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Jan 30, 2012 09:48 AM

favorite barcelona tapas

Just got back from Barcelona - these were some of my favorite tapas

Pinotxo in La Boqueria: the eggs and clams, the cuttlefish and beans, the chickpeas, fried artichokes
El Quim in La Boqueria: padron peppers, huevos con setas y foie (sauteed mushrooms topped with foie gras and perfectly runny fried eggs), nice cava
Euskal Extea (near Santa Maria del Mar): pintxos in general, particularly the hot ones that they bring around
Cerveceria Catalan in Eixample (Rambla de Catalunya and Carrer de Mallorca): Huevos cabreados (fried potato sticks with spicy sauce and eggs), broqueta de gambas (shrimp skewers), navajas (razor clams), fried camembert, grilled cuttlefish, refreshing white sangria

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  1. I wish I had read your thread before going out for tapas. We went to Tapas 24, it was awful, a big lineup and not worth the hype. We had some french fries, with mayo and ketchup on top, some croquettes that tasted like Chicken a la king inside and tuna salad with bits of potatoes, tomatoes that I could have made myself. And the black rice with the few strings of squid on top was a joke, rice was half cooked! Sangria was 16 euros for 1L. This place is a ripoff!

    10 Replies
    1. re: orlenalee

      All those dishes are pretty standard and Tapas24 makes them rather well. Sounds like you just don't like tapas.

      BTW, rice in Spain is always cooked very al dente. Unless you get an arroz caldoso and let it rest for too long your rice will always be "half-cooked"

      1. re: orlenalee

        No offense, but it really seems like you just didn't know what to expect. It's fine that you didn't like it but Tapas 24 is pretty much exactly what it claims to be - a fairly straightforward, upscale tapas bar with some quirky/modern touches. It's not really supposed to be a cheaper Comerc 24 and isn't.
        You ordered patatas bravas and it sounds like you got them. You ordered ensaladilla rusa and got it. You ordered black rice and got a correct version of it - the rice isn't supposed to be mushy. Plenty of people like to lighten up heavy meals with light, simple vegetable courses like your tomatoes. 16 euros for a liter of sangria (?) in a ritzy neighborhood sounds fair, if pricey - but ritzy neighborhoods and trendy-ish bars aren't synonymous with cheap drinks.

        1. re: caganer

          Thanks for your quick comments SnackHappy & Caganer. There was a big lineup at 10:30 pm so it must be a good place and we just didn't like what we ordered. Yes we had bravas but can't remember the rest. Tomorrow, we're going to Barcelonetta. I am thinking of either Cal Mano, Can Majo La Covada Fuma, Cal Pep or Kaiku. Any suggestions, only 4 meals left so don't want to make a mistake (lunch & dinner)? A friend suggested going to a wine bar - Vinya del Senor or Monvinic. I don't recall reading about these 2 places on Chowhound but if you have any experience, please let me know. Thanks.

          1. re: orlenalee

            Can Mano and Cova Fumada are very rustic. I love them but there's sawdust on the floor and pretty much just seafood to eat. Can Mano does more frying, Cova Fumada more cooking a la plancha. Both get crowded
            Can Majo is pretty much a paella place. I've spent a lot of time looking down on it from a balcony above and have never really been tempted - lots of European tourists and businessmen eating rice. But I've never been and people say it's good. Kaiku's probably better and has more to offer, it certainly has a better reputation here. Escriba has a really interesting looking "chiriguito"-restaurant (seafood & rice) further up the beach from Barceloneta, past the olympic stuff, if you're up for a walk up the beach.

            1. re: orlenalee

              It's a few years since I went to Cal Pep for lunch but I loved it. The food was perhaps heartier than I expected and I still remember 2 standout dishes (botifarra amb mongetes - sausage with White beans) and a clam dish (with ham in a sherry sauce). I don't know if they take reservations; back then you arrived early and got in line.

              On the beach (Bogatell?) Xiringuito Escriba is good but I always had a soft spot for the (slightly gruff) Catamaran

              Should you be tempted to try some tapas while in Barceloneta, El Vaso de Oro on c/Balboa is good

              1. re: orlenalee

                I found Vinya del Senor a bit...snooty isn't the word, just not particularly pleasant the few times we tried it. My go to wine bar would be the tiny Bar Zim, Calle Dagueria 20, near Placa Sant Just in the Barri Gotic. I haven't been to Monvinic.

