Review: There are some things I understand and some things I don't (far more that I don't, but that's beside the point). One of those things is veganism. As a matter of logic, I understand the arguments made in favor of veganism, although I find them somewhat simplistic, mostly spurious, and ultimately unconvincing. What I don't understand is how you could volitionally commit to such unnatural and restrictive dietary constraints. (Note: I know a good many vegans. They're all rational beings whom I respect, but don't entirely understand.)
So, what was the purpose of the preceding paragraph? To let you know my biases before reviewing Juicy Jones (Juicy), a hip little Barcelona vegan restaurant a skip-and-a-jump from where my wife is studying this summer.
You walk into Juicy and you instantly know you're entering the den of some lively hippies.
We ordered the fix menu lunches. My starter was the hummus. (Another quick word about vegans. It is apparently a doctrine of the vegan church that all vegans must inordinately love hummus, and consume it in copious quantities. This I fully understand.)
Thus hummus was downright tasty. And since every meal comes with baskets of homemade whole wheat bread, my appetizer experience consisted of getting as much hummus as possible on oval pieces of bread. The sesame seeds and paprika were a nice touch.
My main course was a variety plate of Indian sauces, basmati rice, papadam, and other incidentals.
It was okay. The rice was nice, but nothing special. The individual sauces were okay, but nothing that makes me think they make better food in Barcelona than they do in Salt Lake City. The incidentals made little sense, to be frank.
My wife had a sort of baked vegetarian coucous pie that came with a tapenade, sprouts, carrots, and a green herbacious sauce.
This was an interesting idea well done. The pie had good, savory veggie flavor. The carrots and sprouts added crunch, if not much taste. The tapenade was quality, although I wondered how well it meshed with the rest of the dish. The green sauce added some necessary fat content and flavor. Well done.
And then came dessert. I ordered the apple cake, and Dem had the apple crumble.
The apple cake somehow managed to look moist and be dry as a bone. The crumble had very little sugar (now, European desserts tend to have less sugar than American desserts, but this was darn near devoid), and the crumble was hard as a rock. I don't know if it's just that difficult to make desserts with strictly vegan ingredients, but these were quite poorly executed.
We also ordered an organic drink called "banarama" for our son. It was made with bananas, avocado, soy milk, and cane sugar. Quite good.
Rating: 5/10 (5/10 is average).