Friday, August 28, 2015

Tapas Tour - Barcelona

Leading up to our trip everyone I spoke with couldn't stop raving about the food in Barcelona.  I spent a weekend there in college and remember the food being good, but didn't seek out well known spots the way I do now when traveling.  

The same few names kept popping up in all of my conversations so I made sure to add those to our "must-hit" list.  

Our first night we dropped our stuff and wandered out to find Passadís del Pep.  A hidden door behind an ATM, it took us a few passes before we found it.  But once inside, we were treated to an extra special experience.  There are no menus, in a coordinated dance waiters start bringing you one thing after another starting with a bottle of cava once you sit down.  We had all of the classics, pan con tomato, jamon, multiple shrimp dishes, baby clams, and the famous Catalan arroz negro.  We were stuffed to the gills but a super fun and authentic experience.  


Our second night we ate at Bodega 1900, the more casual tapas and vermouth bar by the Adría brothers.  Inspired by our experience the night before, we let our waiter do the picking and surprise us with his favorites.  Our only request were the olives (thanks Susan for the advice!!).  


Crudo tasting, calamari hot dog, eggplant fries, and tuna sampler


Saturday night we hit Bar Cañete.  We went on the early side, getting there by 7 to ensure we could grab seats at the chef's counter bar with a full view of the kitchen.  By 8pm every seat was full and it was quite a show.  Every Yelp review raves about the steak with foie gras and truffle butter, Mom proclaimed it her favorite tapa of the trip!  It was definitely up there for me as well.  Other highlights were their crispy fried eggplants with honey and the ham croquettes.  We enjoyed a lovely Albariño that was smoother and fuller bodied from the usual slightly effervescent style that I'm used to.  





For lunches, we hit Quimet y Quimet and Bar del Pla.  

We were second in line at Q&Q prior to opening and got a great spot right at the bar.  It's standing room only, and crazy to watch them assemble hundreds of tiny montaditos, small open-faced sandwiches piled high with amazing toppings.  Yelp readers favor the smoked salmon with cream cheese and truffled honey, but my favorite was the country pâté (guess I didn't get my fill while in France). 





Bar del Pla was located right near the Picasso museum, steps from our apartment.  It was here that I had my very favorite tapa of the entire trip.  So good, that I actually had it twice as I made Mom stop one afternoon for an afternoon snack.  It was also the cutest little 2-stool perch allowing us to enjoy our meal outside.  
My favorite tapa of the trip - smoked sardines stacked on the most perfectly grilled bread!

And lastly…..just to cross it off my list, on our last morning I saddled up to the bar with all of the hungover/jet-lagged tourists at Pinotxo Bar, those chickpeas were certainly worth it!



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