                ETA: Zim also has option for some fantastic embotits, spanish cheeses, and a couple of other bites.

                1. re: debbiel

                  Thanks Debbiel. We waited 20 minutes outside Vinya del Senyor at 10:30 PM and left because there's no table. It's a Friday night, wrong time to be there. It wasn't snotty but there were only 2 waiters inside who were in a hurry to serve the crowd. The waiters from the restaurant across (santa maria del mar?) tried to wooo us to go inside but we had no interest. I will check out Zim tomorrow and get there early. I looked at Monvinic's site, it seems way more expensive and very upscale compared to VdS. Thanks for taking the time to write.

                  1. re: orlenalee

                    Vinya del Senyor does occupy a great spot and has a somewhat elitist wine selection, although I would not call it snooty. The other café by the square is quite nice too and has a good wine cellar.

            2. re: orlenalee

              Attached is a pic of what we ordered at Tapaç 24. I forgot to mention that after dinner, we walked along La Rambla near La Boqueria and one place had outrageous prices for tapas. Those are definitely tourist traps especially if they provide you with an English menu.

              1. re: orlenalee

                They do good things with small fish there - I've had great baby red mullet-type fish, baby merluza, tiny little fish called chanquetes. It's a good place quality fish/seafood in general. Also great charcuterie in general (their morcilla con arroz is really good).
                And they have two signature fun dishes - a cheese-truffle sandwhich and a foie burger.

            3. You hit all my faves. :-)
              Orientales's description of Tapas 24 also sounds wonderful to me, albeit not wonderful to Orientales. Especially the black rice sounds as though Tapas 24 did it right. Seldom is a negative review so glowing.
              I love Cal Pep. Like the Barceloneta places mentioned, it is more a restaurant than a tapas place. After I read the comment about ripoff, maybe we should remind diners that there is no choice, no menu at Cal Pep.

              3 Replies
              1. re: Parigi

                We went to Cal Pep and arrived at 2 pm, no lineup, and there were 4 empty seats at the counter. However, as soon as we sat down, a line-up of 10 ppl seemed to pop up. The food was fab, my type of place. We ordered 4 dishes and it was too much - the white beans and sausage (with some foie gras) came at the end after the fish and we were already full. We didnt' know what to order, and let the waiter make suggestions. We said we liked seafood more than meat. We started off with fried calamari, it looks ordinary on the picture but the batter is just to die for, some secret spices that's more than simply salt and pepper. Then we had clams, the sauce was was like a broth, garlic, olive oil and god know what but my husband drank it like soup. Then came the fish, not cod, he said it was something like <haig> but it was only served to us once the first 2 dishes were done. We had the head of the fish because I recognized the cheek bone. By then, we were pretty much full, not to mention my husband had eaten the complimentary bread (I didn't because I had a croissant for breakfast). Last came the sausage with white beans. This sausage didn't see to have much fat in it but I saw bits of the foie gras inside. It was not my fav dish. I did notice a dish that I would have preferred which were tiny fried fishes with an egg in the middle. Waiter brings it over and mixes it in front of you and the fishes look like noodles. We didn't order the fried artichoke since we had it at Sant Joan. Another popular dish was some hot green stuffed peppers that looked like they were stir fried, it looked amazing. And last, i noticed a special dish that came out of a skinny shell, maybe some squid. We wanted to order the prawns but the junior waiter did a gesture saying it's very expensive. The chef was working hard on the other end of the bar (near the washroom), we saw one couple order the tuna and the chef slicing a big fresh piece that came out from the fridge and then it was seared on both sides. The space is tiny so you will see all the action if u can get a seat in the middle area. We had 3 beers each, small glasses, and the senior waiter will keep refilling if you don't tell him to stop. Total bill came to 70 euros for 2 people. I highly recommend this place. Thx everyone for your comments!

                1. re: orlenalee

                  If you like foie gras, El Vaso de Oro in Barceloneta is definitely a good stop. It's a great place for better than average beer and good simple food that's sometimes a litlle fancy - plates of foie and beef tenderloin are a big thing there.

                  1. re: orlenalee

                    Bravo. I love Cal Pep of course for the great food but also for the counter action and Pep and his psychedelic trousers. There's no funkier eatery on earth for me.