... Well, that's what Mark Bittman from the NY Times said back on October 15th, 2006.
He was talking about the Iberica Flauta at Cafe Viena. We wanted to find out for ourselves of course, so upon arrival in Barcelona we barely threw our bags in our apartment, which was conviniently located on Las Rambla, had ourselves a hot shower (so good after a long flight!) and hit the streets in search of this said sandwich.
We headed off down Las Rambla, pausing for a moment when we reached La Boqueria, in awe. All those jamons hanging in the grand entrance, and fresh fruits & vegetables for miles, but we resist the distraction (until the walk home, anyway) and continue on in search of Cafe Viena.
It's actually closer than we thought, and we've reached it in no time. They're obviously quite proud of the praise they received, as posters are plastered everywhere advertising "the Best Sandwich in the World". Menu's are even available in in several languages ... We perch at the bar and order 2 Iberica Flauta's. They arrive extremely fast, I'm sure they're pre-made and waiting out the back.
Now, is it the best sandwich in the world? Well, I think it could be one of the best concepts for best sandwich in the world ... Freshly baked, crunchy flauta (baguette) that has a nice crisp and taste of olive oil as you bite it, rubbed with plump, ripe tomato, and piled with sliced Iberian ham.
Was it the best executed sandwich in the world? Sadly not ... I think they have gotten so busy, and lost the soul that may have been there 4 years ago when Mark Bittman was.
La Rambla del Estudis, 115