The Barcelona Burger and Beer Garden was opened in Mooresville in May of 2017 by Michal Bay, who also owns the wildly popular Aliño Pizzeria, which is located right next door. Basically, Bay is going to have all of your food desires covered in one square block. Bay developed the menu with chef, writer, and TV personality Jenny Brule, and together they have really hit all of the flavor bases on Barcelona's menu. When we were invited the other week to check out this relatively new spot, we jumped at the chance. All of our über-cool blog buddies had already told us how rad it was, so we couldn't wait to see for ourselves.
The offerings are hearty, healthy, and everything we tried was a full-on flavor bomb. My mouth is watering just thinking about all of it again! The main choices are between the burgers and the rotisserie chicken, and for vegetarians and/or people concerned with fiber and things, they offer a killer-sounding black bean and quinoa burger, as well as three yummy sounding salads.
Perhaps one of my favorite things about Barcelona is that all of their burger offerings are grass-fed, and their chicken is antibiotic and hormone free, which is always something I look for in the meat I buy at the grocery store, but it remains elusive when dining out. We wanted to try both a chicken dish and a burger, so we could be thorough and responsible food bloggers. Or heck, maybe a salad! Soup! However, when it came time to order, well...we both just wanted a burger. We each tried to talk the other into getting the chicken, but no dice. Neither of us would bend on our burger dreams. So, here are our two beautiful burgers, but I promise the chicken was seen and noted as looking most delicious. Get the chicken, people! Live your truth. Our truth just happened to be two burgers and fries, gosh darn it.
American cheese, caramelized onion, roasted tomato, spicy pepper sauce
American cheese, avocado, peppadew peppers, lettuce, onion, salsa verde
Bird's eye view (check out that side of Spanish beer cheese sauce and truffle sauce
That cheese melt though
The whole spread
Classic french fries topped with a creamy white truffle sauce
Everything was to die for. The burgers were upscale, but they were still easy enough to eat with your hands (super important), and they tasted recognizable as a traditional, crave-able burger--sometimes I feel like fancy burgers, while tasty, are so fussy that they cross burger territory into something else entirely. The flavors were straightforward and not muddled.
And those fries. Wow. They were perfectly crispy and equally good with or without the truffle or beer cheese sauce, although, let's be honest, a little sauce never goes unappreciated (they also offer a brown gravy option). Barceona also offers sweet potato *waffle* fries! I know. We were almost swayed by the waffle fry siren song, but ultimately decided to stick with OG white potato. Other side options include fried pickles, onion rings, baked mac and cheese, kale salad, roasted veggies, and Spanish chicken soup. I swear I almost got the kale salad. I had the intention. But then when I ordered, the phrase truffle fries tumbled out of my mouth, unbidden! I was bewitched by the truffle pig gods. They are always watching.
Barcelona offers tons of delicious looking dessert options, some of which are pictured below. However, as we had not yet visited Aliño, we popped over there for a cannoli and gelato, both of which are made in house. You can actually get the same cannolis over at Barcelona, but not the gelato, so it was worth the five step pilgrimage. Does that count as working up an appetite?
The cannoli and gelato, like everything else, exceeded expectations. The pistachio gelato was so nutty and fresh. As the gelato is made daily, the flavors will rotate. The sweet gal who helped us said her favorite was tiramisu, which they didn't have that night. Just one of many reasons why we will be back to Barcelona and Aliño soon!
Bay told us that we had to try their El Jefe, a tempranillo wine that pairs beautifully with a wide variety of cuisine. This is also the wine they use in their sangria. I am just now getting (back) into red wine--for many years I abstained as it triggered my migraines. However, I tried a glass a few weeks ago with a delicious Italian meal (had to), and with just one glass I suffered no ill effects. Hoping this is a trend that sticks, because I truly love a good glass of red with a meal.
Jason, teetotaler that he is, enjoyed the ever-living heck out of this coke freestyle machine! Viva America!
Barcelona is so chill. The food hall vibe and long cafeteria-style tables make this a very relaxing environment. We saw many couples on double dates who were splitting a bottle of wine and chatting, and also lots of families with kids enjoying a quick bite. If you feel like sticking around with a beer or a glass of wine, there are lots of TVs (if there is an international soccer game on, they will be showing it) you can watch while you sip.
The gal we ordered from at the counter was beyond helpful, and told us all of the most popular menu items and was super patient as we had our "who is getting the chicken" debate. There were lots of employees helping to keep all of the tables wiped down and the condiment area clean. The cool folks in the kitchen even gave us a wave! So nice.
We don't always have fights at the ordering counter, but when we do they always end in the death of one more cow at our expense; I am writing this in a vegan café in Kansas City and feeling very guilty for the meat-eating sins of yester-week; Truffle pig gods actually rule everything around us, you just don't know because they are very secretive and good at their jobs; Frankie once applied to be a truffle pig, but they said flat-nose dogs are not helpful in that field; I wouldn't say Frankie handles rejection poorly, but he hasn't gotten off the couch in weeks; Oh wait, that's just how a twelve-year-old pug lives his life; Decorative bikes are cool and all, but I would really like to take that mint green Huffy for a spin around the block, you know?
Disclaimer: This meal was provided free of charge in exchange for an honest and unbiased review. All opinions are our own, and we were not compensated for this review.