HOME > Chowhound > Spain/Portugal >

Coming to Barcelona for 3 days - which restaurants should I go to ?

a
Anasuya May 24, 2010 07:22 AM

I will be in Barcelona for the first time in my life and I am very excited!!!! I arrive 5 June and leave late on 7 June and have planned the following:

Sat lunch - Bar Inopia - tapas
Sat Dinner - Comerc 24 or Santa Maria (comerc 17) - tapas
Sun Lunch - Paco Meralga - tapas
Sun dinner - ???? suggestions welcome
Mon lunch - Lombardo or Can Mago - for Paella - Fideau and Arroz Negro
Mon evening - Sagardi or El Xampanyet - tapas

Any suggestions for Sunday dinner? At some point I want to visit restaurant San Joan for Catalan home cooking. Would they be open on sunday evening?

Are the places I've already listed good for tapas?

Also, where could I buy a leg of 3 year old Jamon Iberico de Bellotta?

Your suggestions are very welcome as I'm a first time visitor.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
  1. PBSF RE: Anasuya May 24, 2010 08:02 AM

    Sant Joan is not open on Sunday at all. Paco Meralgo is your best bet for Sunday night. Although Comerc24 and Santa Maria are both sit down tapas places, they are vastly different. Comerc24's decor is very designer, more elegant, more expensive and the food more modern/molecular interpretation of Catalan cooking. It has a upscale/highend feel. Santa Maria's decor is industrial chic with beams, bare wooden furniture, more casual service with food that has international influence but no less inventive.
    I have never heard of Lombardo and if Can Mago, you meant Can Majo. If rice dishes and fidua is a must on your visit, it is probably as good as you'll get in Barcelona. To me, it is is not worth the expense as similar quality version are found in other places though have not been there in a few years . Can Majo is in Barcelonetta, best on a sunny Sunday afternoon and maybe Saturday.
    Sagardi is not tapas but a Basque pintxos place; like most pintxos places, food is simple, all in large platters set out on large counters. No hot items. The branch in Born is large, stand up only, usually crowded, spilling out to a pleasant square, lots of fun but I would not go there for a whole evening meal. I would make it Sunday lunch as it will be lively. El Xamplanyet is a cava/tapas place, the food is decent but it has a real party atmosphere. Usually packed, unless you go early in the evening.
    If you are serious about buying a whole Jamon Iberico and even if you are not, a visit to Jamonisimo is a must. If I were to buy a whole jamon, I would not mind paying a little more for the best quality and Jamonisimo has some of the best. You will find whole jamon sold in just about every mercat including the Boqueria, Santa Caterina, and good shops such as Colmado Quilez (the best all purpose food emporium), La Bottifarreria de Santa Maria, Charcuteria Murria. All in the Born or the Eixample. It is a big investment, therefore, I would shop around and taste before buying. Make sure you can clear custom if you are bringing it back to your native country.
    Except for a place for rices dish, all your choices are all more of tapas/pintxos places. Why no modern/molecular or traditional restaurants. I would search further on this board as there have been extensive discussions for all types of places to eat in Barcelona.

    9 Replies
    1. re: PBSF
      a
      Anasuya RE: PBSF May 24, 2010 09:36 AM

      PBSF

      Thanks so much for your suggestions!! Do you by any chance know if Santa Maria is open in the evening for dinner on Saturday? On google it says the opening hours are 9am - 6pm Mon - Sat, and Santa Maria does not seem to have a website to check opening hours or make a booking.

      I would like to go to Gelonch or Alkimia but my travel buddy is not a particularly gastro-enthusiastic person. I'm sticking to tapas bars, paella and catalan food so she'll be happy. I will visit again as I would like to go to El Celler de can Roca as well... and El bulli... but that is probably not likely as they are closing down after Dec 2011 :(

      I will check the other boards and decide on the other places as well, if they are easy to access, affordable, and have good reviews.

      1. re: Anasuya
        PBSF RE: Anasuya May 24, 2010 09:50 AM

        As very few restaurants closed on Saturday nights, I am sure Santa Maria is open. What you've already chosen are good and/or fun, should suit your friend nicely.

