Yesterday I went to the inaugural ‘street food festival’ organised by BCN Mes and held at CREC in Poble Sec. The reason I am using inverted comas is that the majority of the food stands have a bricks and mortar location in Barcelona. Which is unlike street food at say Broadway Market (London) or Street Food Thursday (Berlin). All this is relevant because the line of people waiting to get into Eat Street is 3 people wide and two blocks deep (Barcelona blocks are big). It’s epic.
Which is what I am thinking when I approach the girl with the worst job in the world (explaining to the sweaty hungry people that “No, she can’t let them in because there is a crowd control issue.”) I’ve got two hours before the twins are up from their afternoon nap, tentatively I explain that I write a blog and could I please get in to take some pictures? “Press was at 13:30.” she turns away. I bite my lip and hover a moment until an actual photographer turns up, towering above the both of us, pointing his massive lens menacingly at her and waving his press card – “your choice, let me in or you don’t get covered.” He’s obnoxious, he wears her down, I duck in behind him.
And so it is, sometimes another person’s hard time is another’s lucky break. Good thing too. I am amazed at the turn out. At how ready everyone seems to be for something just like this. And why wouldn’t they be, everyone else has been doing the food truck thing for ages? (I get the impression that setting up a food truck or a temporary stand at one of the many markets may be difficult? And perhaps the food culture in Barcelona is too ingrained compared to that of Berlin which in the last few years has exploded in the most impressive way?)
Also there is this; I feel that new food businesses in Barcelona are looking to monetize a.s.a.p. (a lot are thinking ‘franchise’ from day one), in the same way I feel that in London everyone’s after the book deal – in Berlin, it seemed different. There was an altruism to a lot of places and money was often seen to be a dirty word. These are unfounded impressions but I am an instinctive person. All this to say finding excellent places in Barcelona can be challenging. All the more because there are so many places, it’s a swamp of restaurants out here but who is doing it well? Whose food would I eat over my own? Not many.
And that is the treat at Eat Street. They’ve found some of the better places and in effect done the hard work for you. I will do a roll call for you following the article. I think the best way to find out about similar upcoming events is to follow BCN Mes on Twitter and CREC. But also – you can just go to the actual restaurant since as I said most of the stands have one!
Banh Mi Amb Tu
La Cocina Palpita
Galanga Atelier de Cocina
Bread and Circuses
Guillermo & Cristina