BARCELONA DINING REPORT Winter 2011

Old Apr 25th, 2011, 02:28 PM
  #21  
 
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Wonderful report. We need to back to Barcelona pronto and try a few of these places. Have eaten at Cal Pep 3 or 4 times and heartily agree about clams. They are delicious. We were there one night when the owner was gone and didn't think quality of food was as good. Later in the week we went back and he was there, but waitstaff told us he was sick and pointed to his throat and whispered "lung problems". We also have enjoyed Bossborn for tapas, doesn't have the crazy wait that Cal Pep has. I had octopus and potato dish there that was sublime.

Loved Tapac 24-the bikini is wonderful, a grilled cheese with truffles. Another spot that I fell in love with was The Palau de la Música Catalana restaurant. It is a simply beautiful building and sitting there with your tapas is a lovely setting. I think it is only open in the day. We ate at Commerc 24, but my two strapping dinner companions groused about portion sizes all night. It was very good though.

We leave for Madrid and San Seb in two weeks and I have all your restaurant rec's in my iPhone notes.
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Old Apr 26th, 2011, 02:08 AM
  #22  
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Yes, but Julie I bet you travel with a GPS!

Anyway, I am glad you all enjoyed.

Macdogmom: I will look forward to reading about Madrid and SS!! You certainly have some great eating in store!
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Old Apr 26th, 2011, 01:22 PM
  #23  
 
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I just reread your Madrid report last night. Would you go back to taberna Laredo or Arzabal? We are arriving on a Sunday and I haven't found much open. Hopefully hotel can help us out. Also, thinking of going to Salmanacca branch of Txirimiri, which gets very good reviews, and we can walk back and forth. Walking tour you took also sounds great. And that calamari sandwich is on my list!

I am also cramming in a weekend in the Dordogne on our way to Paris and your mention of Le Vieux Logis in another trip report you did stuck with me all winter and now we are staying there for 2 nights and eating in the restaurant. It's going to be a little crazy, but we will catch our breath in Paris for 5 nights and then back home in very serene Santa Barbara.
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Old Apr 26th, 2011, 01:41 PM
  #24  
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MDM: Just quickly right now: Of the two of those you mention I would go to Taberna Laredo.
It is a little more traditional than Arzabal, which is more of a bar with tables. But remember that there are actually two locations for Arzabal: The original one and the newer one a few steps away. We ate at the one that is not on the corner; I think that is the original. They are more contemporary in decor than Laredo. Both are excellent but again, I would give the edge to Laredo. I wish I was there right now, in fact.

I really liked the Salamanca area, and I think you will be fine there. The Tximiri in La Latina was just too jammed that we passed it by. I am kind of sorry about that because it gets such great write-ups.

See what the hotel comes up with for Sunday night, and we can discuss!
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Old Apr 27th, 2011, 08:21 AM
  #25  
 
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Great! thanks
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Old Apr 27th, 2011, 12:42 PM
  #26  
 
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Eks, thanks for helpful info. I am thinking we may go to both Taberna Laredo and Arzabal and do tapas in bar. That way we can can try them both. And now thinking since we are going to San Seb after Madrid, may skip Tximiri and try another spot in Madrid. Maybe check out Chueca area which sounds a little like Born quarter in BCN.

All the hotel came up with for Sunday night was Ramses which looks a little too uber-chi chi for me. Paying for style rather than food although Maribel does have it on her list of restaurants. My list for Sunday is-

--Casa Lucas, big thumbs up from you and Maribel.
--Taberneros, Calle Santiago, fav of Maribel.
--Iroco, in Salamanca, only a 14 on Zagat.
--Botin, sounds like a big tourist destination but roasted pig and garlic soup sound yummy.
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Old Apr 27th, 2011, 12:57 PM
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we loved Casa Lucas - go there early!. Small and packed.
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Old Apr 27th, 2011, 01:13 PM
  #28  
 
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Oh, it will be early. We will be struggling to stay awake after 11 hr. Flight from LAX.
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Old Apr 27th, 2011, 02:09 PM
  #29  
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To add to the possibilities, this Salamanca seafood restaurant was recommended to me by a friend who lived in Madrid. I did not go there, but it might be very good and they are open Sunday night.

http://www.elgranbarril.com/

I did not eat at Couzapin but we stopped by and it looked lively and interesting; open on Sundays, according to their website:

http://www.restaurantecouzapin.com/
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Old Apr 27th, 2011, 04:14 PM
  #30  
 
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Loved Cal Pep. In general, the food in Barcelona was wonderful. Love your dining reports, ekscrunchy!
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Old Apr 27th, 2011, 05:44 PM
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Thanks so much. Couzapin looks interesting for Sunday dinner and we could walk there. Maybe we could do Casa Lucas (and other spots) Monday night and Retiro restaurants Tuesday night. Do you think Botin too touristy?
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Old Apr 29th, 2011, 03:50 AM
  #32  
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MDM: I've not been to Botin since my first visit to Madrid and I will not tell you how long ago THAT was! It has a reputation of being quite popular with tourists, and if you eat at an hour that we here would consider "normal," you will probably see more tourists than locals. But then that is only a guess, not first-hand knowledge. The food would certainly be Castilian. There are a couple of others in the area that are meat-centric--Posada de la Villa (open Sundays until 4pm) and Julian de Tolosa, a branch of the Basque original in Tolosa.