        1. re: PBSF
          a
          Aleta RE: PBSF May 24, 2010 10:30 AM

          Enjoy your trip! We're going in late June and spending 2 weeks in Spain. Since it's your first time, you might want to pair up your meals and your sightseeing. That way, you won't waste any time ricocheting across the city. Some comments about your Saturday and Sunday plans.

          You're going to Inopia for lunch and Comerc24 or Santa Maria for dinner. That would be 2 tapas experiences in 1 day. Although they each have specialities and may have distinctive preparations of the same dish, it's still very similar. You mentioned Catalan food. So how about Fonda Gaig for dinner?

          Agree with PBSF about having Sunday dinner at Paco Meralgo. You also mentioned wanting arroz negro. Consider Kaiku in the Barceloneta area for lunch. It makes a smoked rice arroz negro and you can combine that meal with a visit to the beach or Barri Gotic. Picture below.

          http://www.flickr.com/photos/encantad...

      2. re: PBSF
        Parigi RE: PBSF May 24, 2010 11:34 AM

        Just to add:
        - I totally go for Aleta's idea of having one smallish tapas meal and one good sitdown dinner every day.
        - Sagardi and El Xampanyet have ok food and fun atmosphere. For better food and just as fun atmosphere in the Born, I would go for Euskal Etxea.

        1. re: Parigi
          a
          Anasuya RE: Parigi May 25, 2010 01:34 AM

          Aleta, Parigi and PBSF

          Thanks sooo much for your suggestions! I will definitely re-work my itinerary and combine sightseeing with food so that I get the most out of my 3 days in Barcelona - Tapas, Pintxo, Catalan food, Paella and hopefully 1 modern/ molecular gastro restaurant.

          PBSF - I'm from Australia but now live in London, so I don't think I should have a problem bringing back a leg of ham. I checked the Jamonisimo website and I will definitely go there for a tasting. Do you know approximately how much a 30 month 3kg leg of Jamon Iberico from Jamonisimo would be? Friends of mine in London and I will share the cost because as much as I LOVE Jamon Iberico, I couldn't possibly eat through an entire leg!

          1. re: Anasuya
            a
            Aleta RE: Anasuya May 25, 2010 05:46 AM

            Parigi and PBSF are truly the experts. I am just providing logistic support :-) Besides my dining partner has a picky palate and the only thing he'll eat twice in one day is gelato so I tend to do a lot of planning!! Have a great time!

            I'm looking forward to hearing the approximate cost of 3kg of Jamon Iberico. I guess it'll depend too on the cut.

            1. re: Anasuya
              PBSF RE: Anasuya May 25, 2010 07:34 AM

              I have never bought or shop around for a whole jamon before. With bone, it weights about 7kg which if I have to take a wild guess around 350euro. The 3kg you referred to must be boneless.

              1. re: PBSF
                a
                Aleta RE: PBSF May 25, 2010 08:55 AM

                Anasuya, if you really want to know before you go, you could try emailing Jamonisimo and asking. Just promise to tell us what you find. Here's their email address, as given on their website.

                jamonisimo@terra.es

                1. re: Aleta
                  a
                  Anasuya RE: Aleta May 26, 2010 03:19 AM

                  I did email Jamonisimo and here is their reply below:

                  I will be buying a leg with bone of the Jamon Iberico de Bellota aged 30 months and will be sharing it with a few friends in London who love it as much as I do :)

                  I will definitley be visiting Jamonisimo to try out the various JI's ... I'm certain I will select the one from Salamanca but it will be interesting to try the others as well.

                  Reply from Jamonisimo
                  ================================
                  Hello,

                  Is best pay and agency transport and send the Jamon. Spain to UK.


                  1Kg >> 72€ +/- 8kg Jamon Iberico de bellota Reserva. 3 years
                  1Kg>>48€ +/- 8kg Jamon Iberico Recebo 28 months

                  1Kg>>29€ +/- 5kg Paleta Ibercia recebo 28 months
                  1Kg<<40€ +/- 5kg Paleta Ibercia Bellota 28 months

