Brunch at Barcelona’s Picnic? I Don’t Think So…

Barcelona Food - Picnic

Barcelona Food - Picnic

By Regina Winkle-Bryan

Forgive and forget? Second chances? I guess I could give Picnic another go. The trendy brunch spot in El Born, Barcelona, reminds me a lot of Federal, a similar sort of brunch joint over in El Raval. My goodness the two restaurants have a lot in common!

They both offer the ever more trendy brunch meal to hungry (hungover?) foreigners on Sundays….they both serve French toast, Bloody Mary’s and have outdoor seating. They both have stylish dining rooms, weird music playing and attractive yet almost useless waiters.

When your Scoopettes showed up for brunch it was about 2pm. It looked like rain. An adorable Swedish waitress told us the wait was five minutes, and then instructed us to sit outside at one of their picnic tables. So we did. She brought us coffees. Twenty minutes later we wondered if we could sit inside. She told us that was out of the question, they were too busy. What the heck happened to five minutes?, I thought…. So, we decided to risk being rained on and order outside. We both got the eggs Benedict, no bacon on mine.

Picnic for Brunch? - Barcelona Food

Picnic for Brunch? - Barcelona Food

The waitress returned and said, ‘You may have to wait for a very long time for your food, the kitchen is busy.’ Your Scoopettes didn’t like this.

‘How long?’ asked Nancy.

‘A long time,’ responded the waitress.

‘Like, what? Like 45 minutes long, or 20 minutes long?’ I asked.

She said she could not say. We told her to go ask, and so off she went, never to return again. It was then that we saw several tables of people get up and leave, so we asked to sit inside where the rain would not fall, but where the music was so loud that we had to yell at each other. Turn the music down Picnic. I did not have a hangover, but can imagine the pain that your iPod was inflicting upon other, less fortunate souls.

But wait a minute, it wasn’t all bad! Right?

Pros: we dig the indoor and outdoor seating options, great for a sunny day. Their eggs Benedicts were served on real English muffins. Their Bloody Mary’s were spicy. We loved all the fresh flowers and chic decor. Still…. we paid over twenty euros each, which seemed steep for the service and quality.

Barcelona Food

Barcelona Food

What’s going on here? Since when did breakfast become hip and expensive? When did eggs cost so much? Is this like a cupcake sort of phenomenon? Take something normal, like eggs Benedict or a cupcake, somehow make it trendy and exclusive, and bam! charge a fortune for it! Well, you know what? I am not sold. And let me tell you, I love me some brunch!

Brunch is new in Barcelona because it’s not common here to eat pancakes and waffles and sip bloody Mary’s on Sundays (uh, or any other day for that matter). Suddenly all these brunch places are popping up, which is amazing and fabulous if you miss waffles like I do, but most of them leave a lot to be desired.

Can someone in Barcelona please just cut the crap and open a normal, inexpensive, cozy, delicious breakfast spot that focuses more on food and less on style? Could you hire a nice waitress named Flo or Maria, who maybe isn’t the coolest chica around, but who knows basic customer service? I will be your first  and most loyal customer. Can you also please have strawberry waffles with whip-cream on the menu, along with biscuits and gravy? Gracias.

Scoopometer rating for Picnic Brunch:

Nancy gave it a 4,

Regina gave it a 6,

Negu the blog Dog gave is a -10, because dogs are not allowed!





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  1. Posted June 6, 2011 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    Hehehe. I love your tell-it-like-it-is restaurant reviews! I think I’ve somehow gotten numb to the ridiculous and routinely bad service here in Madrid. I’ve heard it’s even worse in Barcelona. Lucky you ;)

  2. Kirsten Carpentier
    Posted June 6, 2011 at 10:10 pm | Permalink

    Mama K needs to open a waffle/crepe joint in BNC. Then you would have good food and great service!

  3. Marc
    Posted June 7, 2011 at 1:21 am | Permalink

    Nice honest review! Too many trendy spots with shite food and even shittier service (where do they FIND these people?) . I like Federal though, a lot..but then its only a few block from where I live!

  4. admin
    Posted June 10, 2011 at 1:36 am | Permalink

    I actually like Federal too, would like to try their scones.

  5. admin
    Posted June 10, 2011 at 1:49 am | Permalink

    Scones are delicious! Nancy

  6. admin
    Posted June 10, 2011 at 1:51 am | Permalink

    ok, Mama K, get over here! We will work in your restarant and eat our share!

  7. Paul Cumberland
    Posted June 20, 2011 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

    You should try Bar TimeLine in Gracia- its a bit off the beaten track- Calle Providencia? Just off Verdi. They do a great home cooked style brunch and is great value for money- Im always on the search for new brunch places and this is one of the best =)

  8. admin
    Posted June 21, 2011 at 1:31 am | Permalink

    thanks paul. I too, am forever searching for brunch. I will check out Time Line!


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