It’s been several years since Mark Bittman wrote that the best sandwich he’d ever had was from a cafe in Barcelona, but it’s been in the back of my head ever since. Now that we were there, it was high up on my shortlist of things to try while we were there.
The inauspicious Cafe Viena doesn’t stand out from the various shops and cafes along La Rambla, but it’s so worth the visit.
The shop clearly knows why you’re there. In the doorway and up on the menu are signs proclaiming the the New York Times recommended it and the paper’s logo hovers over the picture of the sandwich.
The sandwich, a ‘flute’ of bread, narrow, crusty and soft, is split and rubbed with tomato in that Catalan way and filled with nutty, creamy jamon. It’s simple and wonderful and I wish I had another one right now as I’m writing this.
At a couple euros per sandwich, my mind immediately started calculating how cheap it would be to spend a month in Barcelona if I ate here every day.
On our second visit, I had to have more, but Tammi wanted something different. She had a warm, pressed sandwich filled with roasted pernil. After we both finished our sandwiches, we split another of these.