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Jun 17, 2011 12:13 AM

Taste of Barcelona tour???

I came across this tour from past NYT readers' comments in regards to comings and goings in and around Barca...

It involves 3 hours, 4 different supposedly "local" and off the tourist checklist sort of places.

100 dollars, accompanying rounds of food and drinks at every stop.

Any info beyond possible "plugs" would be much appreciated-

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  1. I've tried finding out about the tour, but it would appear that the people behind it like to keep a shroud of mystery around the whole thing. They seem to encourage clients to talk about it on places like TripAdvisor, but discourage them from naming the places they take them to or any other details of the tour.

    From what I can tell, it looks like they take you to places that may or may not be Irati and Cala del Vermut in the Gotico, a cheese shop (La Seu?) and another place for dessert.

    It's a shame that there's no way to know the content of the actual tour. I'd love to know what the non-food and drink part of the tour consists of.

    I suspect it's nothing you couldn't learn from a few guide books and web sites. But if it's fun and you like that sort of thing and aren't afraid to plop down the cash for it, why not do it? Just don't expect to get your money's worth in food and drink. It is a business after all.

    EDIT: From looking at their site, I see they have pictures of Vila Viniteca and Cucine Mandarosso.

    BTW, Cucine Mandarosso is a great place, with very friendly service, very good food, an awesome menu del dia and incredible desserts. I never mention it here because it's an Italian restaurant, but it is one of my favourite places for lunch in Barcelona.

    5 Replies
    1. re: SnackHappy

      I did a bit more sleuthing. This is turning into a pet project. Cala del Vermut and La Seu are definitely part of the tour. The other two places are a Basque bar (Irati, Sagardi, Baseri?) and a place for dessert and cava.

      Considering the ratio of negative to positive comments on TripAdvisor, I'd say you have a pretty good chance of enjoying the tour. It all depends on whether you're willing to pay $100 for a meal that's probably worth about half of that.

      You could very easily use the information available on this board to create your own tour. Look up PBSF's posts on Barcelona tapas. He's got it all covered.

      I should note that during my mini-investigation I noticed that many of the pictures they use on their site are "borrowed" from other sites and flicker accounts and not their own pictures. To me that's not very impressive as far as ethics go. Just sayin'.

      1. re: SnackHappy

        I figured out another one! The Basque place is definitely Baserri. So that's Fromatgeria La Seu, Cala del Vermut, Baserri and the last place is probably Mescladis.

        BTW, I'm very much aware that I'm the only person in the world who cares about this.

        1. re: SnackHappy

          "many of the pictures they use on their site are "borrowed" from other sites and flicker accounts and not their own pictures."

          Do you mean no photo credits are given?

          1. re: Parigi

            They had (looks like they took it down) a flickr account with slide show on their site of pictures taken from here and there on the internet. They did not credit anyone and claimed copyright. There was even a comment on one of the pictures from its author asking why they had copied his photo.

            Since they took the photos down, i'm willing to give them the benefit of the doubt. Maybe they didn't know about copyright laws.

            1. re: SnackHappy

              Good sleuthing, SnackHappy!

              I had a look at the reviews on TA and the 'cheese and wine tasting' with 'cheese ice cream' must be Formatgeria La Seu and its neighbouring Bar Zim. Both ARE great places.

              So it sounds like the operators of this tour have done a good job choosing a number of Barcelona's quality bars and food providers. And it works for people who prefer to be 'led' and pay 75 euros for the service.

      2. I agree with SnackHappy.
        First of all, Barcelona is one of the most user-friendly cities. Its tourism office has a branch in all the central points of the city and offers a wealth of info for free, such as a city map and even maps of self-guided walking tours and market tours.
        And armed with a good guidebook plus, the most important, PBSF's recommendations on this board, you cannot go wrong.