                  Thanks
                  ==========================================

        2. b
          bettybop RE: Anasuya May 25, 2010 11:21 AM

          I would skip Inopia as it isn´t open at lunchtime and only opens for 4 hours in the evening from 7-11 so if you don´t arrive by seven you´re very likely to spend over an hour or more queuing. It´s also a little out of the way. There are other more accesible tapas places which are just as good. Paco Meralgo is top notch (and expensive), Cal Pep is fun and Taller de Tapas is a sure bet (the Rambla Catalunya branch).
          Sagardi is not only pinchos as it has a restaurant at the back which serves sumptious and huge char grilled steaks and seafood. It´s Basque, and very tasty.
          Casa Delfin on the Paseo del Born serves incredible paella and at a much better price than Can Majo. It´s pretty new on the scene but is very special. It also serves more traditional Catalan food with a twist.
          If you want some more meat you could always branch out and try something more traditional like the Asador de Aranda in Tibidabo. this serves Castilian food: roast lamb, chorizos, lamb cutlets etc. and the building is amazing. Afterwards you could go up the hill to the bars and adnire the view of the city.
          I love the Tomaquera which is quite hard core Catalan: grilled meats and snails. you can´t book but don´t normally queue for long and it´s not for the faint heated but is alot of fun!

          13 Replies
          1. re: bettybop
            a
            Aleta RE: bettybop May 25, 2010 11:40 AM

            Question on Inopia. Doesn't it open for lunch on Saturdays? That's what OP is planning.

            1. re: Aleta
              a
              Anasuya RE: Aleta May 26, 2010 03:38 AM

              Oh... I jsut checked Bar Inopia - their opening hours are

              Tue - Fri: 7 - 11pm
              Sat: 1 - 3:30pm, 7 - 11pm

              So I might try to grab a few tapas here on Sat afternoon - I hope Albert Adria has Ferran Adria's magical touch when it comes to food

            2. re: bettybop
              a
              Anasuya RE: bettybop May 26, 2010 03:34 AM

              Thanks so much for the update on Inopia bettybop.

              I have changed my itinerary:

              For Saturday, I will visit Sagardi for a few pintxos and Euskal Etxea for a few tapas. Then Santa Maria for dinner of gastro/modern/tapas on the tasting menu (their desserts sound amazing!) or if my friend changes her mind, I will go to Gelonch :)

              Most likely will go for Arroz Negro at Kaiku on Sunday for lunch and to hang out on the beach and visit Paco Meralgo on Sunday evening for more tapas

              Monday, I will try the catalan restaurants for lunch - possibly San Joan, Asador de Aranda or Tomaquera - I'm definitely not faint hearted. And then I will head to Jamonisimo to try the various JI's and buy a leg to take home.

              1. re: Anasuya
                a
                Aleta RE: Anasuya May 26, 2010 04:06 AM

                Anasuya, glad you found the right hours for Inopia on Saturday. From Bettyboop's comments, I was worried that it might have changed.

                Thanks for sharing the info from Jamonisimo. That gives me a better idea how much to buy (ie how much I can afford to buy) when it's my turn.

                Asador de Aranda specializes in roast lamb. There's a closer location on Passeig de Gracia. I was thinking of going there but still undecided (okay, too lazy to go up to the one at Tibidao). It's not what I would call Catalan cuisine. Here are some pictures from Miguel's blog:

                http://www.miguelvecin.com/2009/07/as...

                1. re: Anasuya
                  PBSF RE: Anasuya May 26, 2010 08:01 AM

                  LIke Sagardi, Euskal Etxea also serves pintxos, not tapas.

                  1. re: Anasuya
                    a
                    arlenemae RE: Anasuya Jun 2, 2010 08:54 AM

                    I was just in Barcelona a couple weeks ago and my Sunday/Monday itinerary was very similar to yours.

                    For Sunday lunch, Barceloneta is definitely great. We had Kaiku, Can Majo, and Can Ros on our list, but ended up in Can Ros since it stays open the latest (our bus tour ended late and we didn't get to Barceloneta until almost 3pm). I thoroughly enjoyed their arroz negro so I think you can always put it on your list as a backup. If you have to wait for a table (as we did since it seemed to be a popular time), you can hang out at the beach which is the perfect way to kill some time.

                    For Sunday dinner, we had both Paco Meralgo and Cerveceria Catalana on our list, wound up going to Cerveceria Catalana for a similar reason as lunch, it stayed open later (we got caught up in a party on the streets for Barcelona's win on their last home football match...it was so much fun we figured we would hang out for a while and put off dinner). Like Paco Meralgo, Cerveceria Catalana is one of the few places open on Sunday night so it would also be good as a backup. I thought they had excellent food at a good price, and especially enjoyed all their montaditos.

