Somewhere Cafe started out in the suburb of Sant Cugat some years ago.
They must have taken a good chunk of time to find a space they loved and that would be as distinctive as their space in Sant Cugat. To look at it from the street, the busy thoroughfare of Arago, two and a half Barcelona blocks from Passeig de Gracia underground station, I muse that it won’t live up to the original.
But it does.
The facade is large but that in no way prepares you for the enormous space within. Rendered more striking by a limestone coloured rock wall with clever use of up lighting. Against that, large wooden steps climbing up. Like a one-sided amphitheater. At the top of those, some clever so and so has provided plugs. These steps can be overflow seating when the tables below are occupied. Sitting there offers original vantage points.
At the far end is a raised kitchen, the few times I have visited, occupied by a fair few women. Open pass enveloped in corrugated metal and affixed to the top a bit of neon: “It’s not what you see, it’s what you feel.”
It’s the third wall I am vexed by. A purple and orange graffiti of a dog and cat (maybe. I can’t be sure. It’s too ugly to look at for long.) Marmitean in its divisiveness (as in “Love it or hate it – Marmite).
The menu is divided into 5 categories with different times of availability for each one. Drinks, Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner, Brunch Weekend, Desserts. Within the pages there are dishes from “around the world” a burger from one place a stir fry from another. This is never my preferred approach. I like it short, I like it seasonal, I like it narrowed down within a not too large geographical area.
We throw the net out wide to see what we catch. A burger, pulled pork on pancakes, watermelon salad (complete with rind). For the kids, chicken tenders with chunky fries. With the last one they nail it. So many, too many, restaurants always take this opportunity to throw some frozen nuggets into the fryer and overcharge.
The salad is the one I like the least. The quinoa hasn’t been pre dressed and the ‘kale’ which is in the header is hardly present at all. The rest is good enough in that whacky American way where unexpected things end up on the same plate.
For afters, we share a red velvet and a banana chocolate – both great bakes. Coffee is good but I knew that from Sant Cugat.
My final breakdown? You go for the great space, the coffee, the cakes and the food. Probably in that order.
C/ Arago 310