Photo by Patricia Esteve
Fogons de la Barceloneta home
This is a city where restaurant terraces are shoe-horned into the tightest spaces: it’s not unusual to find yourself wedged between a parked motorbike and a postbox with the waiter reaching around a lamp post to serve you. One of the immediately attractive things about Els Fogons de la Barceloneta is the vast, sun-soaked Plaça de la Font that rolls out before it, filled with beach-bound German tourists and their designated pickpockets gaily frolicking among the newly-planted municipal saplings.
There’s an equal sense of spaciousness inside, with orange chairs and a garish mural of a giant octopus brightening up the steely, monochrome decor. Note that upstairs is home to the Michelin-starred sister restaurant El Lluçanès, which is lovely but about triple the price, so watch where you sit.
Els Fogons has a strong selection of tapas and an upmarket taster menu (€32) with treats such as ceps with garlic shoots and grilled foie or a scallop ‘gin and tonic’, but on this occasion we went for the set lunch menú. For starters, we had an undressed green salad and an over-dressed pumpkin soup hidden under cream, a boiled egg, olive oil and various seeds. Purely to cut through the clagginess, I ordered an extra glass of the house white, a crisp Rovellats (Penedès). Delicately deep-fried calamares came next, with an excellent pan of rice, perfect mussels and sweet onions that was too big to finish.
Desserts were the usual litany of brownies, yoghurt and fruit so I went for the pudín dels fogons which turned out to be a normal pudín dressed up as a party clown in squirty cream, rainbow sprinkles and coloured smarties. It wasn’t fooling anyone.
Service was hard to gauge as our waitress was a bit of everything—frisbeeing our plates onto the table and actually rolling her eyes when we requested allioli, but suddenly chatty and sweet by the time dessert came around. Maybe she’d been helping herself to the sprinkles...
Els Fogons de la Barceloneta, Mercat de la Barceloneta. Tel. 93 224 2626; www.elsfogonsdelabarceloneta.com Open: breakfast 8.30am-12.30pm; lunch 1pm-4pm; dinner 8pm-12am. Closed Sunday evening and all day Monday. Lunch menu: €13