Is a fast-food Italian even worth your while? It is if you go to a chain like PolentOne, where they import the slow food that is polenta to the world of eating on the go. If you've never tried polenta before, or indeed heard of it, it's basically corn meal that's typical of northern Italy, and according to Jordi Bofill, who co-owns PolentOne along with Gigi, from Lombardy, 'It's good, inexpensive food that fills you up.'
In Italy there are 11 such spots, but they are only for take-aways, but the business parters took a space on Av. de Gaudí – which had been collecting dust for 40 years right there next to the Sagrada Familía! – and transformed it into a cosy restaurant where you can get a quick bite.
The undervalued corn, which once came to Spain from America and went straight to feed pigs, has become a popular dish that Jordi and Gigi make two versions of: the 'polenta bramata' is the most common type, and the 'taragna' includes cheese in the cooking process and also has buckwheat in it. The set lunch menu will only set you back a tenner, and it comes with a caprese or green salad (all produce is Italian), a drink and tiramisu for dessert.
Your polenta dish comes with a choice of some 15 sauces. In summer it's good, but in the coldest months of winter, a warm dish of semi-solid purée of polenta with a mild flavour, covered with a sauce of venison, wild rabbit or wild boar serves to lift your spirits. And if you take it to go you should know that it's gorgeous the next day. If you want to fancy up your meal, make your starter dish the bresaola with rocket and pecorino cheese – sinful simplicity.