Barcelona Restaurant Review: Súper Coffee and Food Store

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As far as double entendres go, Súper Coffee and Food Store is a fine one. Located on the wide, quiet street of Roc Boronat in the top corner of Poblenou, the shop is super in many ways. “We chose the name ‘Súper’,” explained Christiane Collinge, who opened this pre-prepared food business, with her husband Justin Collinge earlier this year, “because we love putting as many ‘super foods’ into our dishes as possible. Also, we are a local, neighbourhood business and like evoking the idea of the little supermercats that are so characteristic of Barcelona.”

The idea of Súper Coffee and Food Store is the product of the Collinges’ five years of experience running a different type of food business: the Le Cook catering company—a food truck that caters exclusively to film shoots around Barcelona. Justin trained as a professional chef in his native South Africa, before relocating to Barcelona with German-born Christiane. She was a film producer and, through her work, realised that there was a niche that needed filling in Barcelona’s highly active production industry—on-site catering. Soon, the Le Cook Catering food truck was born. After five years of running the business from outside of Barcelona, the Collinges decided to find a place in the city itself, with a kitchen spacious enough to continue their catering business, but that also included a space for offering reasonably priced, made-from-scratch food to-go and speciality coffee to the local residents, students and office workers. Súper Coffee and Food Store is a registered member of the Specialty Coffee Association of Europe and they even roast their own beans.

“We picked Poblenou because we liked the feeling of the neighbourhood,” explained Justin. “There is such an interesting mix of people doing diverse things here, and we feel like we fit in perfectly. Also,” he added with a smile, “the streets here are wide enough for the catering truck.”

Apparently, creating the menu at Súper Coffee and Food Store was easy. “We only make the food that we like to eat ourselves,” said Christiane. Their focus is very much on health, and they emphasise the fact that no preservatives are added to the food that emerges from their kitchen. They don’t own a deep fryer, and they buy whole products (whole chickens, for example) whenever possible.

“For the Roast Beef Bagel,” he said, pointing to a large hunk of beef fresh out of the oven, “we roast a big, boneless entrecote (ribeye steak) slowly to get a nice, tender, juicy, pink centre.”

Another delicious dish, with a slightly eccentric twist, is the chilled pasta salad with smoked dorada (gilt-head bream), capers, cucumber, homemade pickles, dill, pickled fennel and basil mayonnaise. “We have a hot smoker, and we love the way the fish comes out when cooked this way,” explained Christiane.

“We realised at one point that we needed to widen our vegetarian offerings,” Justin added, “so we came up with this quinoa salad with a touch of toasted cumin, carrots, pomegranate, courgette, confit aubergine, grilled sundried tomatoes, baby spinach, and avocado. It’s finished with Maldon salt and fresh-cracked black pepper.” Now they have a variety of vegetarian options, and the complexity of seasoning and use of spices in these vibrant dishes is superb.

Quick, affordable and wholesome lunch options are often hard to come by in Barcelona, so it’s easy to see why this appealing outpost is gaining popularity in a diverse, up-and-coming neighbourhood such as Poblenou.

Originally Published in Barcelona Metropolitan Magazine. July 2015