A Barcelona food blog
Grey November skies and what seems to have been almost a fortnight of a constant deluge of rain (I can almost hear the non-sympathy vote coming from those reading this in the UK) mean the opportunities for a picnic are now put on the back burner until the spring. Thankfully, there is an alternative Picnic waiting to shield us from the autumnal gloom. As with so many of the newer openings in the city, Picnic is filled with pastel shades, faux vintage nic-nacs and bold, bright flowers, all of which are cosy and inviting but for me, nothing more than the latest bandwagon that lacks a little originality. However, they have also jumped on the trend for brunch and this is never a bad thing in a city that lacks midday, weekend options.
Decor is one thing, what’s on my plate is another. Lunch is the best value time to eat in Spain, the menu del dia is a welcome hangover from the Franco days. Basically this is a 2 or 3 course meal, usually including wine or soft drink and a coffee for a set price. Here it was 10.50€ for a main course + dessert or 12.50€ for starter, main course and dessert. As someone who prefers to have starter and main but skip the dessert I would’ve welcomed another third option for 10.50€.
A small basket of wonderfully chewy, fennel laced foccacia entertained us whilst we waited for our orders. We got through almost three of these by the end of the meal. I think that says it all and thanks to the very friendly waiter who kept them coming.
Sharp yet sweet pomegranate seeds topped the satisfying brown lentil salad with walnuts and green beans which left me feeling healthily smug and the flakes of sea salt sprinkled through it set it alive.
The ‘market fish’ of the day was that Iberian favourite hake, a beautiful generous piece of which sat atop some neat squares of hash brown and accompanied by a slightly wilted, ‘too long in the dressing before being served’ salad. The hash browns will be excused of their sogginess as they were tasty nonetheless and a dash of lime in the crème fraîche would’ve given the plate a zing. The hake was wonderful and I adore crispy fish skin.
Given that I hadn’t really wanted dessert I chose the simple yet refreshing fruit salad, known here in Spain as macedonia, though quite how a bowl of mixed fruit should come to be named after a Balkan country is beyond me.
My friends went for the other dessert option of mouthwatering mini pancakes which came with a spoonful of maple syrup and fresh berries, the perfect size portion for a lunchtime meal. This isn’t the cheapest menu del dia to be found, but the general quality of the food and coffee, the full bodied glass of wine and the welcoming waiter meant it was money well spent. Now back to the street, where did I leave my umbrella?
Picnic, C/Comerç 1, Born