcelona.  It’s been a lonely year online.  Don’t get me wrong, I’ve made friends in the real world but I have missed the online camaraderie that I had in Berlin.

I did manage to find one blog with a URL that sounds a lot like mine – FoodBarcelona. The Fodor’s writer seemed to know all about Calςots and I was just discovering them so I asked if he wanted to meet for lunch. Six months passed, he forgot, I forgot, then one of us remembered and we met at his recommendation – Bardeni, a meat bar.

Sardines at BardeniAnd I had SO much fun!  First of all he picked a place I would probably not have chosen (I can be kind of girlie in my predilection for fish, vegetables and sustainable humane meat sources).  And then he ordered something I lacked the…insight, courage…I’m not sure what actually?  But while I asked for Sardines (€5), ox tail ravioli (€6) and patatas bravas (safe, safe, safe) he went for Nebraskan Angus steak tartar piquante (€8) (Ha Ha, Barcelona is in exactly the same category as Berlin when they say hot, they mean sweet paprika), the Charolais beef (€10) cooked blue and brawn and tripe (€6).

Brawn and tripe. I mean – I was just reading an extended article celebrating 20 years of Fergus Henderson and his championing of ‘nose to tail culinary revolution‘ and in Barcelona it’s not laudable at all, it’s lunch.  In a lot of places. Read more of this post

Teicawey, Mexican Fast Food, Gracia

TeicaweyIt’s getting so hot now. August in Barcelona – it’s not so much about the temperatures as it is about the humidity. It’s wet and sticky.  You think – “I couldn’t possibly eat in this heat.” What you actually mean is “I couldn’t possibly cook.”  And you don’t have to if you are in Gracia, where you have Teicawey with its fat aluminium wrapped burritos and its clusters of hot sauces boasting varying degrees of spiciness.  The cooler Read more of this post

Cuines Santa Caterina, Mostly Spanish with some Asian, Barri Gòtic

Cuines Santa CaterinaMy friend Giulia and her family were in town a couple of weeks back.  I whizzed them through some of the best streets in Barcelona, with a snack in mind for practically every street.  Regardless, when it was lunch time, we were all famished.  I quickly decided on our spot – a quick tour beneath the stunning undulating roof of Santa Caterina Market and then we would grab a table at Cuines Santa Caterina (From the Tragaluz group).IMG_5980 Read more of this post

Tarannà, Cafe & Bar, Sant Antoni

TarannaTarannà is the kind of place you find a lot in London, New York and even Berlin but in Barcelona, where traditional cafes are still endearing, it is more of a rare find.  They do seasonal food (yawn I know, how many times have you heard that but places here sometimes serve Asparagus in December) and although the context (and the principal language)  of the menu is very much Catalan, the approach is light and refreshing.  Taranna The pricing is easy on the wallet too – which (again) in Barcelona is a rare thing. I have a cor de bou tomato salad.  A simple affair, the tomato “heart of the bull” I think it is.  An onions, splayed open like a flower, some olives, nice canned tuna.  No dressing.  Simple stuff.  For around €8.  Quite girly actually.  In fact as I look around, I see that that particular afternoon is running at around a 95% female customer occupancy (good tip for you boys that are trying to find Ms. Right – do men actually do that or is it primarily a girl thing?  My now husband had an entire list – a la Don Tillman but without the excuse of Asperger’s). Read more of this post

La Guingueta, Chirringuito, Barceloneta

La GuinguetaBon Appetit did a small Barcelona feature in it’s May edition. I was delighted to see that I have hit most of their recommended spots (so this blog’s move to Spain is starting to get somewhere).  And then I read about how Carles Abellan – whose Tapas 24 I love (and posh restaurant Comerç 24 I visited for my last birthday), has a Chirringuito. And, and… He serves ice cream from Rocambolesc. Which is great because until now, I had been planning to travel to Girona for the day to try it.
The view - and the W is there tooYou can see the W hotel from La Guingueta.  The waiters are dressed in identical nautical themed shirts, enough of them have tattoos and patches of hair shaved off in weird places for it to seem a conscious part of the look.  I recognise 2 waiters from Tapas 24, one seems to have been promoted to manager, a charismatic girl with strange zig zagging hair cuts, who once whisked me to the front of the line at 24 when she realised that I was dining alone.The GuacamoleThe menu is made up of things between bread, slightly unusual (for Barcelona) things like chicken burgers, fresh pressed juices (€6) and guacamole (€12) or nachos.  The pricing is – well I find myself thinking, I can see the W but does that mean I have to pay W prices? Read more of this post

La Cuina d’en Garriga, Delicatessant & Restaurant, Dreta de L’Eixample

La Cuina d'en GarrigaI visited La Garriga twice before I finally decided to give it a try with my new friend Anjalina of the Barcelona food blog – Rainbow Spoon.  Mostly because this neighborhood has a tendency for well designed shops with mediocre but expensive food.  Garriga has some promising visual cues; they use and sell bread from Baluard, stock tea from Mariage Frères and sauces from Wilkins & Sons.  Meanwhile their chiller cabinet is groaning and perspiring with all manner of delicious things.La Cuina d'en GarrigaMy original plan had been to order some buffalo mozzarella with organic rocket but then I thought it better to test the kitchen and ordered the quinoa salad (€11.30) and the arroz ala cubana (€11.50). Anjalina ordered the lentils with foie gras (€11.40).  Portion sizes were on the small side and prices on the other end of the end of the scale but it was all delicious, unexpectedly so.  The lentils were boiled so that they were tender and not a moment to long.  The quinoa was light and fluffy with the surprising addition of candied lemon peel.  All dressed well.  The lone fried egg atop my rice a la cubana could have used a friend, my stomach certainly thought so.   But overall good and a nice change from all the Tapas and such. Read more of this post


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