jamonisimo--an exercise in frustration
Having read so many great reviews of jamonisimo, I was excited to do a degustacion. I looked on their website, saw that they are open on saturdays, and went over to the carrer provenca location (apparently there is another location at 328 carrer muntaner, which is a bit further north of the city center). No luck. Sign in window said they are closed on saturdays in the summer.
Next try was on Monday. This time I emailed first and they wrote back that they are open from 5 pm (they probably also have morning hours). We arrived to see the shop clerk, wearing his jamonisimo apron, standing on the sidewalk. It was 5:15 pm. He said he had rushed out to prevent two people from stealing his bicycle, and the door had locked behind him. Not to worry, though, because his boss was on the way with keys and would be there within 15-20 minutes, and he would give us a free glass of cava due to the delay. So we waited, a good 45 minutes. No boss, no keys, no jamon.
The goods inside the shop did look incredible. 4-5 jamons set up for hand carving with white cloth covering each, also a selection of other gourmet items.
This operation sounds like it has issues to say the least. Do they have no competitors that they can be this flippant with their clientele?
Don't be put off by this. I"m afraid we're incompetent in Europe and getting locked out of the shop on occasion is par for the course. If you make it to jamonisimo (and I suggest you take a taxi from the centre of Barcelona) you will surely try the best ham of your life.