Uay Balam - Making Gracia Sweet Again
I love Gracia, my neighbourhood, more than anything. But sometimes it can get a little boring… When you’ve lived in a neighbourhood for years you feel you know it a bit too well, and you always go to the same places.
But then a pretty little flower grows out of the asphalt and I remember exactly why I love Gracia so much. This pretty little flower is called Uay Balam and it’s there to provide light and love to everyone that comes by, just like the owners Fausto and Núria.
The name of the place, Uay Balam, stems from the ancient Mayans, and represent gods that would protect the crop, and the food. I find that very comforting!
The items in the window are already ridiculously tempting. It’s difficult to find a place with delicacies like these anywhere in the city, I think you can count them on one hand. Pastries like key lime pie and pavlovas are perfectly portion sized and ridiculously beautiful (lots of Instagram love to be had here..!). Everything in made on location and it’s organic. Another reason to love Gracia, you get organic everything here if you wish..!
Most items here are sweet, but there are savory things too. There are small sandwiches on offer, the bread is made with sourdough and the fillings are top quality. One example is an Alaskan salmon sandwich with cream cheese. I try one of the savory rolls called Poncho Negro, and it’s delicious; garlicky with flakes of Maldon salt on top.
Then we get down to business, the sweets. The pastries are pure perfection. White chocolate pastries filled with passion fruit brought to us from Peru. A decadent chocolate covered pastry beautifully decorated with petals on top. I actually want to cry a little. I have a soft spot for Key Lime pie and the portion-sized pies look so tempting… As do the pavlovas, they are like masterpieces.
And then the big surprise: Uay Balam makes Eton Mess! Is there any place in Barcelona (except for the lovely Rooftop Tea) where you can get freaking Eton Mess?! I don’t think so. But here you can. A wonderful mix of cream, merengue and fruit, this is a gift to mankind.
There’s even more though than pastries and sandwiches. Delacrem is famous for their ice creams, and they’ve been chosen as the best ice cream in the city by many. And now we can enjoy it in Gracia too, because Uay Balam has brought plenty of tubs of the creamy stuff. I hadn’t tried the Delacrem ice cream before. Oh my goodness it’s so fantastic..! I can honestly say it’s among the top three ice creams I’ve ever tasted. Fausto taught me something important: do not trust the places that display their ice creams! The air and the lamps destroy the texture and the quality of the ice cream. The right way to store it is in tubs, and to scoop it out from there. I had no idea! The fantastic thing here is that Ulay Balam delivers. Yes, you heard me. You can get ice cream delivered to your doorstep!
What also caught my eye were the ice pops, made on location. The flavours change according to the season, right now they are making orange and ginger, lime and cucumber and the amazing “breakfast pop”, made with greek yoghurt, fruit and home-made granola (no gluten, no sugar!).
I adore places like Uay Balam. Núria and Fausto have a passion for what they do, and that is transmitted to every single item in the shop. Go there and you will notice, I can guarantee you. Places like this warms the heart.
Torrent de l'Olla 137, 08012 Barcelona