barcelona good and bad
thx to earlier barcelona thread, we made and enjoyed some mostly great food in barcelona this past weekend. highlights:
passadis del pep. i would rate this a must-go for pristine quality of seafood, service and the unique style of restaurant. a little hard to find but if you find/eat at, cal pep and get one of their little biz cards and follow the map, you will get there. 291 euros for 3 ppl this past friday night with unlimited cava and choice of 3 (grappa, green apple and sambuca) after dinner iced bottles that were left on the table. we ate at 9 in an empty restaurant that was full by 10.
worth the cash.
cal pep. relatively spendy, also worth it. 125 euros for 3 at the counter. we just asked one of the waiters to create a menu with mostly seafood and a meat entree. amazing little clams,fried little fish, 2 types of shrimp, razor clams, and the best beef rib chop. "chuleton or culeton?" any of us had ever eaten. cooked on the griddle and garnished with coarse sea salt only. unbelievable. it does help to speak some spanish in communicating with the guy about what we wanted but a lot of pointing at every one elses food works for most of the clientele. ask for the rib chop. we were the only ones eating it at that time. the owner was there and hilarious. arrived around 930 and waited an hour drinking beer until seated at the counter which was the best!.
xampanyet is really cool. old bar/old guys serving above average tapas and cava/ beer or cider.
almost directly across the alley is extel....something. basque style tapas (pay by toothpick count) i think their tapas were more original than xampanyet. also a cool place.
bubo outside tables great place to have a drink.
we had a great meal at Sedna. to the left of the Correos (post office) at the bottom of the gothic quarter on the main drag. drinks outside then dinner which was a more traditional menu set up with apps/entrees/,etc. it was probably the cheapest meal we had at 65 euros for 2 and was excellent with a good wine list. dont know whether this place is new or not but very well prepared seafood and the tomato bread was the only one we had that tasted like tomato. highly recommend.
had paella at senor payerellya (mispelled, sorry) good but average. big tourist place that was very pretty inside in a french bistro kind of way but average at best in quality. in general, we stayed away from menus that had 5 different languages from then on.
la boqueria food stalls. quim and kiosko universal excellent. walk around if you dont see a seat and come back, there will probably be one available at some point.
walk around the barceloneta area that is actually very close to the gothic quarter. have a drink at one of the restaurants on that strip, maybe a tapas or two. check out the montjuic park and the poble espanol there (very cool with examples of buildings from all areas and eras of spain and artisan craft shops) sagrada familia is awesome. la ramblas blows. use it as a path to get where you want to go (la boqueria) for example. it reminds me of every public strip in any big city in the world with the same cheap jewelry and barking toy poodles for sale, shell game hustlers and people standing very still with lots of heavy paint on their faces and clothes. we spent maybe 1 hour total there in 5 days and that was too much. good for orientation to the city and thats about it. the gothic quarter and raval are very coolareas. picasso museum and the roman museum worth checking out. we ate a several more places but nothing stands out except the above. great city.
we rented a loft off of VRBO.com. casalona. 2 bdr plus a loft. slept 3 but if coupled up, could sleep 6. awesome location near the correos. more of a locals area. 700 euros for 4 nights. very old and on one of the alleys right across from a 2000 year old roman wall. also highly recommend. we prefer that kind of place to hotels but it is all subjective, of course.
The steak is called chuletón--which, taking some liberties, I would translate as big-ass chop. It's my absolute favorite cut of meat--best enjoyed between at least two or three people.
Across (and very slightly down, where the street widens) from El Xampanyet is Euskal Etxea... it means "Basque House" in Basque. It was also really, really good.
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