Setting the scene. Pnou, the barrio in between. It is at once Barcelona’s headquarters for modern design and contemporary architecture and our eerie, somewhat boring pueblo with a perceived median age of around 72. It’s a place that pops for lunch and dies at dinner. The beach makes it touristic and the hell-ow line keeps it local. Its rambla, while a trillion times better than the monstrosity in the center, isn’t taking many steps in the right direction.
Enter Amos, Jerome and an ex-vivienda right in the heart of it all. The action at El 58 isn’t out on the Rambla de Poblenou but set at the back of the bar and on its patio. The boys bravely fought the “please-let-me-put-pladur-everywhere” paletas to preserve original features worth preserving. Very well done.
Formerly a living space, the kitchen is a small cubby off of the long hallway so typical to Barcelona. Say hi to Amos as you walk past. A beautiful stainless steel extraction tube leads you back to a spacious brick and mortar cube of a dining room. The light comes in from a charming inner patio with a few barrels, some bamboo and clients that will behave after 10pm so as not to fuck it up for El 58 and the rest of us (ahem!).
And the food! The basic principle is buy fresh, quality product and cook until al dente. No fancy-schmancy foam bullshit, just some selection and tender loving care. Everything tasted was downright delicious. Amos likes to be inspired and openly admits when a dish is homage to someone else’s. Have you had the bravas at Bohemic (if you haven’t, do!)? Amos does a version of his own with Italian sun-dried tomato, fried onion bits and plenty of paprika on top of a garlic allioli base for €3.50. Excellent. The hamburguesitas de tartar de salmón marinado are outrageous. They come in pairs and set you back €5.50. The prices in El 58 are as reasonable and down to earth as its owners (and, as a result, its clients). Cañas of König Pilsner at €1.70. Zero pretention.
Where: Rambla de Poblenou, 58 • 08005
When: Kitchen from 13:00h – 23:00h