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Mar 2, 2010 10:29 AM

Taller de Tapas in Barcelona

What do you all think? That's where I was first introduced to chorizo a la sidra.

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  1. It is ok; comfortable with lots of tables and centrally located in both Barri Gotic and El Born. A little generic and large menu, like tapas 101. My Barcelona friends dub it as a place for people who are afraid of real tapas.

    4 Replies
    1. re: PBSF

      "My Barcelona friends dub it as a place for people who are afraid of real tapas."

      I raise hands and feet in agreement.

      1. re: PBSF

        I think that's a little silly. I'm pretty sure most people visiting Spain would always prefer to be in a real, authentic tapas bar. On our first trip to Spain, we ate there on New Year's Day because it was the only open place we could find around lunch time.

        1. re: Jake Barnes

          Taller de Tapas, being opened everyday of the week, lunch and dinner, serves a very important need.

        2. re: PBSF

          It's a chain - enough said. You don't eat at a tapas chain in Barcelona.

          1. " I'm pretty sure most people visiting Spain would prefer to be in a real authentic Tapas bar"
            You have a lot of faith in tourists!

            1 Reply
            1. re: magiesmom

              We laugh our heads off when we hear an American go up to the bar (in a regular bar) and demand tapas. In English. "Can I have tapas?" It's sweet, and you do wonder what they've been told to expect, so for these people (and please, I'm not talking about anyone on this site as you all seem incredibly well informed) Taller de Tapas sounds really OK!

            2. The original comment has been removed
              1. I´ve always eaten very well at the Taller de Tapas branch on Rambla Catalunya. It has a very reliable mix of well executed classic tapas dishes plus some very good daily specials with a more Catalan emphasis. I´ve sent many friends over the years who are visiting Barcelona and they have all raved about it. I think the "chain" criticism is a little harsh as most popular restaurants in Barcelona are mini-chains of sorts. Ciudad Condal is a chain, Paco Meralgo has several other restaurants, Sagardi etc. is a chain, Tragaluz is a chain. The chef who runs Tapa 24 has several other restaurants. It is the nature of business. All sell very good food and are no less "authentic" as a result. Cal Pep has tried to open several other restaurants over the years to no avail and they´ve all closed. Inopia are now mass producing their sauces to sell to other restaurants in industrial jars...

                4 Replies
                1. re: bettybop

                  Betty, interesting observation that many places in Barcelona are chains. Our Tapas experience there last summer was mediocre and we found that nearly every place we visited sold similar (if not the same) Tapas unlike San Sebastian where each bar seems to strive for individuality and creativity. I had a vision of a large central kitchen mass producing for all the bars.

                  I put my experience down to bad personal selection and minimal research, but that said my choices are usually good in other Spanish towns with equally sparse research. In hindsight, I wonder if it is a result of chain style outlets producing for the very large numbers of tourists.

                  1. re: PhilD

                    Your San Sebastian experience was different from ours. We went two years ago and were surprised by the tapas, expecting better overall quality seafood and ingredients. They seemed to rely on mounding everything onto a piece of bread and creating a montadito with mayonnaise topping. Very tasty but not like the seafood in Barcelona! HAving said that, we went on a whim only for a couple of days on a detour and without a guide book so didn´t have a list of places to visit or anything.

                    The mini-chains in Barcelona like Cerveseria Catalana and Taller de Tapas have been producing similar dishes for a long time and before the tourist explosion of the last few years so I think I think it´s a question of classic tapas dishes being fundamentaly appealing to all palates rather than mass-producing kitchens.

                  2. re: bettybop

                    The apartment I rent every year is across the narrow street from El Taller de Tapas on Argenteria in Born, yet I never eat there. I did not know it was a chain. It is just that I tried it once on a tapas crawl and found it to be… not really bad, just what I would call chopsuey tapas.
                    Phil, maybe it is not fair to compare any place with San Sé, the capital of good eating! It is true in San Sé, one walks into just about any bar and will find inventive pintxos that defy describing or naming.

                    1. re: bettybop

                      I think it is really unfair to compare tapas eating in Barcelona to that of San Sebastian. The Spanish Basques has a long tradition of tapas eating which they call pintxos. One of the characteristics is that food is placed either on small pieces of bread or on small skewers. The food can be just as delicous as the more complicated offering of tapas. Tapas/pintxos eating in Barcelona is much more recent, mostly in the past twenty years. Before that, there are just handful of these places. They 've adapted both to the more complicated tapas of the Andalucia as well as the Basque pintxos, though the number of pintxos places have really proliferated in the past few years. I have a few older Barcelona friends that deplore this style of eating as they prefer to the more traditional Catalan of eating a sit down meal. It is true that there are "chain" of tapas/pintxos places in Barcelona and many are so large that there is no way to they can produce consistently good food. And they don't have the crowded atmospheric intimacy of eating at small traditional places. These "chain" are not to be confuse with our conception because they are usually only three or four branches, unlike MacDonald or Starbuck. There are many good places in Barcelona that escape this trend abide the concentration is not like those in San Sebastian or Seville. One just have to pick out the good places.