                    For Monday lunch, after a visit to Sagrada Familia we wound up going to Sant Joan, which had simple/homey but excellent food and it was probably our cheapest restaurant meal of the entire trip! It was a nice respite from all the tapas that we have been eating.

                    Like Aleta and others, I did a lot of research prior to my trip and it definitely paid off. I had a spreadsheet full of restaurants, opening times, ratings,etc. and a google maps printout of where they were. Reading this board and getting advice from experts such as PBSF really helped. I think that even with tons of research and overthinking things a bit (as I tend to do), it is still possible to have some spontaneity by having a few different options in an area and just deciding where to go that day depending on your sightseeing plans, mood, etc. My hubby is the more spontaneous one while I'm the uber-planner, but we still managed to find a good medium between overplanning everything and just playing it by ear.

                    Hope you have a good trip! I wish they would let us bring a leg of ham back to the US!

                    1. re: arlenemae
                      PBSF RE: arlenemae Jun 2, 2010 09:21 AM

                      Thank you for reporting back. You made a wise choice with Can Ros instead of Can Majo which I think is overprice. And Barcelonetta on Sunday afternoon is always a great scene. Glad you enjoyed the food which can vary but the always partying atmosphere makes up for it.

                      1. re: arlenemae
                        a
                        Aleta RE: arlenemae Jun 2, 2010 12:05 PM

                        I'm with you, Arlene! I prefer to have lots of information and plans but I can still do spontaneity too. Especially when it comes to walking down a street and smelling something really delicious that is not on my list! And I'm so glad I plan ahead. For example, I just realized that it is the Festival of Sant Joan next week and some places (like La Boqueria and other traditional Monday-Friday restaurants) will be closed.

                        1. re: Aleta
                          Parigi RE: Aleta Jun 2, 2010 01:14 PM

                          "the Festival of Sant Joan"

                          It is the hottest partying do even for Barcelona, maybe for the planet.

                          1. re: Parigi
                            estufarian RE: Parigi Jun 2, 2010 04:23 PM

                            I thought that was La Mercé (in September) - how do the two compare?

                            1. re: estufarian
                              Parigi RE: estufarian Jun 2, 2010 05:01 PM

                              On the San Joan night, in the old town every - I repeat, every - building has fireworks going off. In the distance on the seaside there are giant fireworks. It may be just me, but I prefer the San Joan because the whole town, young and old, tourists and locals get into it yet it is not as institutionalized as a carnival.

                              1. re: Parigi
                                a
                                Aleta RE: Parigi Jun 2, 2010 05:33 PM

                                Isn't La Merce the celebration and name of Barcelona's patron saint? It's not a national holiday. Sant Joan (St. John's) is both the celebration of St. John's day and the summer solstice. It seems to be both a Christian and pagan celebration. And a national holiday. No food shopping that day ;-(

                                Too bad we'll miss the eve of Sant Joan - the night of bonfires, fireworks and partying! We'll be having our own party at La Alqueria in Seville. Not bad.

                    2. re: bettybop
                      a
                      Anasuya RE: bettybop Jun 2, 2010 06:12 AM

                      Hi bettybop, do you know how much lunch at Asador will be for 2 persons? can you order a la carte or is it always the prix fixe menu one must have?

                      Where is the Tomaquera located and how much would lunch for 2 cost here? Again, can you order a la carte or is it also only the prix fixe menu?

                      Thanks for yor uhelp so far.. much appreciated!

                    3. estufarian RE: Anasuya May 26, 2010 08:26 AM

                      Just a heads-up on Jamonisimo. I couldn't find opening hours on their website, but other sites showed them closed Sunday and open for both lunch and dinner on Monday.
                      HOWEVER when I visited in April this year, they were CLOSED at Monday lunchtime (and no indication of opening hours on door/shutter). So may also be closed Mon evening!
                      That only leaves you Saturday for your purchasing!

                      I did have an alternative on the Monday (Paco Meralgo) - which was 'fine' - but I fail to see why the rave reviews on other posts. Competent, certainly, and one of the few places one can sit down. But IMO not worth a 'detour'!

