I recently visited Spain with a group of friends, staying in a gorgeous villa, with afternoons of volleyball, wonderful barbecues and sadly a bit of chemistry.. After these few days of relaxation, I spent two nights in one of my favourite cities; Barcelona. On the first day, we trailed the streets with not much of an indication of where to go, ending up at an awful, dingy cafe due to the fact everyone was too ravenous to carry on searching for the dream tapas destination we had in mind. Hence, that night I spent some time browsing the internet to have a solid food plan for the next day… and that is where I came across Teresa Carles. With hundreds of incredible reviews, plus an amazing healthy vegetarian menu I thought this place was too good to miss. The atmosphere was buzzing, and so worth it regardless of having to queue for 30 minutes to get in. I can’t emphasis how worth the wait it was!
The menu is very simple, with a choice of two starters, five mains and three desserts. For me, the amount of choice was perfect, as too much to pick from is not always a good thing. (Completely off topic… but Barry Schwarts gives an excellent lecture on the Paradox of Choice.. for those interested!). There is another menu giving you more options, but the simpler menu gives you great deals.. with three courses only costing you 13 euros! They keep these selections for a week, and rotate to a new menu every week.. meaning you can never get bored here!
As the first picture shows, I went for the beetroot soup to start. I was a little skeptical at first, with the soup being served cold, but it was absolutely incredible, and gave beetroot flavours I didn’t know existed! Teresa Carles claims the secret ingredient to making an soup delicious incredible, and even though this may be a little bit of a bold statement, I have to agree with them in this case.. who knew beetroot could be complimented by cumin?! The texture was light, not too thick; a great consistency for a hot summer day when you don’t want anything stodgy. Serving the soup cold was another great move, it kept it extremely refreshing.
Chickpea meatballs was an obvious choice for the main; I love meatballs.. of any sort. I was slightly disappointed with the portion size upon being served, but found out this was a case of my eyes being bigger than my belly; it was just the right amount without leaving me feeling lethargic. The meatballs had a harder exterior, with the softness of the inside coming through once bitten into. The sauce was similar to a thai green curry sauce, quite spicy and rich.. ridiculously tasty. I inquired about exactly what when into the sauce, but the waiter was very mysterious when it came to revealing the ingredients; so either this meant it was top secret or he has no idea.
Dessert was the winner. I could have eaten ten of these and taken more home. I chose vegan chocolate and pear cake, but I the base was more of a cheesecake bottom consistency, rather than a sponge. It consisted of nuts, oats, honey and pear, with a dark chocolate layer, topped with pear slices, free of any dairy or refined sugar! After devouring this desert I made it one of my life aims to be able to produce a desert that is this healthy and tasty at the same time.
Teresa Carles has certainty nailed it on the head when it comes to producing vegetarian healthy food, which will please even the toughest carnivores. There is no way you will be missing meat when you dine here. So on that note, I encourage anyone visiting or living in Barcelona, to visit this gem of a restaurant.. it completed my holiday, I only wish it was closer to Bristol!