I just want to comment on a very disappointing experience there. We went after a concert around 10:30. Most of the food was disappointing. The fig salad was overdressed. An expensive steak tough and very fatty. Everything except my octopus was over salted. They have no menu and don't tell you prices so unless you ask (my fault for not doing) you run up a large bill for okay food. El quim at the Boqueria and the Catalon tapas place on Majoca past the Ramblas were far better--interesting food well prepared
But it is a nice little place for a drink and a snack if you're in the neighborhood. There's usually a chalkboard menu with prices if I remember correctly, maybe it wasn't up when you were there. It is expensive, though.
Thanks for reporting this. I live not so very far from Bar Mut, and have been there (often reluctantly) many times over the past five or six years. I have never really understood why visitors, especially visitors from the USA, have enthused about this place. Nice décor, convenient location — but service most often on the surly side of polite and the quality of the food offerings not so good. (Good wines — though ridiculously overpriced)
Sure, it's expensive, nothing wrong with expensive, but it is overpriced— often way overpriced.
70€ for six prawns (shrimp)? Check. (Though they were from Palamós). 80€ for a few slices (not even a good sized plate) of jamon jabugo?. Check.
It is, as we say, a pijo place. Best avoided.
Yes, it's pijo, as you say, but you posted that comment on a board where every-other person seems to eat exclusively at Michelin starred restaurants. There are definite pijo undercurrents in many discussions here.
You said yourself why visitors from the USA are sometimes enthusiastic about Bar Mut: "nice décor, convenient location." It's a bit of a novelty I think - nice old bars only really exist in a few places in the US. My advice to such a tourist would be to have a plate of anchovies and a vermut or cava, see the place, relax and leave for a better meal elsewhere.
By the way, those prices you cite are intentional exaggerations, right?
Yes, I get that many — if not most— visitors to this board only seem concerned about the Michelin, or would-be Michelin, joints — places I cannot afford and will never be able to afford to experience. On other city boards there seems to be a much more pluralistic crowd. Wonder why that is?
Barcelona has much, much more to offer than high-end dining — and offers genuine gastronauts as well as more casual foodies and curious hungry visitors a wealth of affordable edible treasures.
Sadly, no, the prices I quoted are not exaggerated.
In 2011 four US visitors paid 200€ for one bottle and two glasses of red wine, a plate of prawns and a racion of jabugo jamon. They thought the final bill would come in at around 80€ — so you can imagine their surprise.
Like the OP they did not see any prices before ordering and followed the waiter''s suggestions. After receiving the check they asked the waiter to enumerate each item.
It's always stuck in my mind as I recall computing the cost of each prawn — 11,50€ each!
I agree wholeheartedly that Barcelona has a lot more to offer than Michelin stars to a curious eater. Something as simple as canelons are a delicious chance to think about the accidents of Spanish history and how far Barcelonans ranged during the height of the Crown of Aragon 5-600 years ago (i.e over much of Italy). It's a fascinating, historically significant culture with more to offer than food related chemistry.
Seeing those Bar Mut prices confirmed shocks me, honestly. I guess I know the anchovies are excellent because that's all I can afford there.
Whew, that gives ya some sticker shock, for sure. And I think you and others make a good point. When we first booked our trip, I started dabbling in the Spain/Portugal board. It seemed like SO many people are only looking for the trophy placea, stars and all that. But upon digging deeper I found others (like you and others on this thread) who like to eat the way we do and can afford to. They show up on the US board, especially NYC, SF, etc. I think regardless of one's budget, you'll miss something if that's the only way you eat. But to each his/her own. And thanks for the warning. Cava and anchovies maybe :)