                      16 Replies
                      1. re: estufarian
                        a
                        Anasuya RE: estufarian Jun 2, 2010 04:42 AM

                        Thanks for the heads up Estufarian. I have emailed them to find out what their opening hours are. If necessary, I will go there on Saturday because I absolutely cannot leave Barelona without a Jamon Iberico :)

                        1. re: Anasuya
                          t
                          tlubow RE: Anasuya Jun 4, 2010 09:09 AM

                          We are just back from Spain 3 days ago, and although catching up at work has prevented me from posting about our trip, I wanted to chime in briefly regarding Barcelona.
                          We had dinner at Paco Meralgo on Sunday night, right after arriving by train from Avignon, France. They had our reservation, seated us quickly, though the place was packed and we had a great meal. Standouts were pan con tomate, razor clams, foie on toast, salmon on toast, fried spring onions with romesco sauce (we ordered a 2nd order of these), the best croquettas of the entire trip (and there were a lot) and much more. We were very pleased with the meal.

                          Our favorite meal was at Inopia, though. We went Tuesday night and got there at almost 8:00. We were 3rd on a list and were worried that they would seat us too quickly because we were not that hungry yet (we adapted to the meal times in Spain by adding an extra meal to the day - 2nd lunch!). But they called us around 8:50 which was perfect. Everything was good and we ate a lot. My favorite was the fried eggplant with the molasses sauce. We had so many things I wish I had time to report on each, but the bottom line is that there was nothing that we didn't enjoy.

                          Less exciting and more expensive was Cal Pep. Nothing was bad, and again we over-ordered (including all the usual items listed on this board), but just not as good as either Paco Meralgo or Inopia and way more expensive.

                          We ate at Universal at the Boqueria for breakfast (eggs with baby squid) and it was good but much more expensive than we thought it was going to be.

                          We also squeezed in 2nd lunches at Sagardi and Taktiki Berry which was next to our hotel (Bacelona Catedral Hotel - highly recommended) and we really enjoyed both places. Oh, I almost forgot, we had dinner at Can Ros. It was nice not to have tapas one night and we had seafood paella for two which was really pretty good, and a whole dorado simply prepared. It was a nice change. The strange thing was that they asked us if we wanted pan con tomato, and of course we did, but they brought us toasted bread, unpeeled cloves of garlic, whole tomatoes, and some aioli and then we were told that we make it ourselves! Strange, but it came out better than a few of the other places we ate. It just so happened that there was a celebration going on that night in Barceloneta where many local marching bands walk through the streets and play music - parade style. They all play the same song (I guess it's some sort of competition) and it also included lots of fireworks. It was so much fun to be a part of - but when we asked about it at our hotel, they had never heard of such an event...so we don't know what it was. Have a wonderful trip!

                          1. re: tlubow
                            PBSF RE: tlubow Jun 4, 2010 01:45 PM

                            Thank you wonderful detailed post.
                            The original way of serving pa amb tomaque is similar to Can Ros with all ingredients served separately: toasted or stale slices of bread, garlic cloves, tomato halves, olive oil and salt. Many places in Mallorca where it originated still serve it this way, especially for breakfast.

                        2. re: estufarian
                          a
                          Aleta RE: estufarian Jun 4, 2010 10:39 AM

                          Hi Estufarian! What is your Monday alternative for Paco Meralgo? Thanks.

                          1. re: Aleta
                            estufarian RE: Aleta Jun 4, 2010 05:48 PM

                            Originally it was Jamonissimo (except it was closed for lunch - not sure if it's open for dinner.
                            I went to Cal Pep - and it was excellent - OK packed with tourists but I still preferred it to Paco Meralgo (although many on this Board would disagree). I think Anasunya was going to email Jamonissimo to see if they were open Mon evening - if they are I'd go there. For lunch I don't know - Paco Meralgo was the only place I actually got in!

                            1. re: estufarian
                              a
                              Aleta RE: estufarian Jun 4, 2010 07:26 PM

                              You are a brave man, Estufarian! ;-)

                              I've emailed Jamonissimo too since I've found conflicting hours. I just want to know if they are truly open on Saturdays from 12 - 8:30 pm.

                              I have 2 Mondays in Barcelona. For the first, I'm planning Inopia. For the second, I'm undecided. I'll probably go for lunch at Quimet y Quimet. Dinner could be Cuatro nr metro Drassanes or ? Too bad so many places are closed on Sun. and Mon. I wanted to try Bohemic and/or Gelonch.