http://www.posadadelavilla.es/

http://www.casajuliandetolosa.com/PAGINAS/entrada.html

Open Sunday night (I think) is Asador de Aranda, for roast lamb (more than one branch in Madrid)


http://www.asadordearanda.com/



See if there any helpful info here:



http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...ase-advise.cfm
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Old Apr 29th, 2011, 02:48 PM
  #33  
 
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Thanks for all the links-I know how much time that takes and I appreciate! Starting to think we will decide when we get there if we want to venture out to Casa Lucas (probably a taxi ride back to hotel) or try Couzapin. It gets lots of good feedback. If we get there around 8 we should be fine at either restaurant (I hope). Plane lands at 2:30 so we should be able to stay awake until 10ish.

Thanks so much for all your help. I really appreciate the time you take to write out your trip reports and answering all the questions that you get. I also was in Madrid very, very long ago. I am really looking forward to my return visit.
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Old Apr 30th, 2011, 03:57 AM
  #34  
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You're welcome! I hope that your trip will be as wonderful as mine was! Madrid seemed quite dead on the Sunday we were there, but remember that this was in January. Even then, Couzapin was bustling..I wish I had had time to have a meal there.
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Old Aug 16th, 2011, 10:17 AM
  #35  
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ps. I don't know if I mentioned this above, but our best meal of a week of fabulous eating was probably at CincSentits. I did not describe it here since it has already garnered so many reviews and reports online and in print.
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Old Aug 17th, 2011, 06:03 AM
  #36  
 
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Ekscrunchy, have you seen women dining alone at lunchtime? This is what I will be doing in about 1.5 months. I will be eating in restaurants only at lunchtime.

Also, from your report I assume you eat small portions of this and that, with no "main dish" in a tapas bar? I'm working my way through Catalan at the moment, to be able to utter a few words and understand more, and will do the same with Spanish. Again, from your report it seems people in restaurants DO speak a bit of English. And is it possible to make a meal out of vegetable/seafood dishes only, without any meat?
Thanks.
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Old Aug 18th, 2011, 02:53 AM
  #37  
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Karen: Hello! Yes, I have seen women dining alone at lunchtime, both at the counter and at tables. In Barcelona many of the restaurants will have English menus and at most places there is a staff/wait person with some English (and many places have staff fluent in English). I would not stress much over learning Catalan if you are pressed for time; if I am remembering correctly almost every place we visited on this last trip has had a menu in Castillian with the exception of Can Marti. (Sometimes the blackboard lists dishes in Catalan only but there is often a paper menu in Castillian and English) By the way, do not make the mistake, as I did, of asking for a "Spanish" menu; ask for a "Castillian" menu!

Without question, you can make a meal without meat. I don't eat much meat these days and there are loads and loads of vegetable items and seafood items on Barcelona menus. (In fact, on menus throughout the country, in general). The seafood is where you want to focus in Barcelona anyway. If you like shellfish, you will be in heaven.

Will you be in Barcelona only? My comments here are directed at that city but most of what I write here would be true in other cities as well.


I remember a small event at Cinc Sentits. We were having dinner there (two women, by the way) and a young American woman entered the restaurant alone about 10pm. We overheard her tell the hostess that she regretted to say that she would be dining alone on that evening since her mother, who had intended to join her, had taken ill at the last moment. So she sat alone at a booth and was doted on by the staff for the entire course of her meal. I could tell that she had been quite anxious about sitting alone but these days, she is but when we looked her way, she seemed quite comfortable and appeared to be enjoying herself immensely. Even at the market restaurants, there were scads of women seated alone at the counters and I would have no hesitation to do so myself. No one will bat an eye.
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Old Aug 18th, 2011, 06:20 AM
  #38  
 
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eks,
a question about walking to Can Marti:
.. is it a big road or one has to walk through a wooded area?
(I'll be alone).
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Old Aug 18th, 2011, 08:43 AM
  #39  
 
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Thanks so much ekscrunchy. Yes, I will only by visiting Barcelona. In 1999 and 2000 I spent short periods of time in Santander, Cuenca, Murcia and Madrid but I was not on my own. This will be my first visit to Spain in a long while, first time in Barcelona, where I will be on my own for 6 days. I travel alone regularly to France and Italy and will be going to Bologna for the third time after Barcelona. My knowledge of both Castillian and Catallan is equally non-existent, but I speak French and basic Italian, so I'm not that worried, I'm catching a few words and will be able to pronounce the basics - I'd like to learn the correct pronunciation of places and actually it's quite fun. I will just have to bring a menu glossary and I will be fine.

Thanks for the information on women dining alone, I feel much more relaxed about it now. I love fish but haven't eaten so much shellfish since I'm always scared of it making me feel bad afterwards, not that it ever happened. So I will try it in Barcelona since I know the quality should be superb.
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Old Aug 18th, 2011, 09:43 AM
  #40  
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Danon: The entire walk is along a road. It is in a residential area so mostly you will be walking past private houses. It is all paved and there are no wooded areas to cross; it is pretty heavily built up. It looked to me to be quite upscale. It was kind of a surprise to see the restaurant located in an area like this. The road(s) are minor roads, with very little passing traffic.
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