Xocolata? Yes, please! I always try to fit in one cup of thick hot chocolate on each visit to Barcelona. After a short day trip to chilly Girona (very cute and worth a visit), we made it back to Barcelona in the early evening and decided to brave the rain to find a granja that Blai had remembered passing. He normally brings me to the ones on c/Petritxol (like Granja La Pallaresa) but he’d seen another with a long queue and we went off in search of it in El Raval, a now quite hip area of the city after years of being, well….an area you wouldn’t go to alone.
The granja turned out to be Granja M. Viader, the oldest granja in Barcelona, dating back to 1870. And yes, it was packed though without a queue; we were able to secure a table quite quickly (don’t wait to be seated – grab that empty table!). Unlike the other granges I’ve visited, this one has menus on the table – very useful if you’re not sure what to have. It was from this menu that Blai ordered a Cacaolat amb Nata (Cacaolat with cream), eschewing his usual order of a suís, and quite enjoyed this new treat. Cacaolat is a chocolate milk drink popular in Spain and invented in 1931 (or was it trademarked in that year?) at this granja. His glass of it was topped by a good dollop of cream whipped thick enough on which to stand. All around us, children were sipping from their individual bottles of Cacaolat. (Of course, when his brother found out about this order, all he could give Blai was a pitying look.)
I went for my usual order of a small suís. First impressions were that their xocolata was much sweeter than those on c/Petritxol and had a different, gloopier texture too. The whipped cream was excellent: thick, creamy, unsweetened and so paired well with the sweeter hot chocolate.
To go with it, I asked for xurros but was told they didn’t have any. Oh really? Wow, this place is very Catalan! I decided to be Catalan too and asked for melindros – big, wide, simple sponge fingers that are perfect for dunking into and scooping up the thick chocolate.
Overall, not a bad place for xocolata and their menu lists other foods too if you’re looking for a slightly more substantial bite. And it’s a really good place to take picky kids; I mean, who doesn’t like a good chocolate milk? But personally, for xocolata, I think I still prefer La Pallaresa.
Granja M. Viader
c/Xuclà, 4 i 6
And that brings to an end my very short Barcelona series. Though I had over a week there, I didn’t do very much, spending most of the time strolling about and relaxing (though there was a trip to the Museu d’Història de Catalunya as well as that daytrip to Girona). All the photos from my trip (including all the food I ate and cooked and came across!) can be found in this Flickr photostream.