                              1. re: Aleta
                                Frodnesor RE: Aleta Jun 4, 2010 09:20 PM

                                Inopia's website says they are open Tue-Sat, not Monday. Is that not right?
                                http://www.barinopia.com/contacto_es....

                                1. re: Frodnesor
                                  a
                                  Aleta RE: Frodnesor Jun 4, 2010 10:38 PM

                                  Thanks a million, Frodnesor! I keep forgetting about that. Must change Monday plans.

                                  1. re: Aleta
                                    a
                                    arlenemae RE: Aleta Jun 5, 2010 12:47 AM

                                    Cal pep is open on Mondays for dinner only.

                                    1. re: arlenemae
                                      estufarian RE: arlenemae Jun 5, 2010 04:46 AM

                                      And a reminder that Cal Pep now opens at 7:30 (not 8:00) so get there at 7:15.

                                      1. re: estufarian
                                        a
                                        Aleta RE: estufarian Jun 5, 2010 07:44 AM

                                        Taktika Berri and Euskal Extea are open on Mondays, I think.

                                        I have a new way of figuring out whether a restaurant is open or not. Some restaurants offer online booking through the atrapalo.com website. If the date that you want is not available, it means the place is not open. For restaurants that do not offer online booking (like Taktika Berri), at least the "Mas Informacion" section gives open days etc.

                                2. re: Aleta
                                  a
                                  Aleta RE: Aleta Jun 7, 2010 05:23 AM

                                  Jamonissimo has emailed me back with current hours of operation:

                                  Restaurant open from 8am to 10pm from monday to friday. On saturday from 8am to 3pm, and 5pm to 9.30pm.

                                  In June 24 is closed (San Juan).

                                  1. re: Aleta
                                    estufarian RE: Aleta Jun 7, 2010 05:58 AM

                                    And on April 26,2010!

                                  2. re: Aleta
                                    k
                                    kathryn RE: Aleta Jun 7, 2010 08:33 AM

                                    Monday lunch at Quimet y Quimet won't work because they're closed!

                                    Quimet y Quimet is open for lunch on Saturday but closed for dinner, and is closed all day Sunday & Monday.

                                    1. re: kathryn
                                      a
                                      Aleta RE: kathryn Jun 7, 2010 09:54 AM

                                      This is what I find a little challenging about certain aspects of dining in Barcelona (or maybe Spain in general?). The amount of information that could be incorrect on the Internet AND a schedule that changes all the time!

                                      Thanks, Kathryn, but today (a Monday) I actually called Quimet y Quimet and confirmed that they are truly open on Monday. Until further notice. ;-)

                                      1. re: Aleta
                                        k
                                        kathryn RE: Aleta Jun 7, 2010 10:05 AM

                                        Oh, excellent!

                            2. b
                              bettybop RE: Anasuya Jun 4, 2010 11:58 PM

                              The Asador de Aranda has no fixed menu as far as I know. Expect to pay about 60-80€ for two. Don´t go to the branch in the Eixample as it´s not nearly as spectacular as the one in Tibdabo. It´s so worth the trip. I would say it´s a Sunday lunch kind of place.
                              The Tomaquera has no fixed menu either as far as I know. It´s cheap and cheerful, about 40-60€ for two depending on how greedy you are.

                              13 Replies
                              1. re: bettybop
                                a
                                Anasuya RE: bettybop Jun 15, 2010 05:44 AM

                                I finally have time to breath and report on my trip to barcelona. I had a really good time nad hte food nad wine was mostly great.

                                On Saturday I made my way to Bar Inopia expecting wonders but was disappointed. The food was good and well presented, but being a a brrther of the great Ferran Adria, I expected more, lots more from Albert Adria ... and therefore was disappointed. We had 5 tapas (jamon, fried baby fish with egg were good), 3 glasses of cava and the bill was 35 Euro in total,

                                Sat evening I went to Santa Maria on Carrer Comerc and the food and service was excellent. My friend loved it ! We had the tasting menu and really enjoyed the Dracula and chocolate desserts. Had an amazing Verdejo to accompany the meal - one of the best I've tasted and yet so cheap. I think it came to Euro 65 in total for 2 persons.

