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Aug 9, 2011 07:15 PM

Calmer request---critique our eating plans

OK....despite my disappointment about certain restaurants, y'all assured me (as did some internet searching) that we'll be fine in BCN next week. So, here's what we are thinking. Would love suggestions/advice.

Arrive 10:30. Figure by the time we check in/get settled, it'll be a good time to head to Barceloneta for a late lunch (3ish). Where should we go? So far, I've collected 4 recs. Any obvious standouts? Doesn't need to be fancy, does need to have non-shellfish fish options....

Merendero De La Mari

Eix al Moll

Can Ramonet

El Rey De La Gamba


Sunday dinner: Paco Meralgo (close to the hotel, open on Sundays


Lunch--figured we would just find something near Sagrada Familia, or buy some cheese/bread/jamon and take it to Parc Guell.

Dinner: Tapas crawl: El Born

Breakfast/Brunch--La Boqueria
Dinner: Comerc24 (they gave us a 9:45 reservation--will we be the only people there)

Dinner: Currently booked at Casa Calvet. Should we switch to Alkimia? Fonda Gaig? I feel like we'd like to have one more "traditional" meal and one more creative/molecular gastronomy (Cinq Sentis and Tickets are both closed while we are there). Also--is two big "sitdown" dinners a waste with only 4 nights?

What are we missing? As typical Americans, we are assuming more casual lunches (like I said, we're pretty happy with some combo of bread/cheese/jamon or a tortilla somewhere) and more substantial dinners.

If there are must try dishes, or must try stops we are missing--bring them on. Getting excited!! Thanks in advance for all your help.

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  1. For Barceloneta:
    First choice is Kaiku, then Can Ramonet. I like Cherif. I wouldn't eat at any place on the Pg de Joan de Borbo. Eix use to be good but I've heard they have gone downhill.
    Paco Meralgo: the counter is a lot of fun but reservation are taken only for tables. It is usually packed on most nights, especially Sundays. Go early or reserve if you don't want to wait.
    If you do Parc Guell, do take food as there is not much to eat around it. There are lots of simple tapas places around the Sagrada.
    Comerc24: don't worry about 9:45, that is prime time; like you, the locals are just arriving.
    Casa Calvet or Fonda Gaig: depends on what you like. Casa Calvet has beautiful old world ambience whereas Fonda Gaig is modern, chic and bustling. Fonda Gaig's food is updated traditional Catalan; Casa Calvet is the same with some Mediterranean thrown in. Since you'll be eating informally during the day, two sit down evening meal is definitely not too much.
    Dishes to try:
    Places in Barceloneta: depend on how many people you have; do a platter of seafood and some type of arroz or fideus if available. Paella is hit or miss but it seems that every visitor wants to order that.
    Paco Meralgo: big menu, request one in English if you don't read Spanish or Catalan; lots of good stuff; the Bomba and Catalan tomato bread are a must, any seafood (especially razor clams a la plancha and baked scallops; they do run out late in the evening), bunyols de bacalla,ceps a la plancha or any wild mushrooms. Skip the breaded goat with too much breading Nice simple desserts:Tap de Cadques, the Torrija if you like warm bread pudding, Crema Catalana.
    Boqueria: all the kiosks cook similar food; chickpeas or beans with sausage, tortilla, squid with white beans, marinated sardines, clams with ham. Blackboard menu; since they cook the food right in front of you, what is good is what they are cooking a lot of.
    For Comerc24: the menu changes all the time; do the Festival de Tapas. If you order from the carte: skip anything that even remotely looks like a salad or any form of coca; if on the menu, order scallop, foie gras, baby octopus, signature Bikinis, goat belly, suquet; there is usually no dessert menu, just a small assortment; the best are chocolate mousse with coarse salt and olive oil, warm bread soaked in custard.
    Fonda Gaig: order what you like to eat; the must are the canalon, suquet, duck with fig if in season or pears. Also good are stuffed sweet peppers, salt cod salad, baked shrimp, sometimes available is Mar i Muntanya (Catalan surf and turf). As for Casa Calvet, I haven't been there enough to know what are can"t missed. Last visit: good were the wild mushrooms, crispy potato with Romesco; baked fish with with fennel, shellfish stew.
    Lots of good food even in August.