I chuckled when I saw that Entrepanes Diaz is now available to order through Deliveroo. A service I imagine appeals to younger people who use their phone as a portal to the world of eats. Sushi. Ramen maybe. A green juice. Not dowdy sandwiches.
I write dowdy but in this instance I do not mean to use it in a derogatory way. Diaz is the last name of the owner, Kim Diaz – who is also the owner of the better known Bar Mut across the road but here the focus is on sandwiches in buns. Spoonfuls of delicious combinations on abundant soft white buns which come from Forn de Sant Josep.
We order a few to try. Black squid and suckling pig are among them. They are mayonnaise laden affairs, seemingly small to behold but filling once you start eating them.
Despite the bread coming from an artisan baker, I don’t love it. It resembles a marshmallow in colour, consistency and nutrition. I am a lover of the toothsome dense dark rye and spelt loaves of Northern Europe. And although it’s a cliché and any day now we are going to hear that avocados are on the brink of extension because of the popularity of avocado toast – I love avocado toast.
I would be happy to forgo the bread altogether and stick to the fillings. The crisp fried baby squid with its squirts of contrasting black and white mayonnaise. The tender morsels of an infantile pig.
No, the draw of Entrapanes Diaz to me resides with the patina of the staff and of the restaurant itself.
In contrast to the prevalent hiring practices of contemporary Barcelona (hire them young, preferably still living at home so as to pay the lowest employment taxes possible), Diaz went for the other extreme. He wanted waiters over 50 and that is what he got (An article I found in the Guardian writes that he had 845 applicants for 5 posts).
Our waiter that day is one of these rare specimens. He walks slowly but deliberately to us, talks us through the menu at length. As he recommends some dishes a little spittle collects visibly in the well creased corner of his mouth.
Most surprising of all is that this place hasn’t been around as long our waiter. It opened in 2015 but the waiters, the menu, the weighty interior decoration trick us into believing otherwise.
C/ de Pau Claris 189