                                On Sunday I went to Casa Delfin (it was raining so didn't wnat to get to the beach) and the food was fabulous. Service was rather hit and miss but the locals didn't seem to mind so we just sat back and relaxed. We had the monkfish stew and hte paella of hte day with Morcilla - both of which were fabulous. Again we had a fabulous Verdejo and the bill was a total of Euro 45

                                Sunday night we went to Paco Meralgo and it was a real disappointment. I did not enjoy the food at all and we left half our tapas dishes unfinished. I think the bill was close to euro 70 for 2. To compensate for our disappointing food, we went to Hotel Omm for a cocktail and finished off the night there.

                                Monday afternoon I headed to Asador de Aranda - what a fabulous restauraunt! the building was beautiful and although the staff didnt' speak English they were extremely friendly and courteous. They gave us a complimentary glass of cava and olives to nibble while we waited for our table. We had the red sausage and black sausage (really good), the baby lamb cutlets and the roast baby lamb (all of which were really good). We were so full we had to ask them to pack the sausages for takeaway which they very kindly did. Then they gave us a palate cleanser (an anise based liquer) and more glasses of cava and the house specialty biscuits - all complimentary! Bettybop thank you so much for your recommendation - we absolutely loved the place. the bill was around Euro 55 for 2.

                                I then made my way to Jamonismo only to find it closed! I had made a reservation fro 3:30pm and the place was clsoed without a soul in sight. i was so disappointed! Then headed to CDLC (Carpe Diem Lounge Club) for cocktails just before we left.

                                All in all - a fabulous holiday and I will visit again. I did manage to do some sightseeing in addition to eating my way through barcelona - went to the segrada familia, casa batllo, the museo nacional, stadio olympico, museo picasso and walked around the gotic, eixample, el born and ramblas areas.

                                1. re: bettybop
                                  a
                                  Anasuya RE: bettybop Jun 15, 2010 05:45 AM

                                  oh yes - i also made it to euskal extea as well - after bar inopia :)

                                  1. re: Anasuya
                                    s
                                    SmokinActuary RE: Anasuya Jun 15, 2010 05:57 AM

                                    Thanks Anasuya!

                                    That is the second recent poor review of Paco Meralgo that I have read.

                                    I was thinking to myself that if I went to Paco Meralgo that maybe I should go on a night other that a Sunday because of all the blurbs saying that this is a great place for Sunday dinner because it is open on Sundays.

                                    There is an industry axiom that you should avoid seafood on Mondays. Perhaps that should apply to Sunday nights also.

                                    Santa Maria is high up on my list!!

                                    1. re: SmokinActuary
                                      SnackHappy RE: SmokinActuary Jun 15, 2010 10:25 AM

                                      Paco Meralgo is good, I've had some great food there, but I wouldn't put it at the top of my list on a night other than Sunday. Even then, I would rather go to El Vaso de Oro.

                                      1. re: SnackHappy
                                        n
                                        Nyleve RE: SnackHappy Jun 15, 2010 11:43 AM

                                        Is El Vaso de Oro open on Sunday then?

                                        1. re: Nyleve
                                          s
                                          SmokinActuary RE: Nyleve Jun 15, 2010 12:05 PM

                                          From the TIME OUT website

                                          Open 9.30am-midnight Mon-Fri; 12.30pm-midnight Sat, Sun. Closed Sept

                                          1. re: SmokinActuary
                                            a
                                            Aleta RE: SmokinActuary Jun 15, 2010 12:32 PM

                                            Anasuya, thx so much for your reporting back. Sorry that your short trip had its ups and downs. Jamonisimo is a bit of a frustrating mystery. We both contacted them and they diligently replied but I guess the person who handles correspondence does not communicate well with the manager of the shop. I asked them if they are closed betw. 2-4 pm (as is stated online somewhere). They specifically said they would be open all day, but they weren't there when you arrived. ;-( Even before your report, I decided to put aside the time to pay them 2 visits. One for tasting and the other for ordering. Let's see how that goes! And I'll mention that you were very disappointed by their closed door.

                                            Will you pls email Jamonisimo and tell them that they missed out on your business? Every bit of feedback counts.

                                            Re: Sunday dinners, I have El Vaso de Oro, La Bombeta, Euskal Extea, Cerveceria Catalana and Paco Meralgo on my list. I'll probably go to Paco Meralgo only because we're arriving on a Sunday and staying in L'Eixample. Hope it'll be okay.

