Flex Your Eating Muscles in Barcelona - Chew on Some Flax & Kale
Anyone who follows me on Healthibella knows that flexitarian eating is my philosophy and the way I work with my clients. We all have different bodies as well as dietary needs and intolerances. While some people do very well with a mostly vegetarian or even vegan diet, others don't tolerate grains that well and feel better when incorporating a larger quantity of animal protein. And then there's everyone in between these two polar diets. So, as ridiculous as FLEXITARIAN sounds, it's the way to go if you ask me! No judgements about being or not being vegan or paleo!
That puts restaurants like Flax & Kale on the top of my list! Flax & Kale serves an 80% plant based menu with 20% oily fish, so it's semi-flexi since meat or dairy eaters will have to adjust a little, but they do have a variety for most palettes. Besides, eating several meat-free meals a week is great for everyone!
My husband and I had "brunch" there (on a Friday) the other week after we flew into Barcelona in the early morning. I ordered the homemade coconut yogurt parfait, which was actually a large bowl rather than a stacked parfait, but really delicious with fruit and homemade granola. The granola wasn't gluten free (although they do have gluten free granola for other menu items). I also ordered a chia and flax whole grain whole wheat bagel with grilled tempeh, vegan cheddar, and rucola. At restaurants, I've been known (and I'm sure it's annoying!) to request changes or swaps to the menu to avoid gluten and other things I don't eat, but I decided not to fuss about the gluten granola or bagel and just go with it. (Instead, I only ate half of the bagel to keep my gluten intake lower.) I also ordered a creamy cappuccino with coconut milk (I love coffee with coconut milk and so few places serve it like this . . .at least in Spain!) and a carrot and coconut buckwheat cupcake with coconut cream to share with my husband (the cake was gluten free). My husband had the scrambled eggs with peppers and tomato and a bottled cold pressed green juice by Teresa Carles's Teresa's Juicery, who is also behind Flax & Kale.
We enjoyed the food and ambiance, a light and airy dining room on the ground floor, but they have several other intimate rooms on the second floor—including a charming terrace with an edible garden full of herbs, chard, and you guessed it, kale!
Everything we ordered was really good, but I did take a few notes and have some comments! (Of course!)
- The coconut yogurt parfait should give an option of gluten free or regular granola since the kitchen does have both. It might make diners feel less fussy about trying to negotiate a GF menu. (I really do try to keep Food Diva attitude to a minimum when I eat out.)
- The carrot and coconut cupcake was on the dry side. I bake most of my GF cakes with rice flour or almond flour if I'm going for a more rustic dish. Buckwheat flour, in my opinion, works better with savory rather than sweet recipes.
- I do wonder why there is organic margarine on the menu. You all know how I feel about margarine! I'd go with coconut butter for strict non-dairy people or vegans and grass fed butter or ghee for everyone else. I know this is a no dairy restaurant, but technically ghee is free of milk casein protein and butter is only 1%. It might be nice to have an option . . . just sayin'.
- There is agave syrup sweetened food in quite a lot of foods on the menu, which limited my selection. I would swap this for coconut sugar, coconut nectar, maple syrup, or even raw honey (since it's not a purely vegan restaurant).
Yup, we all have our opinions! It's a really great restaurant though with big beautiful windows and high ceilings right in the heart of the city, so no need to trek off the beaten path just for an açaí bowl! I will be returning again and again!
Bon profit (as they say in Catalan)!