Social media users have been sending La Xocolateria a lot of love. It’s easy to see why. It’s gorgeous. That wall of stacked drawers everyone has been posting pictures of is even better in reality. There are beautiful tiles. Magical pockets of light. It’s next to Cafe Kaffka on the picturesque mercat del Born. It is a good looking shop.
Then it kind of unravels for me. Oriol Balaguer is a confectionary magician, turning out delicate lacquered cakes and coaxing chocolate into shiny deliciousness. La Xocolateria sells a handful of the cakes and some chocolates but the emphasis at this shop seems to be on ice cream, waffles, crepes and churros. Available with various toppings and/or hot drinks as displayed on a menu I instantly dislike for having too many options.
The waffles and crepes are cooked to order – which is the least you would expect from a chief confectioner such as Balaguer but the churros are not. “But they are kept in a special chilled room and re-heated to order.” the earnest young man behind the counter assures me. I just hear “re-heated”. For me, with churros, that doesn’t work. They have to be freshly fried, wet dough plopping into hot fat, sizzling and then catching part of your greedy mouth unawares and singeing it.
There is nothing novel nor distinctive in the waffles, crepes or ice cream so I am intrigued as to why the emphasis on what can essentially be categorized as a tourist snack? To be fair, the 75% hot chocolate that comes with the churros is special, although the decision to serve it with a wooden spoon is a bad one and my upper lip drags and catches on the rough surface.
I go to pay, deciding that La Xocolateria is indeed pretty but it suffers from the “being extremely good-looking pitfall” namely there is such a reliance on looks that no sense of humour or personality is developed. (Luckily I am not very good-looking).
I hand over a €50 note and to my surprise, am asked to feed it into a gigantic CashKeeper which digests the note and gives me change. Very. Slowly. While the earnest young waiter and I look at each other.
See this and find more addresses on my Foodie in Barcelona Map
C/ Fusina 5