                                            1. re: Aleta
                                              a
                                              Anasuya RE: Aleta Jun 17, 2010 04:10 AM

                                              You really should try Asador de Aranda in Tibidabo - the food and service was excellent. THe balck sausage iwth Rice is amazing... I'm still thinking about it :). the building is also amazing - apprently it used to be a monastery (as our waiter told us in his limited English)

                                              As for Jamonismo, you can send them a bank transfer and they will send you a leg of ham of your choice. I'm very disappointed that i couldn't try the jamon there as I purposely avoided jamon iberico everywhere I went , saving the experience for Jamonismo :(

                                              I hope you have better luck than me!

                                      2. re: SmokinActuary
                                        a
                                        Anasuya RE: SmokinActuary Jun 17, 2010 04:06 AM

                                        At paco meralgo I didn't have oysters, razor clams etc. I had the cod fish fritters (good), chicken and ham and seafood croquettes (both good), courgette flowers (good), prawns in garlic (ok), deep fried baby quid (ok), black pepper fillet (ok), cuttlefish meatball (bad) .

                                        You will love Santa Maria - it is so laid back and the crowd is so friendly!

                                        The waiters sing every time someone leaves a tip... if you give 10% they might even dance :).. one of them did raise his apron and swing a little for us :)

                                        1. re: Anasuya
                                          s
                                          SmokinActuary RE: Anasuya Jun 17, 2010 05:08 AM

                                          Anasuya,

                                          I would have gone to Paco Meralgo specifically for the oysters, razor claims etc!

                                          :-)

                                          Santa Maria is very high on my list.

                                          1. re: SmokinActuary
                                            a
                                            Anasuya RE: SmokinActuary Jun 17, 2010 09:58 AM

                                            I wanted to but my friend was not willing to try theseafood - she's not as adventurous as me when it comes to food :(

                                            However, I will be travelling through Barcelona again - I LOVE Gaudi and Picass and the city in general ... and there are so many more restaurants to check out too! I feel like I lost out by not going to Kaiko, Tomaqueria, Cal Pep and Gelonch.

                                            Ana

                                            1. re: Anasuya
                                              a
                                              Aleta RE: Anasuya Jun 17, 2010 02:12 PM

                                              Anasuya, so sorry to hear that you avoided eating jamon in anticipation of Jamonisimio, only to find them closed. I can imagine your disappointment. I am planning to do the same thing as you - ie save my stomach for a real jamon treat.

                                              Fortunately, you are not so far away from Barcelona. I'm sure you'll hop over the next time the price is right.

                                              I was curious about Asador de Aranda, especially after reading Miguel's blog. The location in Tibidabo looks gorgeous and it's only a few minutes away from Parc Guell by taxi. I wonder if the Asador on Passeig de Gracia (same restaurant group) is almost as good.

                                            2. re: SmokinActuary
                                              Parigi RE: SmokinActuary Mar 6, 2011 05:06 AM

                                              "I would have gone to Paco Meralgo specifically for the oysters, razor claims etc! "

                                              Me too. I didn't know Paco Meralgo serves other food. :-)
                                              It is regrettable to bypass the best that the house has to offer.

                                               
                                    2. o
                                      obrien2020 RE: Anasuya Mar 5, 2011 10:03 PM

                                      Hi Anasuya,

                                      My wife and I are in Barcelona right now, and are touring many of the spots on your list. Just want to give a couple little notes. Inopia is now called Lolita. We hiked over there and couldn't find the place until a friendly old guy pointed us to the right place (there's a little sign that says formerly Inopia). Sadly, we were there in the afternoon so we were out of luck anyway.

                                      Also, we cannot find Comerc 24 for the life of us. Santa Christina is definitely there, but there is litterally no building at Comerc #24. Hope someone can shed some light on that for you. We also could not find Espai Sucre. So it might have closed down.

                                      We did get to Tapas 24, which was a nice, informal tapas joint.

                                      Have fun! This is the greatest city on Earth, especially for foodies. :)

                                      1 Reply
                                      1. re: obrien2020
                                        k
                                        kathryn RE: obrien2020 Mar 6, 2011 07:03 AM

                                        Name/ownership change of Inopia:
                                        http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/767290

                                      Show Hidden Posts