ask Álvaro about
mediterranean food • beer gardens • gardens • picnic spots • hidden bars • value for money • food markets
What do you do and why do you do it?
I am the chief of technology of a company called PlanReforma. We try to make Architects and Home designers's life easier, by providing them tools to find new customers. Why I do it? Cos' I believe in the project, I am working with friends and I certainly think that we are useful!
You’re broken hearted - what tracks does your heartbreak playlist consist of?
I never got my heart broken! (Just kidding...) I would probably jump from Lisa Hannigan's "Sea sew" to Kamikazes Enamorados (from Quique Gonzalez, my favorite singer), and possibly finish by listening in loop the favorite song of the girl that broke my heart (everybody does that, nobody accept it!)
What are the best TV shows of all time?
Here I have to mention The Sopranos, The Wire, Lost (even with this un-understandable ending), the first seasons of The Simpsons; and now I can't stop watching Rick & Morty...
Name some spots in Barcelona that are good for a Tinder date.
Tinder? What's Tinder? ;-) You never get wrong if you go to Montjuic's top hill... Or going to La Caseta del Migdia on summer sundays and enjoy a real flamenco show (for free). Trying out an old tavern of the Born or the Gotic (La Vinatería del Call, Bodega La Palma...) usually works I guess...
Who’s your hero and where in Barcelona would you take them out for a serious hang?
Only heroes for me are doctors and teachers! But if I had a hero and I had to take him/her to a really nice place, I'd definitely choose el Bar del Plá in El Born. Never get wrong going there...
Where do you buy those fabulous clothes of yours?
I really love to buy my clothes in different cities (despite the brand of the clothes). At the moment I am writing this, i am wearing a sweater bought in San Francisco, shorts from Chicago, and sport shoes from Buenos Aires. It's a good way to get memories from a city.
What’s the area/ spot in town you’ll never be caught dead in?
I guess it would be veeeeeeeery unlikely to see me in the "Upper Diagonal District", those "fancy" discoteques in Tusset... and the same for the ones in Port Olimpic...
What’s the thing you LOVE to do in your city that you never get to do?
Probably have long walks in the morning around the hills (specially Montjuic), I never get the moment to do it; but whenever I am there, I really enjoy it!
Is there a hidden bar / hole in the wall in Barcelona that you particularly like?
In the back part of a supermarket called LatinBol near Urquinaona there is a Ecuatorian restaurant inside. Food is really tasty, price is afforable, and ambience is really original... 100% recommended!
What’s the most expensive restaurant / spa / hotel you’ve ever been to in Barcelona? How much did it cost and what did you get there?
I have dinner in ABac (Jordi Cruz's 2 Michelin stars restaurant) and Lasarte (Martin Berasategui's 2 Michelin stars restaurant). My old tenant had to go to make something like a review of the place and decided to invite me (and I accepted without hesitation! I think it was around 500 euros each dinner (for 2 people)...
What restaurant in Barcelona looks crap, but the food’s amazing?
It's my specialty find crappy looking places with great food inside! Try Folgoso O'courrel in El Raval, La Ruta del Norte in Poble Sec, La Bodega d'En Rafel in Sant Antoni, La Bodega Marín in Sants, La Bodega Sopena in El Clot...
Where can you get the best cocktail in Barcelona? Which one do you like?
Not a big fan of complicated cocktails (I am a plain Beefater+simple tonic gintonic guy...) but I really enjoy visits to El Antiquari, near the Cathedral; and the ambience of Marsella in El Raval (Absenta = lose the day after).
Where would you take your partner in Barcelona if you wanted to really pamper them?
To really impress my partner I would try to cook something!
Which snacks can you only get in your country, and which ones do you recommend?
They are not exclusive from Spain, but I can't resist to a bag of salty sunflower seeds. I missed them this year while I was travelling abroad...
What’s the one place you think is overrated in Barcelona?
I can't stand with those hipsters fashion places, all decorated the same way, with expensive food + little dishes that make you look for a kebab near after you dinner!. You need a name? Federal Café in Parlament is one of them...
What’s the one place you think is underrated in Barcelona?
A chinese restaurant in Eixample comes to my mind, it's called Hecheng, and they serve the most authentic chinese food you can try in the city (I have several chinese friends and they agree with this!). Don't spread the word, otherwise it will become too crowded!
What are the Barcelona spots a first-time visitor can’t miss?
Go to Montjuic (where the 'Teleferic' ends) and have a view from the city. Take a walk in the old quarter that includes: Cathedral, Santa María del Mar, San Felip Neri, Ramblas, and manage to get a view of the most iconical Gaudí works.
Tomorrow’s your last day in Barcelona. How do you spend it?
I would probably have a long walk starting from my old neighbourhood (Poble Sec and Sant Antoni), then going to Raval and the center, and probably ending in Barceloneta; getting lost in any of the bars that still remain opened...
What’s your favorite vacation city in the world and why?
After one year travelling, answering this question is almost impossible... I enjoyed to get lost in Buenos Aires, to get drunk in México DF, even to feel like at home in Teheran. Every city can be your favorite vacation city if you find out what can offer to you...