To try Macondo, I took a New Yorker who has been living in Barcelona for over 20 years and has Puerto Rican roots. He arrived before me and was already sipping on a glass of cold beer when I arrived.
“Oh man – you know what they were great at doing back home? Fried food. 20 little stalls-all with their specialty and some mama shouting – pernil, tostones, mofongo, cangrejo (crab), bacalaito, cuchifritos!!” (People in the audience who want to meet this lady? Raise your hands.)
“You know what’s weird about this place though? There’s no pork. Caribbean food is all about the pork.”
His phone rings.
“Yeah, I’m out to lunch with my friend “the blogger”. She took me to a Caribbean restaurant with no pork on the menu.”
Much sniggering at my expense ensues.
After I published this blog post, a reader wrote to me to explain that Macondo is specifically Colombian Caribbean food – as opposed to generally Caribbean food and that they don’t eat a lot of pork there. (Mystery solved – thank you – Lo Que Se Cocina).
My friend orders the menu del dia €14.95 – which carries a €3.90 supplement if you order the ceviche. It includes the beer but not the cortado (€1.85). I order off menu, the corvina ceviche (€9.85) and am a little disappointed when I realize the serving format is the same as my friend’s: in a glass ice cream cup with a long-handled teaspoon. Despite the unappealing serving format, both his shrimp ceviche and corvina one are a symphony of mouth-puckering limes and spice with dainty confetti of mango and avocado in mine.
His main is a few fat fingers of flank steak brushed with a sweet and spicy creole sauce. It’s served up on a slab of slate with a wooden frame. I want to scrape it all off onto a normal plate, it would taste better. This habit in Barcelona, which has filtered through from high-end to low-end dining, of serving food on silly things drives me crazy. If they could pick one fad – I prefer it if it was the newest one of serving food on hand-thrown ceramic plates.
At some point I’ve absent-mindedly ordered a 250ml Vichy Catalan which I later find out I have been charged €3.50 for. An unpleasant surprise, much like accidentally chewing on a piece of tin foil with metal fillings.
My friend is an expert on interiors, he makes a sweeping motion with his hand. “I don’t get why they have to do all this? No one ever does anything subtle in Barcelona.” I don’t know – I find the life-sized Caribbean woman plush doll pretty funny and in the right kind of mood, I could imagine running a fork over the corrugated aluminum wall sections to get the waiter’s attention.
What of Macondo? Named after the fictional town in Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s One Hundred Years of Solitude? It’s tasty enough with some things being outright delicious but you have to tread carefully through the menu lest you end up with a badly priced item – the water for example or not ordering the Menu del Dia.
See this and more addresses on my Foodie in Barcelona Map
Carrer Corsega 206