By
Ariana Díaz Celma

Gastronomy is culture, that we now. What we didn’t know is that Mexican food and books could share space. On calle Girona, books fill the shelves and plates are laid on tables at Malpaso, a publishing house that, despite the economic crisis, managed to stay afloat. Now it is also a restaurant run by Bernardo Domínguez that serves the most succulent recipes of his origin country with a Mediterranean touch.

Malpaso opens its doors with the aim to earn a place in Barcelona’s social and cultural scene

With the motto “table culture”, Malpaso opens its doors with the aim to earn a place in Barcelona’s social and cultural scene. There you can eat, read at the living room or just have coffee. This gastronomy and culture crossover serves breakfast, brunch, snacks, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner, and it organizes a long list of activities on a monthly basis, including performances, workshops, artistic shows, exhibitions, and talks with chefs, writer and people with great stories to tell.

The informal, bohemian character of Malpaso is reflected in the menu. The first section called Picoteos includes Guacamole with totopos, with fresh ingredients is a must anytime of the day. Another highlight are Mediterranean-style foods such as cockles, clams and acorn-fed Iberian ham. The Mexican touch comes with a delicious chipotle.

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Plates have a more patriotic and literary streak, with sentences that connect a particular recipe with a reference of their book catalogue. Start with Pay Michoacan, which here can be translated into nopalito and baked vegetable pie. Don’t worry because they remove all the cactus needles, ‘espina’ in Spanish, as Martin Amis ‘removed his needles’, that is to say: got something off his back by emptying slot machines in Invasion of Space Invaders. Mussels flambéed in tequila, a recipe Kingsley Amis, the author of About Drinking, a Martin’s father, would have approved of.

As for second courses, there’s the exquisite grilled tuna loin Moctezuma, coated in Mexican spices, pico de gallo, avocado and mint sauce that, according to the Malpaso crew, is a delicatessen like La Perra de mi Vida by Claude Duneton: a finely-written crude story.

We recommend not to leave the restaurant without enjoying their tacos: tongue, arranchera, fish, cochinita, lamb or the classic Pastor taco, all as Mexican as the 20 authors in Palabras Mayores, a short story collection by young writers that has been well received by avid readers. And of course, try their desserts, especially the coconut and passion fruit cake, a tropical orgasm as exquisite there’s no book that can equate its flavor.

An average meal at Malpaso is around 25-30 euros, well invested if you like books and Mexican food.

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