It's difficult to overstate the joy with which we Barcelona residents greeted the news that Brad Ainsworth (chef/owner of the fabulous Asian restaurant Wushu - www.wushu-restaurant.com) was to open a gourmet burger bar. Up until now, your only hope of a decent burger round these parts was to grit your teeth and brave the dad’s-car soundtrack and bellowing American students of the Plaça Catalunya’s Hard Rock Café, kissing goodbye to €15 euros for the pleasure.
I should declare an interest here, in that Brad (pictured) is a friend of mine, but he only became a friend of mine because I spent so much more time eating his food than I did at home eating my own. Not only he is he a fine cook, but dogged in his pursuit of the best possible ingredients. Despairing at the lack of decent buns available locally, he's commissioned the guy who makes bread for Ferran Adrià at triple-Michelin-starred El Bulli to make them for him, so you can imagine how good the meat is. He's even created his own alternative to mayonnaise, in the shape of the salsa casera ('home-made sauce' of cornichons, garlic, lemon, onion, pimentón and olive oil).
The burgers themselves are succulent and flame-grilled (the only ones cooked over flames in the city, in fact): the Classic quarterpounder comes with tomato, lettuce, onion and home-made sauce; while the Swiss comes with gruyere and potato rösti; the Japanese with teriyaki sauce and Japanese mayonnaise, and the house special is the Bacoa — a mouthwatering double-decker with Manchego cheese, bacon and onion jam.
If you're not in the mood for a burger, there's marinated chicken and pork ribs, sausage, vegetable brochettes or salmon. Side orders include salads and — like the choice wasn't agonising enough already — there's even a choice of fries: shoestring or fat.
Bacoa is at C/Colomines 2, alongside the Mercat Santa Caterina in the Born.