Flax & Kale El Raval owns this category.
Where as the original Teresa Carles has a certain old-fashioned hippy vegetarian vibe about it – Flax & Kale is all it needs to be for a maximum capture of the hipster consumer.
Starting from the impressive spread of the place as you approach it from the street – “Flax & Kale” – on every awning. To the fridges stocked to the maximum with a huge selection of fresh pressed juices. Moving on to the hostess with the ear piece – walkie-talkie on one hip and phone on the other. She will take you through the huge restaurant, plant filled and with plant motifs on the upholstery. Every one you pass will be wearing the same “Flax & Kale” t-shirt- they will make eye contact and smile (because they have received training to do so).
Then you get handed a large menu. With a key of ingredients: gluten, dairy, peanuts, sesame, soya – each plate listing has a key and you can run your finger down the chart and locate your nutritional Achilles heel (real or imagined). A restaurant that splits it’s offerings between 80% plant-based and 20% oily fish (hence flexitarian and not vegetarian) Flax & Kale El Raval are “passionate about feeding you better thus you can be happier and live longer with an optimal health.”
On the cringe inducing side as far as mission statements go but the idea behind it is sound. We should be eating more vegetables, grains and pulses rather than relying on animal protein because of health concerns, animal welfare and oh-you-know-the-planet. Flax & Kale is the hippest iteration of that realisation all the whilst profiting from the super food obsession of so many well to do people to help age slower and live longer. Expect acai bowls in abundance. Fruit salads with the fruits fanned out to look good in that from above picture with the hashtag: mybreakfastatflaxandkale
The cheese in my whole wheat poppy-seed bagel is vegan, the dry patty between the lettuce and tomato is seitan. Happily the coffee in my con leche is from one of my favourite roasters – Magnifico. The milk is – well it’s just milk, although I could have opted for a house made nut milk. (By the way, commercially made nut milks are garbage, less than 3% nuts and with thickening agents that are terrible for you).
It’s an enjoyable place to take a meal where I would pay an entry fee just to watch the people. It does, at points, risk stumbling down the smug-healthy ravine into Goopness but as I see no oxygen tanks yet – I think Flax & Kale can make a positive wave in a country that ranks 5th in the world for meat consumption (after the US & Australia).
Flax & Kale
C/ Tallers 74B
More from the Teresa Carles Group:
Flax & Kale Passage