Alex: After a week in Mykonos where absolutely no photos were taken, except for one walking out of my hotel room in Kalo Livadi, an oasis away from the busy streets of Mikonos town, I ventured back to Barcelona, Spain. My second time in Catalonia and third visit to Spain.
I had suffered from a serious case of food poisoning in Mykonos which meant I was out of action for a few days and was only beginning to recover on my first day in Barcelona.
Having done the tourist hotspots during a previous trip I focused my efforts on eating. Two out of three brunches were spent at Brunch & Cake.
I wish that I could say that I had a part in this cafe’s recent popularity but in fact it’s quite the opposite. Brunch & Cake has an extremely loyal following worldwide with 40,000 followers on social media and 6 cafes in Spain. The locations of each cafe are cleverly thought out with one located next to a university attracting all the young, hip Spaniards and another right near Barcelona beach getting good traction from tourists.
“Paleo black latte with peanut butter” 2.30€ was the first and only thing I needed to see in order to make a decision. Extremely bitter and definitely in need of a teaspoon of sugar but the flavour was enjoyable nevertheless.
It’s no surprise I love a good Acai bowl here at home, so I had to get one for comparison. The Blue algae acai smoothie bowl 9.80€ was visually stunning (as was all the food at the venue) but I found lacked any substance. It tasted more like a banana paddle pop. Perhaps I’m used to acai bowls being drowned in granola but this definitely needed more. The consistency was similar to a melted ice cream and unfortunately, it just didn’t live up to the expectations.
After not eating properly for a good three days I needed a hearty meal so I opted for the Soft scrambled eggs with Iberico ham on a bagel, hummus and mac & cheese 11.50€. Vibrant colours enveloped the plate and the mac & cheese was absolutely amazing. While I’m all for stunning visuals there was just too much going on. The accompanying salad was flavourless and unnecessary and the little sweet potato towers were barely touched. If this was just as the description said this would’ve been perfect! Not as heavy and not as many flavours bouncing around to confuse the palate.
You can read more about the markets from my last trip here
One of the only things left on my tourist list was Monestir de Montserrat, or Monastery of Montserrat perched high in the mountains of Catalonia about an hour from Barcelona. The views are some of the best of the surrounding hillside and are a completely different vibe to the busy Barcelona streets.
In order to get to the Monastery, you have to get a 15-minute cable car from the train and then, to reach the highest mountain point you must get another 10-minute funicular. I’d wear extremely comfortable shoes as it’s a full day of walking but I highly recommend for the views alone.
Before my last beach day of the holiday (you can see how tanned I was on my Instagram @asquadrito, I’m already back to being pasty) I stopped back at Brunch & Cake but this time we went to the venue closest to Barcelona Beach. Brunch & Cake By The Sea. Similar vibes to the other cafe but more…boho-chic I guess you could say.
After spending a month in Japan (reviews to follow) and for those that have done the same you might understand why I had a distinct craving for avocado! Holy shit, I’ve never missed something so simple in my life. My choice was clear this time around with the Smashed avo on toast with seasonal fruits 7.95€. An Aussie staple but with some interesting additions. Firstly, I loved the presentation. It was still creative and beautiful but not overly ostentatious with unnecessary additions to the plate like my last visit. The watermelon with feta below the toast was a great touch. I’ve never had avocado with fruits before but it’s surprisingly a good mix. The avocado was velvety and great and everything I hoped it would be.
A dish I was told was a ‘must order’ and was, in fact, sold out on my first visit was the new addition to the menu, Blueberry Cheesecake Pancakes. I didn’t take a photo of the menu so can’t remember the price but it was around 9€.
I mean, look at the presentation. It’s evident that this is their main focus and is why they’ve built such a name for themselves. They are works of art. I thought the flavours were good, they weren’t the best pancakes I’ve ever had but I’d definitely order them again.
And so ends my brunch endeavours in Barcelona. I didn’t bring my camera out to dinner for some stupid reason but I highly recommend anyone going to Barcelona to check out Arume Restaurant. They did a phenomenal Duck Paella that I can’t stop raving about.
Until next time.
Check out my previous travel post – A week in Paris
Next review – Dubai.
I had been in Barcelona just two weeks before the attack on Las Ramblas and my heart goes out to those who lost their lives.