Satan’s Coffee, Third Wave Coffee, El Barri Gottic

Satan's Coffee, BarcelonaI’ve been on Satan’s heels for almost a year now. I showed up to a cute shop he was supposed to have a corner in only to find out he’d left. Then I heard he was opening up in a bike shop around the corner. And finally I found the shop in a kind of worm hole location I would never accidentally stumble across, even though it is a moments away from Mercer hotel and minutes from Las Ramblas.

Satan's CoffeeWhat a shop.  Wall to ceiling windows, thick glass, black Tolix stools – pivoted at an angle.  A shop that could easily be selling expensive leather goods.

When I arrive, the yellow bench in front of the La Marzocco machine is occupied by 4 Australians (have you ever noticed that they travel in packs?).  Behind the La Marzocco is a petit girl, struggling with an Aeropress. A battle that continues for a few more minutes before she gives up and lets her customers know it’s not going to happen. Profuse apologies ensue, to the English couple that ordered the Aeropress, to the 4 Australians waiting on the bench, to me. 10 minutes later I have a flat white in a takeaway cup rather than the cappuccino to have in that I ordered. I perch on a Tolix and take it all in. Read more of this post

Niño Viejo, Mexican Food, Sant Antoni

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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

Cloudstreet, Micro bakery, L’Esquerra de L’Eixample

Cloudstreet BakeryOne of the reasons I find food interesting is that the people behind food can be so engrossing.  And there is the added bonus that they are a lot more accessible than say a gallery curator or fashion designer. With food as a subject, a conversation with a stranger can erupt and gallop away with an afternoon.  Where you come from – where they come from, it doesn’t matter.  You are speaking the same language (even if some of the time you don’t speak the same language).   The bread baking equation written on the tiles at CloudstreetCloudstreet had been on my radar ever since the brunch they co-hosted with Skye Coffee at Espacio 88.   Yesterday I set out to find their shop.

Initially I walk right past them because it simply says Forn de Pa in old-fashioned lettering.  I double back and take a closer look at the window display, it’s obvious then that this is what I am looking for.  Tonatiuh (one of the bakers at Cloudstreet), with whom I have an instant affinity, explains that they bought the bakery from the original owner.  The former owner is in his 70′s now and was born in a small room over the 100-year-old wood burning ovens  that Cloudstreet have gratefully inherited. 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

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