Self Naturista vegetarian buffet – Barcelona

C/Santa Anna 11-17
El Gotico
Barcelona

Despite the dodgy title Self Naturista is nothing more insalubrious  than a vegetarian buffet. So if you were in the process of polishing your gimp mask and waxing yourself downstairs, you can stop that right now.

The first time I went to Self Naturista was the first time I visited Barcelona and nothing including the décor and the food seems to have changed much as the years have passed.

This is like a vegetarian canteen you’d expect to find in the 1970s. The food is exceptionally vivid and colourful and despite often being a little basic, is actually pretty tasty and good value for money.

It’s a no frills joint with canteen type tables and chairs. The ladies that serve you, should you require serving, are abrupt without being unfriendly. Like dinner ladies at school. And you almost expect to get berated should you take more than you are allowed.

Basically you go in one door, shuffle along a big counter that has all manner of starter, main course, drink and dessert; then you pay, take a seat and scoff like a lunatic and then leave through another door. A bit like going to the cinema then. But without the film. And Popcorn.

Starters range from pieces of fruit and simple soups to side salads.

Salads are of a pretty basic format but there is something for the raw vegan there. I had a starter salad that contained romaine lettuce, tomato, cucumber, peppers, an olive or two, grated carrot, alfalfa sprouts and olive oil. With a fresh carrot juice, it came to just over €5. Not the tastiest or most imaginative salad I’ve ever encountered but as a raw foody on the hoof, it fed me whilst I sat my ass down. And the carrot juice was tasty. Large plates of salad cost €6.45. Dishes of guacamole cost €3.65. Small plates of salad cost €2.95. You can dress your salad with a soy dressing or olive oil.

If you are more vegetarian and vegan than raw vegan, then you have a world of dishes to select from. Vegans can choose from roasted root vegetables, roast eggplant, roast sweet potatoes and spicy mixed bean dishes.

Vegetarians can choose from spinach lasagne, cannelloni, pizzas, paellas, and Spanish tortillas. Main dishes range from €3-7.

Desserts include apple cake, yoghurt, baked apple (which seems to be on the dessert menu of every Spanish vegetarian restaurant I visit) and what looks like dishes of shaving foam with glace cherries. Prices range from approx €2-4 for each dessert.

Juices (sucs) include pineapple, blackcurrant, pear, orange, or an exceptionally tasty orange and kefir combo.

Raw foodists can find themselves a dessert in the form of 1/3 fresh pineapple, whole fruits or fruit salads. So you can almost have a three course meal with a salad, juice and fruit salad. It’s no Café Gratitude, One Lucky Duck or Saf, but it means you can eat out. And that’s the biggest struggle for a rawy – especially in Spain.

Self naturista is like the cookery books of my mothers that I used to flick through in the 70s. Colourful and anachronistic.
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